Mark Reads ‘John Dies At The End’: Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter of John Dies at the End, well, I was wrong. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read John Dies at the End.

Chapter Four: The Soy Sauce

Holy fuck, this is too much.

  • I get the answer to what soy sauce does, and it makes me even more confused and frightened.
  • I haven’t really done straight-up horror for Mark Reads, which is weird! I love horror! It’s one of the first genres of literature that I became obsessed with and still love to this day. But it just never really happened on this site just by sheer luck. AND NOW IT HAS AND WHAT THE HELL.
  • This chapter is relentlessly terrifying, jumping across different subgenres of horror in the span of a page or two. We’ve got Lovecraft-ian terrors from another world, David Cronenberg-esque body horror, straight-up suspense, and drug-related fears all wrapped in A SUPER FUCKED UP STORY.
  • Which starts off, may I remind you, with John telling David not to do a thing right as the bratwurst cuts out so that David doesn’t find out what the thing is. I still am not sure what he was talking about. Go in the basement? Open the freezer?
  • What is that room painted like a snowy mural? Okay, so Robert painted it while high on soy sauce, right? I’m assuming that’s the case, but why does it feel so wrong? Why does it change the more you stare at it, and why does it hide such terrible images within it? I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
  • “Go down and be a meal for the infamous Midwestern Tunneling Explodebear.” Oh, hell, this mad me laugh so hard.
  • I honestly don’t understand the basement at all. I’ve gone back, knowing the end of the chapter, to read this and… nothing. I’ve got nothing!
  • The only possible explanation I have for this is that it’s slightly ripped off from Perdido Street Station? I don’t want to spoil that WONDERFUL (and deeply upsetting) book, so if you’ve read it, think about caterpillars and drugs and… yeah.
  • Why were there fingers in the basement?
  • Was the TV a live feed of the outside of the trailer, and if so, why was it showing the perspective of someone looking at the trailer? Was this the soy sauce still working in David’s system?
  • Okay, so soy sauce itself is alive. I wasn’t surprised by the revelation, but I’m still curious to know what it is.
  • I just started laughing once the cop showed up. REALLY? REALLY? I almost thought, “Well, this can’t get worse,” but with a possessed frozen jar bouncing around the kitchen tile, I knew that the only left was for this to get much worse.
  • “Not only was I about to be discovered lurking around a restricted crime scene, but my arrest for said offense was about to be broadcast on live television. It would literally be the worst job of secretly sneaking into a restricted area in recorded history.” Okay, this book is funny. Not all of the time, but every so often, I get hit with a line like this. Bless!
  • So, I think that “possessed jar” gave birth to the metal canister that David had at the table with Arnie. Yes? Sort of? Perhaps “gave birth” is the wrong term. God, I have never felt so foolish trying to figure something out!
  • The soy sauce is alive and basically forced itself into John. Yeah, if you’re not into body horror, this book must be your #1 nightmare. Once it started drilling into John’s face, I was done. DONE.
  • But I do love how David Wong describes the sensation of soy sauce kicking in. He takes the overwhelming nature of the drug and conveys it to us in long sections of complex prose, which are contrasted with the succinct style David usually narrates with. This is especially true for that part where David talks about where the faulty bullet came from. It’s a brilliant way of showing us how a ton of information passed through David’s brain in milliseconds worth of time.
  • So, if John is right, and soy sauce opens “holes” from some other world or dimension, how does that explain both characters becoming unstuck in time? David flashes from various places in time and space. And possibly other dimensions? It’s also heavily implied that he becomes just like what G. Gordon Liddy was: one of the things you only see out of the corner of your eye. What?
  • And then Morgan Freeman (it’s still weird typing that) finally explains what he found in the trailer that caused this whole “investigation,” and it is fucking awful. I don’t understand it. My guess is that John’s theory is right: Soy sauce turns people into “holes,” and that’s what happened to Robert. In his case, Robert’s body exploded when those weird insect creatures came to our world. I don’t understand how the insects could help take over a body, though! John says that Justin is in his body, which makes no sense at all. AND WHAT THE FUCK IS IN LAS VEGAS???
  • I admit to being absolutely shocked into silence when Morgan shot David. I figured that David would find a way out of the trailer without this happening, but nope.
  • This is a really bleak book, isn’t it? I’m not basing that solely on the whole PEOPLE DIE. segment either, though that plays a part in it. It’s just that there’s no hope left, especially since I don’t understand the rules of this world yet.
  • John talking through Molly? One of the funniest things I have ever read, particularly when Molly sees a cat. I enjoyed this chapter a lot, but that specific part was worth reading the whole thing.
  • I don’t get this, oh my god.


Mark Links Stuff

– I have redesigned! Check out this post explaining the new changes, which includes the start of a permanent archive of all Mark Watches videos!
The Mark Does Stuff Summer Tour is happening soon! Check out the posted dates, suggest new ones, help bring me to YOUR TOWN.
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- Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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