in Books

Character Appreciation: John from “John Dies at the End”


Once I got on board with Welcome to Night Vale (after several false starts) I checked it out on Tumblr. One type of post that I seemed to see over and over was a comparison to a similar (yet very different) type of story: John Dies at the End. It’s true, the two do share some plot elements, along with a pretty unique outlook on the universe.

Naturally, once the comparisons had jogged my memory, I went down a JDatE rabbit hole (yes, that is a common Tumblr acronym used for the book, and yes, when you search for it, you do pull up stuff about the Jewish dating site – it’s hilarious) and decided my latest Appreciation Post should feature one of the main characters.

I chose John Cheese because….well, in a storyline that’s as weird and crazy as John Dies, you just have to pick the character that outshines the surreal goings on of the plot with his own brand of insanity.

J is for Junk

You can’t get ten pages through this book at a time without John saying something about his magnificent dick. Whenever he brings Lil’ John up (who are we kidding, it’s not little, it’s massive), the line he spouts becomes instantly quotable, such as:

You don’t even exist. We’re all just a figment of my cock’s imagination.

O is for O’ Douls (What John Should be Drinking — or not, because he would never be that lame)

It’s no secret that John is basically a highly functioning alcoholic. He’s been inebriated multiple times on absolutely horrendous occasions. The worst, though, would probably have to be the time he sat in a hotel room with a twelve pack while the world outside went to hell in a zombie outbreak-shaped hand basket.

H is for Hell

“Hell,” in this case, is a synonym for “the screeching sounds of a terrible, terrible band.” John’s band, Three Arm Sally (which is probably disbanded at this point… probably…), which plays a disturbing blend of rock and screamo. There’s no getting past this: Without that terrible band, the entire story wouldn’t have happened. No one would have attended that lame party the band played at, which supplied fun (!) drugs that kick off the main narrative.

N is for Natural Selection

Protagonist David Wong claims that John is one of two types of people: The kind that runs toward danger instead of away from it. I think this quote sums it up pretty well:

John, possessing a genetic defect that makes him walk toward danger, strode down toward where it looked like some cops were trying to set up a perimeter around the chaos. Somewhere, Charles Darwin nodded and smiled a knowing smile.

Who’s your favorite John Dies at the End character?