A Killer Title

One difficult challenge to writing a book is coming up with an attention-grabbing title. Sometimes more difficult than writing the story itself. At least for me it is.

A few weeks ago I went to the library to check out the new releases. One book popped out at me immediately:

“John Dies at the End” by David Wong

How often do you see a title that gives away the ending? Of course I had to pick it up and read the inner sleeve:

STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don’t put it down. It’s too late. They’re watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you’ll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it’s too late. You touched the book. You’re in the game. You’re under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.

The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. I’m sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault.

Intrigued? I was.

Call it a combination horror/comedy. Two things you don’t often see combined.

Basically it’s about two friends, John and David. They’re nothing special, one can’t hold a job more than a few months, and the other works at a video store. It all started by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yet they took up the challenge of saving the world from an evil “god” named Korrok and its minions. David’s reason is based on the desire not to see his world fall to darkness (a noble goal), but John’s is simply because killing wig-wearing monsters is quite the adrenaline rush.

The writing overall is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It’s fun, and honest. Be aware, if you don’t like excessive profanity, you may want to avoid it. I, however, found it true to the characters, and some of the swearing went so over the top I couldn’t help but laugh.

It’s also creepy and gruesome, but not gratuitous. David wrote some of the more gruesome parts so matter-of-factly that I took a double-take: “Did the lady’s arms really tear off and crawl across the room?”

So if you’re a fan of horror with some comedy thrown in, you’ll enjoy this book.

Does John die at the end? I’m not telling.

7 thoughts on “A Killer Title

  1. Ah what a great hook! I have a title for a book barely started I think is clever and catchy in the same kind of way, but of course, it needs the book to go with it, lol.

    I don’t ever read horror, but I have to say this one even intrigues me. 😉


  2. Isn’t it funny how some stories develop? Sometimes we get the title with no story, then there’s the story where a title is near impossible.

    If you do read it, let me know what you think.


  3. I am interested in reading this book. I think the author’s approach is a bit like the children’s author for the Lemony Snicket series: A Complete Wreck (A Series of Unfortunate Events books 1-13). On the back cover of these books he warns the reader to not read each book for many different reasons. I thought it was wonderful and did read one or two.


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