Mark Reads ‘John Dies At The End’: Chapter 13

In the thirteenth chapter of John Dies at the End, David reads a bizarre chat transcript, and then what the fuck? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to reads John Dies at the End.

Chapter Thirteen: The Chat Transcript

Seriously, I still have so many questions. Which I’m well aware at this point is probably intentional? I have no qualms about accepting the inherent chaos in John Dies at the End, and I know I’ll be pleased by the narrative if most of my questions aren’t answered. This is an experience more than anything else. Still, I do feel like the narrative is reaching an end in some way, and I think I’ll at least get a glimpse at what’s behind all of this. Well, wait, I actually know that: It’s Korrok! I find it humorous that Korrok essentially possesses people while they’re chatting with Amy. You cannot take this away from me. Well, you could, if I interpreted the chat wrong. But I assumed that Amy was talking to her friends, and then Korrok made an appearance once she went outside with Molly. Real talk, though: I knew something was wrong once {EVLNYMPH} kept saying “serve” in the chat. NO. SOMETHING IS WRONG. Certainly the shadow man that John and David could see in one of the images from Amy’s surveillance was one of those things. Then we get the following sentence:

“And watch out for Molly. See if she does anything unusual. There’s something I don’t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like that.”


The narrative then transitions to David’s time spent with Amy, which is not before David makes yet another reference to whatever is hiding in his toolshed. And I’d like to start this by saying that I think Amy is the best part of this whole book. She’s written in such a fascinating way once you think about how much she affects the story and how much more information we get about all these characters because of her. Initially, though, everything is just creepy. David learns that Amy is being surveilled by that thing in the television, so clearly, Korrok or his followers is concerned about what’s happening in her house. However, it’s through David’s attempts to stay awake that we get a massive dose of suspense. (Not that the face in the television isn’t terrifying, of course.) David tells a story about spontaneous combustion and mistaken identity as time passes slowly in the narrative, but his own paranoia is what fuels the reader’s fear. Is he seeing things or is there really something in the house? I’m at a point in this book where I just outright accept all the weirdness that happens. No one is imagining anything. It’s all real.

Thankfully, David wakes up just before midnight. I love that we get the scene where David attempts to explain what’s going on to Amy, except that he has to be somewhat vague about everything. Because how the hell do you explain what’s happened here to anyone in just a few minutes? You can’t, really. Hence this book! It’s taken 318 pages and I still don’t understand everything.

It doesn’t help, then, that midnight came and went and nothing happened. It’s right here that David finally opens up to someone. As a narrator, he’s been unreliable and even unlikable at times. As I said before, this is an experience, and I don’t feel like there’s been much insight into David as a character. It’s not what I’m used to, but it’s worked so far. So it was shocking to me that David started telling Amy all about Billy Hitchcock. Y’all, I’d almost forgotten that he’d referenced him before! And then, with just one story, David makes so much more sense. His reticence, his desire for normalcy and affection… holy shit, he was bullied and abused by Billy Hitchcock and his friends. It’s never outright confirmed, but it’s implied that Billy’s treatment of David was sexual in nature, and that’s why David’s idea of Hell and what is there for him is so scary and sad. On top of that, this gives the story a whole new context, one that’s intimate and personal and uncomfortable, and I honestly think this book is all the better because of it.

And just as Amy starts to say that Billy was the one who died, everything goes back to being UNBEARABLY CREEPY! Amy turns into a thing that I don’t even know how to describe.

I got to hand it to them, I thought. I really wasn’t expecting that.

RIGHT? BECAUSE WHAT THE FUCK. In an instant, both characters lose about three hours of their life. It ended up happening anyway, except that it was late. Can I just say that it’s lovely and refreshing that David’s first reaction upon regaining conscious thought is to get the fuck out of that house? You’ve improved the plight of white folks in horror stories with just one action, my friend. You should feel proud.

I also loved that Amy used the Scooby-Doo glasses to finally see what David’s been seeing this whole time. It’s so perfectly silly and scary at the same time, though most of the scariness comes from the fear of what the shadow men do to people. No, thank you. Of course, I had no fucking clue how bad this was going to get. The fucking semi. The semi driver. Oh, shit, what is this book doing to me? I really do feel like the horror elements of John Dies at the End get less silly and more straight up terrifying as the book goes along. There is pretty much nothing funny about what happens to that driving, which includes exploding. And his head coming back to life through possession.

I leaned to the window and screamed, “You should have quit while you were a –”

Y’all, I am so endlessly thankful that both John and David are committing to puns amidst all this chaos and carnage. I hope to one day live my life with such beauty and honor.

And then this happens.

And suddenly, Amy was gone. An empty seat.

And then I felt stupid.

Of course the seat was empty – I came out here alone and we had never found Amy; the house had been empty and we all knew she was actually wrapped up in a tarp in my –

GODDAMN IT, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BOOK. What are all the flashes of memory that David experiences? Where did Amy go? Why is she the best part of this whole book? Actually, I can answer that one. SHE IS AMAZING. I love how sassy she gets once she realizes the shadow people’s weakness. Oh, and then Korrok shows up for a brief second? Y’all, I don’t want to meet Korrok at all.

I was surprised again when David then continued to tell Amy about his past. In this instance, he chose to elaborate on what he did to get back at Billy. And I must say, it’s kind of empowering (or at least comforting) that I got to read David’s response to what Billy did to him. I don’t feel sorry in the slightest for the people who bullied me. I don’t. I never enacted or sought out revenge on those people, but some of them had some terrible things happen to them. There was not a sympathetic cell in my body for them. I don’t feel the same thing as David, as the line about Columbine is a bit too far for my tastes, but I’m so used to narratives of forgiveness when it comes to bullying that this was a pleasant surprise. Still, I wish David wouldn’t view himself as evil because of his lack of guilt. I don’t feel guilty for lacking sympathy for my tormentors, and I think that’s perfectly fair.

I also found it strangely comforting that David wanted to wait for John. John would know what to do, now matter how bizarre of an answer he’d give.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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