In the tenth and eleventh chapters of John Dies At The End, Dave begins to fear that he’s done something terrible once he realizes that a half hour of his life is missing. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read John Dies At The End.
Chapter Ten: The Missing Girl / Chapter Eleven: By the wayâ€¦
I have some problems with the language usage here, but bless this chapter. It’s easily my favorite so far, despite that it manages to follow a familiar pattern. I’ve only just sort of realized that John Dies at the End even has a pattern. In this book, the plot doesn’t progress in any natural order. There’s no traditional rise in tension and action. It’s almost like this is an experiment in absurdity and horror, and that makes this both bewildering and a whole lot of fun. The author writes the most horrifying, bizarre thing you’ve ever read, and then creates something even worse than that in the next cycle. I mean, we’re nearly 300 pages into this book, and I still have only the loosest idea of what’s going on. I know that soy sauce opens doorways into another world that resembles a hell of some sort, that these creatures we’ve been seeing are from that world, that Korrok is some master demonoid thing, and that there are two categories of beings in the book: the ones only seen by those on soy sauce, and the recent ones that can sometimes be seen by ordinary folks.
But as far as everything else? I have no fucking clue what’s going on. This chapter certainly doesn’t help, especially since there are a couple new things that David experiences, but the journey is entertaining enough to keep me interested.
David begins to explain to Arnie what happened after the “Wexler thing,” and good fucking god, it’s doozy. And David being watched through his television isn’t even the worst part. But that’s the first new thing that happens, and I imagine it must be connected to the fact that John and David have started helping folks out. Why else would someone or some thing want to surveil David? What purpose would it serve? Of course, I could be very wrong. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book for this site that constantly caused me to doubt every single prediction I made, but this is it. Every time I type a sentence like that, doubt crawls into my mind, and I am convinced I am not even close to the truth.
Then, just after Christmas, things got weird again.
BECAUSE THEY WERE APPARENTLY NOT WEIRD ENOUGH??? GREAT. Great!
That weirdness that David references involves missing time. Instantly, my mind went to The X-Files because that’s where my mind goes about 90% of the time once you start talking about the supernatural. I won’t apologize for this. Now, I don’t think David was abducted by aliens during his missing half hour, but isn’t that a fun thought? Enjoy it. I really do appreciate how well this is written, and what we’ve got here is about 25 pages full of gradually building dread and horror. It’s executed brilliantly because David Wong peels back each detail slowly, revealing a picture that’s impossible in any other context except this very world. First, David doesn’t even realize time is missing when he finds his gun missing. Neither does he realize it once he finds the gun in his own hand. Nope, it’s at the point where he remembers that his exposed skin is freezing and he’s covered in snow. That’s what works about this. Like I said, we get one damning detail after another, and each one confirms that something happened. What that something is? Well, hell if I know. Why was David apparently walking around his front yard? When did he use that single missing bullet? Who or what did he use it on?
It’s not until David arrives at Amy Sullivan’s house that he begins to believe that the two events â€“ his missing time and the disappearance of Amy â€“ might be connected. I’m a bit bothered by the depiction of Amy here, especially since the author is so crude about the fact that she’s got a mental disability. Which is weird, since he does feel guilt over promising Big Jim that he’d take care of Amy and look after her if anything happened to him. That didn’t happen. Granted, John and Dave have kind of had a billion different horrible things happen to them since Vegas, so it’s not like they haven’t been busy. Still, it’s one of the things I don’t necessarily like about this book. At times, it feels mean just for the sake of it.
Anyway, back to Amy’s house. I don’t understand why someone like Drake, who has never taken soy sauce, can see theâ€¦ um. The jellyfish? The jellyfish thing. I’m not even going to question what it is because that’s pointless by now. It’s there. It hangs out in the house. I’m more interested in the clues that David Wong does give us.
- Molly is back in Amy’s house, and it’s either the actual Molly or an impostor. That’s as far as I’ve gotten with that.
- Molly’s appearance can’t be good, as Dave so brilliantly explains because “For every one Jesus you get a million zombies.” Ain’t that the truth, y’all.
- Amy’s room (or Big Jim’s, as I wasn’t totally clear on whose room we were in) is full of small security cameras that are specifically placed to capture all entrances to that room. Which of course brings about a very important question: What was trying to get inside?
- There is a clear bag in the bathroom (which was locked from the inside) that might contain human remains. It is only labeled with the weight. Based on what John and Drake found, the evidence suggests someone was using the bathroom (possibly Amy) when they disappeared.
- David has the key to his toolshed in his pocket, meaning he used it recently.
This doesn’t make sense to me. Yet, I should say. I mean, if that is Amy’s body in the toolshed, then what’s in the clear bag in the bathroom? How would Amy have been abducted from the bathroom if Dave did that? What did the security cameras capture, if anything at all? Granted, I get why David freaks out once he realizes that he might appear on those camera stills, but I can’t piece together why and how he might have done this, especially if he was only gone for a half hour. Regardless, the whole part where David gets John out of the room is so suspenseful, y’all. Oh god, is there anything on those stills?
Just when I thought this couldn’t get any worse than the plot where David may have killed Amy while he was blacked out, this book finds something EVEN WORSE. I don’t even know what to say about Robert North. I don’t get him. I don’t understand who he is or what that slug-like creature was. Is he the one who was watching David through his television? Why? Why is he so unfamiliar with our world, yet he’s able to accurately describe the awfulness of Limp Bizkit? (The idea that beings from OTHER WORLDS find Limp Bizkit horrible is the funniest thing in all of existence, y’all.)Â I DON’T UNDERSTAND, and yet the scene is one of the most unnerving things in the whole book. Which is saying a lot, y’all. Ugh, I just got chills while thinking about that slug thing crawling over David’s body. No! No, thank you, I will pass on this.
Then we’ve got the ending. Fuck, I was so nervous when David approached his shed. I adore how the text switches between David’s thought process and his narration because it adds to the tension of the scene. David starts getting flashes of memories, and none of them are good. There’s a “pool of pink slush right in the middle of the snow.” Is that where he shot someone? When he opens his shed, there’s a blue tarp inside, wrapped around something that’s roughly the size of the body. And then:
I could have confused this for a slain young deer, in fact, had there not been three pale fingers extending just over the edge of the canvas.
I realize that David never checks to see who is under that tarp. It’s possible it’s not Amy. (Chapter eleven pretty much confirms that, but suggests it’s someone worse. Oh god, WHY.) But the reader can no longer deny that there is a dead body in David’s shed, that David lost thirty minutes of his life, and that the barrel of the gun was warm earlier in the chapter. He shot his gun. We don’t know the details, but none of this good. None of it!
So what’s in the shed? I don’t have the slightest clue, and I’m scared to find out.
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