This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It - David Wong Going to keep this one short and sweet.

Bottom line: I liked it, and look forward to David Wong's next book.

Did I like it as much as JOHN DIES AT THE END?

No.

Why?

Because even though the story itself was strong, the quality of the writing seemed rushed and the narrative scattered. The personalities of the main characters shifted quite a bit from what I remember in the original book, and the supporting characters in SPIDERS were paper-thin, usually summed up with a description of a celebrity they looked like. "Then the guy who looked like Jermain Jackson said,", etc.

The beginning was strong and funny, and offered hope that this book would be as thoroughly pleasing as the original. That hope evaporated as the narrative began hopping from character to character faster than lice through a playground. As though that wasn't confusing enough, the author decided to have the narrative jump forward and backward in time as well, catching the reader up on what every main character has been doing in the meantime. It wasn't terribly confusing, just not particularly pleasing to read in that manner.

I had a great time reading most of this book.

After the story switched narrators for an extended period of time about 100 or so pages in, I got so bored I almost (unthinkable) lost interest in the book completely. I soldiered on, and thankfully the plot got interesting again and kept me reading and engaged up to the end.

Overall, I think I would have enjoyed a shorter, more succinctly-told tale with a higher wit-to-words ratio, focusing on the main character -than the rambling, undisciplined book it ended up being. Also, pop-culture name-dropping references doesn't equal funny, it equals pandering fan-service to the target audience. Fine in moderation, but it wears thin when done too often, like product placement in a movie.

Also, as other reviewers have mentioned, I thought the book seemed to be using the second half to work it's way up to making a STATEMENT, some sort of BIG IMPORTANT social commentary at the end; I'm glad to see that the author decided to let that aspect fall away rather softly and gracefully at the end. Not the right book for preaching, and for that I thank you.

That being said, it's still one of the best stories I've read all year, full of imagination and delightful.

I highly recommend reading it, warts and all.