In the first half of the ninth chapter of John Dies at the End, it becomes apparent that whatever came into the world through the soy sauce is not going away. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read John Dies At The End.
Chapter Nine: The Bratwurst Prophecy, Part 1
(This review covers pages 193-233 in the book.)
- what the fuck
- I feel like I get a grip on this story, and then I’m reminded that I understand absolutely nothing.
- In a way, this is both exciting and utterly frustrating. I don’t think I’ve read a book for Mark Reads where I get 233 pages into it, and I still have no real clue what’s going on. I don’t! Do all these things that keep appearing count as separate entities or characters? Are they all in service of Korrok, or are they manifestations of him? I feel like the excerpt from Dr. Marconi’s book is the first definitive “answer” for the reader. AND I LIKE IT A WHOLE LOT BECAUSE I AM TOTALLY INTO STORIES ABOUT OLD GODS COMING BACK TO OUR WORLD.
- It’s also clear that despite that John and David are not currently high on soy sauce, that shit opened a door for them that can never be closed. They even suspect as much at this point! It’s the only explanation for… well, like everything in the first part of this chapter. Like that horrifying McWongald’s monstrosity. No, thank you to that thing.
- I’m going to try not to forget that part earlier in the chapter where John talks about Dr. Marconi’s book. Before we actually get to the book itself, the knowledge helps me understand why the attacks on John and David seem so personal. These creatures know them now. It’s how they change David’s perception of taste and the lyrics of songs he’s listening to. It’s like the most intimate and childish way to torment someone. (David even says, “I slowly came to the realization that these shadowy beings had the crude sense of humor of fourteen-year-olds.” That made me laugh.)
- I also don’t blame Jen for leaving David. That seems like a smart thing to do.
- Isn’t the original version of “Africa” by Toto casually racist anyway? I mean… seriously, read the Wiki on how they created this song, and the band members literally admit they’d never been to Africa but still wrote a song about the place knowing that it was probably weird for them to do so?
- On that note, I suppose I should talk about The Thing that is in this chapter that is impossible for me to ignore. Holy SHIT, there are so many awful, awful slurs in this chapter. Racist, anti-Semitic, ableist… sweet Mithros. I think I understand the context of them because it’s only through Korrok’s messages that we see them, so I am going to assume that the author is saying that only evil things say them? Well, okay, that logic doesn’t work because John has used a few himself. I guess I don’t get the point of using the n-word? Just to shock? To sow chaos? I know I’m also coming into this without totally understanding what Korrok wants aside from what Dr. Marconi says of him in his book.
- And then there’s everything with the weather guy, Ken Phillipe. Holy shit, this is all bewildering as fuck when you first read it, and it only truly makes sense once John and David figure out the chain of events. But as I understand, those things (Shadow people? Korrok’s army? Whatever?) can control beings, and this is what happens to Molly, who attacks Ken and tears out his throat. And she floats. And everyone can see Molly floating.
- The phrase “Molly the Hoverdog” made me giggle.
- I’m 5.
- AND THEN MOLLY EXPLODES. NO. NO. GODDAMN IT.
- I really shouldn’t get attached to a single character. Clearly, John isn’t the only one to die. They all do.
- Which means I shouldn’t get excited about Krissy, who is a rad character. She just jumps into this nonsense with just a desire for adventure, doesn’t she? John tells her they need her car for a car chase, and she’s like, “Cool.”
- I don’t get the whole “mask” thing yet. Shadow people? Oh god, I swear, I’m fairly certain about 75% of my reviews of this book are comprised of nothing but questions. I can’t help it.
- I think the absolute creepiest scene in all of John Dies at the End is in this chapter. The set-up for it is brilliant. Initially, I just thought its existence was to make David and John feel uneasy, and that definitely worked. But once they determined that Danny Wexler’s apartment was clear, David wanders over to the VCR. I mean, they discover the envelope that Big Jim sent to Kathy Bortz, which explains Big Jim’s behavior and how Danny Wexler got soy sauce. But holy shit, once David rewinds the video tape to watch their own entry into the apartment, everything is terrifying. Because seeing Danny turn into that creature and climb on to the ceiling is THE WORST THING. David is concerned that Danny is still in the building somewhere, but dude. Dude. He could have been IN THAT FUCKING ROOM THE WHOLE TIME.
- No, thank you.
- Then the cockroaches. I don’t even know how to talk about this objectively or intelligently. I can’t. It’s revolting and unnerving on a level I’m having difficult conveying. Sure, it explains the cockroach hand, but nothing about this was comforting. Actually, wait, I take that back. David’s stubborn refusal to leave his car to the fate of the roaches because he doesn’t want to walk to work is immensely pleasing to me.
- Korrok enjoys the suffering of others, I take it.
- “Man, how are you gonna report this to your insurance company?” John. John. I don’t think that is David’s main concern at this moment.
- Casual reminder that to fight the cockroach man, John leans out of a moving car window and pees on the thing. John. John. There is no one like you.
- Molly. HOW IS MOLLY BACK. I don’t trust Molly because MOLLY EXPLODED.
- I mean, would you really go into a mall colloquially named “The Mall of the Dead” for any reason? Because you’re asking to become a horror movie victim at this point.
- I don’t know that I have many moments where I stop and appreciate the actual diction and style of how this book is written, but you better believe that once “Home Sweet Home” started playing, I was hooked. The staccato bursts of sentences lend themselves to a great deal of suspense, and it’s an astounding writing choice. Bravo.
- A deer’s ass melts in this chapter. I just needed to write that down.
- I’m surprised it took as long as it did for Arnie to interrupt David and bid goodbye. Everything that’s happened since the Las Vegas part of the story has been so unbelievable that I imagine Arnie didn’t even try to keep track of things. This interruption in the narrative also further suggests that David is a pretty untrustworthy narrator. Who’s to say he’s telling us the truth? We know he embellished shit for Arnie before, so how much of what he’s said since the last interruption is true? I mean, I can’t deny that David looks awful out of context of these events, considering how many felonies he’s committed.
- Okay, so as I said before, I’m totally into the idea that Korrok/Kor’rok/Koddock has some sort of (fictional) historical significance, and it ties into the story well. It makes sense, too! “Kor’rok was a reckless and cruel slavemaster, who used men’s bodily desires to lure them to their destruction for his amusement,” it says in Dr. Marconi’s book. That sure does explain a lot.
- Oh god, WHO IS AMY? I should be scared, shouldn’t I?
- WHAT’S AT THE MALL???? OH GOD.
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