In the eighth chapter of John Dies at the End, David tries to move past the events in Las Vegas, but finds that it’s impossible for him to ignore his experience. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read John Dies at the End.
Chapter Eight: The Carpet Stain
First things first: Big Jim’s “novel” is one of the funniest things I’ve read for Mark Reads. It’s like bad porn meets The Eye of Argon, and I would totally read the entire thing if someone wrote it. I am not being ironic about any of this.
Despite that chapter eight is one of the more sober entries in this book, I actually found it to be my favorite so far. David Wong settles into this comforting tone here, one I could easily imagine him doing in person. As I mentioned in past reviews, I really enjoy how easy it is to read this and picture David saying these words to Arnie. It truly feels like someone is telling me a story. On top of that, this chapter is all about David’s attempt to move on. “Attempt” is the key word, of course, because this is easier said than done.
All these characters aside from John try to lead lives filled with normalcy. That also means that Jen and David exercise a whole lot of denial, despite that there’s evidence to the contrary. As much as David wants to ignore what happened to him, he still has moments like this:
But I still made a habit of watching, looking for alien white insects zipping around outdoors, studying the shadows for the dark figures we saw float out from that portal to who-knows-where. I kept a lookout for, well, anything. And I saw things from time to time. Or maybe I didn’t.
In that sense, David is awful at being in denial, and I took this as the first sign that this couldn’t ever be over for him. And how could it? How could you forget something like what David, John, and Jen experienced in Las Vegas? Hell, I can’t ever forget, and I just read about it. HOW COULD YOU LIVE THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE THIS? David tries to constantly discount John, but in the back of his mind, he knows John is right. This sticks with a person. Granted, I don’t know if John is actually seeing things here, or if he is merely imagining them because he wants more soy sauce. I think that’s made deliberately vague, though it’s implied by John’s unspoken desire to have more of the drug.
Of course, then shit starts happening. I love the idea of a place as mundane as Taco Bell being host to the first event that Jen, David, and John all witness together. But what I enjoyed most about this was that it was the start of an explanation for the opening of this book. After John and David take interest in a story of a house with a reoccurring blood stain, it leads them to a career of sorts. Now, I can’t claim to understand everything that is at work here, but I’ve gotten very used to that at this point. In any given chapter, I understand about three things, and that’s it. But perhaps this book is putting forth an explanation of paranormal phenomenon. Could beings or demons from other worlds be finding ways into our world? Is that why only certain people can see them? Why can John and David see the bloodstain “ghost” if they’re not currently on soy sauce? Are the effects of the drug permanent? Also, what is with the weird fascination with dicks in this book? I feel like I shouldn’t ask, but I just did. SO WHATEVER.
Anyway, it’s that first “case” that gets around, and then plenty of folks are calling John and David to get their help. I was totally into this idea that most of the calls they get are fake. Because that would seriously happen. Wouldn’t it? It’s also strangely comforting that the way they help Frank Campo is by merely telling him he is not losing his sanity. What he’s seeing is completely real.
I woke up one morning to find four pairs of huge eyes peering over my bedspread, inches from my face. Short little dwarf people, standing along the side of the bed with eyeballs three times bigger than a person’s should be.
I guess I hadn’t really thought about this until I read this part of the chapter, but the potential for this book is ridiculous. How many different creatures can this author create? SO MANY! It’s terribly exciting, y’all, especially since I got the sense that we’re moving into some real shit in the narrative. I AM EXCITED TO KEEP READING.
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