Posts Tagged ‘Wacky’

John Dies @ the End

August 1, 2012

Author:  David Wong

Title: John Dies @ the End

Genre: Horror

Publisher/Publication Date:  Thomas Dunne Books, New York. 2009

Number of Pages:  377

Geographical Setting:  “Undisclosed Location” in Midwest, United States of America

Time Period:  Modern Day

Series:  First two books of Web-Published novel

Plot Summary:  “Watch out for Molly.  See if she does anything unusual.  There’s something I don’t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like that.”  Such is the humor of David Wong and his buddy John, who dies at the end.  Dave is a guy in his mid-twenties, working a dreadful job at a video store, when John “accidentally” injects him with the black soy “sauce,” and everything around them goes to hell.  You see, Dave and John know the world’s going to end, and it is up to them to defeat the evil Korrock, a grotesque being from another dimension.  Along the way they recruit nerdy babes and hard-boiled cops, encounter genuinely scary (and original) foes like centipede-men who wear bad wigs, a man who is literally made of cockroaches, giant slugs and jellyfish, and the deadly bratwurst creature that can’t wait to “meat” you.  This is a tale for nerdy guys and the girls who love them, horror movie fanatics, and those who love creepy crawlies, because there are a lot of them.  Told in a style that is both funny and extremely graphic, you’ll be taken aback at how the characters develop over time, and you will care for them all the way to the explosive conclusion.

Subject Headings:  Psychic Powers–Time-Travel–Aliens–Cockroaches–Shadow Men–Bugs (Slugs, Worms)–Meat–Teenagers–Mental Disabilities–Amputation–Las Vegas–Reptiles–Jellyfish–Video-stores–Drug Addiction–Art (Paintings)–Hell–Guns–Explosions–Video Games–Dark Comedy–Romance–Bro-mance

Appeal: Bizarre,Shocking, Graphic, Genuine, Comical, Quirky, Action-Packed, Bloody, Emotional, Character-Driven, Over-the-top Violence, Dark Humor, Manly, Geeky, Blunt, Silly, Intense, Weird

3 Appeal terms that best describe this book:  Comical, Original, Bizarre

3 Similar Non-Fiction works and authors:

A History of Ghosts:  The True Story of Seances, Mediums, Ghosts and Ghostbusters.  Peter H. Akyroyd.

This is a novel about a man (a skeptic) who grew up in a household where Seances were a normal thing, and talking with ghosts was treated like a normal part of everyday life.  That man is Peter Akyroyd, grandfather of the actor Dan Akyroyd, who supposedly based much of his screenplay Ghostbusters on his grandfather’s life.  Did you know “ectoplasm” is something that actually exists?  This funny, insightful novel will appeal to Wong’s fans for its humor, quirkiness, and downright fun family history full of spirits!  Ghosthunters, look no further.

You Might be a Zombie and Other Bad News: Shocking but Utterly True Facts.  By Cracked.com

David Wong is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, editor-in-chief of Cracked.com (the online humor magazine).  This hilarious novel combines articles from the various authors of the website into nugget-sized “facts,” with a semi-serious journalist tone.  Readers will love these tales that never take themselves too seriously, yet contain actual, researched information that skews societal norms, but, in turn, also defends them.  David Wong would be proud!

Fangoria’s 101 Best Horror Films You’ve Never Seen:  A Celebration of the World’s Most Unheralded Fright Flicks.  Adam Lukeman, Fangoria Magazine.

Simply put, those who truly love horror subscribe to Fangoria magazine.  In fact, most probably came to know about John Dies @ the End because of it.  This handy reference guide contains a plethora of reviews on horror films, comics, video games, music, and books!  This guide contains a fair amount of “Terror-Trivia” that will appeal to fans of Wong’s work, providing geeky insider knowledge into the myriad details that are the horror world.  Both common and obscure horror titles are included.  Not to be missed!

3 Similar Fiction works and authors:

The Best of H.P. Lovecraft:  Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre.  H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth (editor)

This collection of short stories contains perhaps the “best” stories Lovecraft has to offer (The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Out of Time).  The ancient monster Cthulu is obviously a creature of great influence in David Wong’s work.  These disturbing stories contain dark creatures from other dimensions, insane human beings, devilish animals, and wicked prophecies and blood-thirsty insects.  Deeply moody and always frightening, a bit of dark humor is thrown in from time to time.  Truly for adults only, make sure not to read these before you go to bed.

Knee-Deep in the Dead ( Doom #1)  Dafydd ab Hugh, Brad Linaweaver

This first book in a series based on the popular computer game Doom contains far more depth than one might associate with violent computer games.  You are a marine with a troubled past, and have now just heard things are not going too well on a moon-post created for “mysterious purposes.”  All of a sudden, you hear a terrible noise, inhumane screaming over your radio.  A swarm of creatures, grotesque, devilish, have just emerged from a portal nearby.  Will you survive the inevitable onslaught?  This book is full of insane battles, logic puzzles, and vividly depicted locales told in a fashion quite similar to David Wong’s.  Highly cinematic.

Parasyte (Volume 1)  Hitoshi Iwaaki

“They arrive in silence and darkness. They descend from the skies. They have a hunger for human flesh. They are everywhere. They are parasites, alien creatures who must invade – and take control of – a human host to survive.”  Such is the introduction to Hitoshi Iwaaki’s sprawling sci-fi/horror manga series, Parasyte.  Shin is a typical high school student until he is infected by one of the alien parasites.  Instead of destroying the parasite he instead forms a mutual bond with it and travels about Tokyo, challenging evil beings and humans alike.  Very gritty and graphic, this series also has strong characters, philosophical musings, and fast-paced, unique battles.  Quite unique indeed.

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Boy Meets Boy

April 11, 2012

Author: David Levithan

Title: Boy Meets Boy

Genre: Young Adult, GLBTQ

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 192

Geographical Setting: small town in United States

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable):

Plot Summary: Paul, a gay sophomore in High-School, has several friends including a drag queen football quarter back. When a new boy Noah moves to his small town, Paul is immediately attracted and the two being a relationship. In a world where being gay is difficult, Livithan creates a place where being gay is normal. Although there is the typical romance of discovering your first love, fighting with your best friend and learning to be accepted among your peers, this whimsical novel shares the ups and downs of a protagonist everyone will be rooting for.

Subject Headings:  Magical Realism, Male Friendship, High-School, Gay Teenagers, Teenage Boys

Appeal: Funny, Engaging, Character Driven, Gay Relationships, Cheerful, Charming, Wacky, Artistic, Love, Relationships, Whimsical, Small Town, Contemporary

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  Homosexuality, Relationships and Humorous

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Meaning of Matthew: my son’s murder in Laramie, and a world transformed by Judy Shepard. The mother of Matthew Shepard shares her heartbreaking story of the loss of her son discussing her thoughts and feelings immediately following his murder. Through her son’s brutal massacre the world was turned upside down hearing about this crime. Judy shares intimate moments about Matthew before his death and her life work becoming an activist to support gay and lesbian causes.

The Give Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman. Everyone comes in various sizes as does their personal expressions of love. This book discusses five ways to help your relationship become a stronger one by showing your affection through words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of services, physical touch and quality time. A great self-help book for couples that need to repair communication between one another.

GLTBQ: the survival guide for Queer and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel. For gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender questioning teens, this novel helps take the challenges of prejudice and discrimination that may come with figuring out their true identity. It provides experiences from other teens who have ‘come out’ to parents, family and friends and also describes possible responses of parents after their teen has told them that he/she is gay. It also lists possible ways to respond to those who may be less accepting to the information. This is a great resource for teens.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Weetzie Bat– Francesca Lia Block- This poetic and lyrical novel discuses the life of Weetzie, a girl who lives in LA with her friend Dirk whose gay. In this intricate book, Block combines modern day chaos with mystical occurrences when Weetzie is granted three wishes by a genie and the ever-changing love triangles. This is a novel discusses homosexuality, single parenthood and you’re not so traditional family that it’s bound to be a topic of discussion among a wide variety of readers.

Far From Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters. Set in a small town in Kansas, Mike (born Mary- Elizabeth) has a troubling family after her father commits suicide and her mother feels that she is falling into a deep depression. Suddenly things look up when Xanadu a new girl who visits her town, becomes infatuated with her. The problem is that Xanadu is not attracted to Mike. This novel brings out the true emotions and honesty that teenagers have when they are unsure of what sex they prefer. Peters weaves in difficult situations but always leaves the reader rooting for Mike in this uplifting tale.

Luna by Julie Ann Peters. This young adult novel deals specifically with transgender issues. Reagan’s brother, Liam, is a woman trapped in a man’s body. Reagan tries to protect her brother and his secret from his friends and family until Liam decides that he wants to expose “Luna” to his parents and unleash her to the world.