Literature: This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It
aka: This Book Is Full Of Spiders Seriously Dude
novel by Cracked
Editor Jason Pargin, This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It
is the second story about Author Avatar
David Wong and the sequel to John Dies at the End
Still living in [Undisclosed]
with John (who (probably) didn't die at the end
), things seem to be going fine until Dave wakes up with a large spider-monster injecting him with paralysis poison and trying to burrow into his skull.
After a narrow escape wherein a police officer is infected, a massive outbreak occurs, and John accidentally texts photos of his genitals to Dave
, things somehow get worse
. Despite the amount of brain-hugging spiders, gruesome deaths, grotesque monsters and nausea
, things get pretty damn funny
Released on October 2nd 2012, This Book Is Full Of Spiders
currently has a book trailer
and shares JDATE's site.
Provides examples of:
- Acronym Confusion: Dave mishears REPER as "raper" and double checks he isn't getting the wrong idea. Amy initially thinks the word's "Reaver." "Like from 'Firefly'".
- Affably Evil: Dr. Tennet is always extremely polite and professional, to the point of supplying coffee and tea during his villain monologue. He explains that he honestly thinks that he's doing the best thing for humanity.
- The Alcoholic: John is revealed to go into withdrawal when he hasn't had a drink in a while. Also, when he first fires the "fur gun," it makes a beer larger, implying that he was thinking about having a big drink at that moment.
- The Alleged Car: John's Caddie, which has a stereo that's always blasting a Creedence Clearwater Revival tape at max volume. It's such a piece of junk that the looters don't even bother to steal it. Which is good, because the trunk contained several guns and a flamethrower.
- Ancient Conspiracy: "Them", who are revealed to be involved in the spider outbreak.
- Anti-Hero: Dave and John are, by their own admission, a couple of screw-ups, but they're not without their heroic attributes.
- Applied Phlebotinum:
- The Soy Sauce, which is required to see the spiders.
- Also the portals/doors that teleport soy-sauce users randomly around town.
- The "furgun", which transforms targets or makes things appear out of thin air, based on what the user imagines.
- Author Avatar: David Wong stars in a book by David Wong. (Though technically the author's real name is Jason Pargin).
- Author Appeal: Part way through the book, Dunbar's number makes an appearance to explain a plot point. Pargin/Wong has written about this previously on Cracked.
- Awesome McCoolname: Detective Lance Falconer. The epilogue implies that it's not actually his real name.
- Based on a Great Big Lie: Same as John Dies at the End, the book pretty much insists it's based on truth. Lampshaded in the conclusion when Detective Lance Falconer asks Wong to fabricate his details to make him cooler.
- BFG: John's triple-barreled shotgun he bought at a gun show. Loaded with scattershot on the outside barrels and a slug on the middle barrel, John says it can cut down a tree with one blast.
- Big Bad: Dr. Tennet, though he himself admits he's just a pawn.
- Bigger Bad: A shadowy group referred to only as "Them." The Shadow Men also qualify.
- Black Comedy: The story is about 75% comedy and 25% horror.
- Blatant Lies: A in-universe post taken from Free Republic describes a confrontation between John and Munch's Dad, from Munch's Dad's perspective. He claims to have said things he clearly didn't and gotten responses that not only John didn't say but probably would never say, in an attempt to make himself sound better and John sound worse.
- Body Horror: The spiders, which burrow into the victim's brain, before permanently attaching themselves to the host's brain and altering their nervous system and body, making the only cure death.
- Brain Bleach: Literally how the spiders are killed at the hospital; treatment is a bullet in the brain followed by a dangerous cocktail of chemicals salvaged from the hospital that melt the spider. The chemicals aren't specified, but they're kept in jugs that previously held bleach.
- Break the Cutie: The reason Undisclosed is saved from eradication; since John is recording Amy cradling Molly's corpse after Molly is shot by the Army, the world takes sympathy and no longer views Undisclosed as a monster-infested city beyond redemption.
- Break Them by Talking: Lampshaded. When Dr Tennet insists that he's one of the good guys, Dave wonders why, if that's the case, he's delivering a villain monologue.
- Chainsaw Good:
- The only "cure" to spider infection involves "finding out what a chainsaw tastes like"
- Also used by John to decapitate an infected Frankie.
- The trope being played straight is odd, as in the previous book David calls a chainsaw the dumbest possible weapon a person could use.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- The mysterious green box, which, as it turns out, contains a very strange gun that gets used in the final chapters.
- Amy's "Velvet Elvis" Jesus painting becomes very important in the climax.
- City with No Name: Undisclosed's name is still withheld, even though the events of this story supposedly made national news, so everyone should already know what town Dave is talking about.
- Cool Guns: Det. Falconer is often accompanied by his chromed handgun, and John carries a custom triple-barreled shotgun in the trunk of his car. The furry gun actually bends reality.
- Cowboy Cop: Lance Falconer is parody of the trope. It's revealed that Falconer insisted that David make him out to be this way.
- Creepy Child: Anna, an unattended little girl at the Ffirth Asylum with a crusty teddy bear. It later turns out she is a monster, albeit a harmless one by the book's standards.
- Cruel and Unusual Death:
- Curing a case of brain spiders is either "finding out what a chainsaw tastes like", or a bullet in the brain followed by having face-melting acids poured into the wound/mouth.
- Carlos has a habit of killing his victims by eviscerating people who sit down outside. It later turns out he's a decent guy that can see who is infected, and simply gives them an arguably preferable death of having organs swiftly torn out (as opposed to slow-death by spider possession, transformation and gradual decay).
- Deadly Bath: Dave remembers an incident where something invisible was standing in between him and his running showerhead. Dave even lampooned this trope in the previous book.
- Death by Genre Savviness:
- Despite Amy pointing out that liking zombie media does not make one a zombie expert, the hipsters still charge the Ffirth Asylum and all die horribly. Averted with Amy, who, despite realizing This Is Real Life and they'll die if they enter the Ffirth Asylum, is physically unscathed in the event.
- Also invoked with TJ who, after lampshading that the Black Dude Dies First, dies first in the Ffirth Asylum Massacre.
- Deconstruction: Of Zombie Apocalypse fantasies. A bunch of zombie movie fans leap at the chance to enact all their detailed plans for surviving the apocalypse, only to discover that they're completely unprepared and die horribly. Dr. Marconi notes that zombies are the perfect villain: an enemy that can be destroyed without any guilt, since the enemy is already dead.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Shadow Men. Tennent also argues that, to a colony of bees, an exterminator is an eldritch abomination.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Everyone in the hospital refers to Dave as "Spider-man" because he's the only one who can see the spiders.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Molly can easily tell monsters from people, but is too indifferent to actually do anything about it.
- Evil Inc.: REPER. Think the CDC, but evil.
- Faceless Mooks: REPER soldiers in their black decontamination suits. Amy even thinks they look like monsters. Justified, because that's exactly what they are - the black visors mask hollow skulls controlled by parasites.
- Flaying Alive: The REPER blacksuits; at least two are seen without masks, and both lack skin and have spiders for eyes.
- Foregone Conclusion: Every section opens with a countdown to something occurring, being it the Outbreak, the massacre at the asylum, or [Undisclosed] being bombed.
- Fun with Acronyms: In keeping with real-life official names such as the CDC and the FDA, fictional organizations include REPERnote and OGZAnote .
- Four-Temperament Ensemble:
- Sanguine: John.note
- Choleric: Dave.note
- Melancholic/Supine: Amy.note
- Phlegmatic: Molly.note
- Genre Savvy: John flat-out refuses to get onto the elevator with Creepy Child Anna. Instead, he races the elevator and positions himself so that he can blast her the moment the elevator door opens, just in case she becomes a monster. It turns out that she is a monster, but she's not a threat.
- Gilligan Cut: The countdown chapter headings cause these:
- After burning his house down, Dave breathes a sigh of relief and states that there will be no outbreak. On the next page, the counter has jumped to "8 Hours Prior to the Outbreak."
- The gang seems to have averted the impending aerial bombing, and Dave happily states that everything is working out. The next page is "15 Minutes Until the Aerial Bombing of Undisclosed."
- Great Escape: The second section of the book is about trying to escape the hospital lockdown.
- Guilt-Free Extermination War: REPER can get away with wiping Undisclosed off the map simply because they're the only force in town, and can twist events however they want (despite there only being an estimated 70 infected left by the end of the outbreak).
- Hand Wave: In the "Molly" chapter, Dave announces that he's not going to explain how he managed to include a dog's perspective on a sequence of events, not to mention she's dead by the time he writes the book. If anyone could do it, though, it seems like he could.
- Heroic Sacrifice: According to Marconi, a sacrifice is required to stop the infection once and for all. Dave thinks it's him. At the end it turns out to be Molly, who jumps in front of a bullet headed for Amy while time is frozen at the climax. The footage of her death and Amy crying over her make the world realize that Undisclosed isn't full of infected as everyone had thought.
- Heroic Willpower: Carlos may be infected and "monstered out", but he's in control of his senses.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Dave and John. Parodied In-Universe when Amy implies that accidentally sending a photo of his genitals twice in a row is somewhat unlikely, and may not be an accident.
- I Did What I Had to Do/Just Following Orders: Dr. Tennet's justification for trying to nuke Undisclosed; namely, it isn't his concern why, he's simply ordering the destruction of Undisclosed because it needs to be done. He and several other antagonists see themselves as trying to prevent the apocalypse, protecting the world from the horrific consequences of incompetent idealists and self-interested fools. Their relationship with The Man Behind the Man is nuanced.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: Dr Tennet tells a story about a laundry room that seems to be haunted by a monster, but realizes that the noise is caused by a hive of bees living in the wall and burns out the hive. He concludes that the laundry room was haunted by a murderous monster: himself.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Conversed when Amy informs Josh that, while loading his gun, he accidentally pointed the barrel of his gun at her head four times.
Josh... I'm impressed you did this, you're amazing for just making this trip. But you don't know what you're doing with that thing.
And I think there's a one percent chance you're going to actually need the guns and a ninety-nine percent chance that a stray cat is going to jump out of the shadows and you're going to shoot each other. And me.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The UAVs at the hospital, which can snipe a moving target in windy conditions at night by a pilot several states away, preventing people from hopping the razor-wire fencing. Handwaved as being done through a computer that compensates for variables.
- In Medias Res: The plot tends to favor jumping between narrators (Dave, John, Amy and Molly) over a completely chronological plot. This later comes into effect as a reveal when the "Massacre at Ffirth Asylum" is unveiled to have already happened.
- Incoming Ham: John, after vaulting the asylum wall in the Caddie shouts, "DID SOMEONE ORDER SOME FUCKING PRISON BREAK WITH A SIDE OF SHOTGUN?"
- Invisible to Normals: The spiders, which prompts the CDC to assume an airborne, flesh-eating disease is what's causing people to get torn apart. Even Frankie doesn't realize he has a spider crawling on him until it's crawling down his throat and burrowing into his skull.
- Ironic Death: Lampshaded with Dr. Tennet's death, as he is torn apart by one of his monsters. But then it turns out he meant for that to happen.
- Kill It with Fire: When John and Dave realize that there's an entire nest of the spiders in Dave's bedroom, they decide the best course of action is to just burn the entire house down.
- La Résistance: OGZA, who are a collection of zombie-enthusiasts situated outside Undisclosed.
- Long Title: This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It.
- Man Child: Amy's opinion of the college students that are set on killing zombies.
- The Man Behind the Man: Dr. Tennet, who, after a reveal that he's a villain, claims he's simply a pawn of "Them".
- Metaphorgotten: Dr. Tennet uses a fast-food metaphor to explain everyone's role in things in Book 3. Naturally, everyone gets a little confused:
[Several pages after the metaphor]
John: Just so they can sue the burger place.
Dave: You're... several steps behind here.
- Monster Is a Mommy: Carlos, who is revealed to be a perfectly sane monster/man trying to protect his harmless monster daughter, Anna. His murders are also justified as he can detect non-humans with greater ease than Dave, and only consumes infected people who evaded detection.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: John burned down Dave's house in an attempt to prevent the outbreak from spreading, but he actually helped it spread. Falconer realizes this immediately. Dr. Tennet points out during the third act how several of their attempts at saving the day actually made things worse in the long run.
John: We didn't do any of it on purpose. We're just...not very good at things.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: John and Dave are able to get to the furgun and stop the shadow people by using Amy's phantom hand, which is implied to have been caused by the shadow people.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Dave is surprised to find out that Dr. Marconi has medical knowledge - he thought his doctorate was in "ghosts or something".
- Not Using the Z Word: Inverted. Everyone immediately starts calling the infected "zombies," even though they're not. The government calls them Zulus, specifically to encourage citizens to make the zombie connection and not question REPER's mass bombing of the town.
- Only Known by Their Nickname:
- Molly's chapter reveals she only knows Dave as "Meatsmell", namely because she admires his ability to have constantly meat-scented breath.
- Although it's never mentioned in the sequel, David and John are still known only by their aliases.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Not long after the outbreak, people of the internet quickly begin using the term "zombie" despite the fact that the outbreak is caused by a spider-like Puppeteer Parasite that can mutate humans in many different ways.
- Painful Transformation: When people "monster out", their anatomy typically distorts and twists until their limbs turn into weapons. Considering an infected Franky seemingly resists the parasite long enough to whisper something important to Dave, it's safe to assume the host is aware through the process.
- Potty Emergency: Amy can't bring herself to use the disgusting toilet during the long bus ride to Undisclosed, so she winds up holding it until her bladder nearly bursts.
- Race Against the Clock: Each of the three books contains a countdown to an event:
- Book 1 starts 48 hours prior to outbreak.
- Book 2 starts 8 days, 12 hours until the massacre at Ffirth Asylum.
- Book 3 starts 12 hours until the aerial bombing of Undisclosed. This fits the trope best, because it's a scheduled event that people know about far enough in advance to actually Race Against the Clock.
- Reality Warper: The furgun can make its wielder into one, but it's very difficult to control.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Daryl Lombard, Munch's father, claims to have given two separate, long-winded speeches to John about why John is a waste of flesh, then decides that if he ever sees John again, he'll gloat some more. This didn't actually happen.
- Reckless Gun Usage:
- Amy notes that the Zombie enthusiasts keep pointing their guns at her and each other. Later, Josh points his gun-camera at his own face to deliver a message.
- John positions himself in front of an elevator with his shotgun trained on the doors, intending to blast a monster that might be attacking David. When the door opens, he's pointing the shotgun directly at David's face.
- Recurring Character: The Shadow People briefly reappear, as does Dr. Marconi.
- One mention of Korrok, the Big Bad of the previous book, is made. However, even though the previous book implied the Shadow Men work on Korrok's behalf, in this one they seem to be completely detached from him.
- Ret Gone: The Shadow Men have the power to erase anything from existance so thoroughly that it will never even have existed at all. That's how Amy lost her hand.
- Side Effects Include...: Parodied in a promo, which lists brain spiders cause side effects such as "thinking all babies look the same" and "having dreams where all your teeth fall out".
- To Firefly when Amy mentions 'Reavers'.
- Aliens, when the leader of the Hipster Zombie-Hunters says, "They're coming out of the goddamn walls!"
- Subverted when John stops time and explains that it's like Saved by the Bell. He's probably thinking of Out of This World, another teen show from the same era that does feature time-stopping.
- Something Only They Would Say: Anna is identified several times by the fact that she calls David "Walt."
- Synthetic Plague: Implied with the spiders, the black suit REPER guards and the case with Carlos & Anna. Threatened by Dr. Tennet, who implies the defector Amy contacts can be injected with a disease that will turn him into a monstrous cannibal.
- Take That: It's an easy shot, but the way in which Daryl's post on Free Republic conveniently edits his encounter with John is almost identical to how a lot of outside observers figure that the regulars on that forum edit everything that happens to them.
- This Is Reality: Amy's rant at the hipsters, who seemingly relish being in a zombie apocalypse due to their obsession with zombie games and movies; Amy even later points out Josh is so unqualified to use a gun he has pointed his loaded weapon at her several times while talking. Unsurprisingly, their carelessness and inexperience results in them accidentally murdering a whole group of innocents they mistook for zombies, then dying horribly when the actual monsters show up.
- Time Stands Still: When John takes the Soy Sauce again, he gains the ability to freeze time. However, he can't actually manipulate his frozen environment. This leads to some interesting moments, like when he climbs a column of smoke or cuts himself on an immovable moth suspended in midair.
- Traintop Battle: Falconer is implied at one point to have fought somebody on top of a moving train on at least one occasion. When asked about it, he only describes it as "windy". This is likely part of David exaggerating Falconer into a badass.
- Undead Child: Averted. The parasite responsible for the zombie outbreak is apparently unable to infect children and animals. This is a significant departure from an earlier draft of the book, where the villains tried to take advantage of the psychological implications of this trope by making an elementary school the intended epicenter of the outbreak, which would have led to this memorable line:
John: Remember, these are children. Aim low.
- Unpredictable Results: The "fur gun," which runs on the thoughts of the user, but the user has no idea how they'll manifest.
- Unreliable Narrator:
- An internet post from Daryl Lombard, Munch's survivalist father, claims that he gave a self-righteous and long-winded speech to John about why he didn't deserve to partake in Daryl's emergency supplies. The real confrontation, described earlier, didn't go down like that at all. Daryl's extreme embellishment of the event also casts doubts on his claims to having an encyclopedic knowledge of practical survival skills.
- In the end it's revealed that Lance Falconer's entire characterization is made up at the insistence of the real man, who is apparently not nearly as cool. David lampshades it by claiming that Lance does a few humiliating things right after demanding that David not make him look stupid. Dave also indicates he's writing the craziest possible explanation of events, which casts much of the story into suspicion.
- Wham Episode: Maybe don't be holding anything you'd mind dropping when The Massacre At Ffirth Asylum finally happens.
- What the Hell, Hero?: After David accidentally triggers the Massacre At Ffirth Asylum, Owen puts him on impromptu trial and tears him down so thoroughly that even Dave himself can't give a reason for why he shouldn't be executed immediately.
Owen: And that means that as long as you're alive and walkin' around in here, the three hundred—I'm sorry, the two hundred and seventy—men and women in this quarantine are in danger. Is there anyone standing here, including you, Wong, who can make a convincing argument otherwise?
David: ... Nope.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Starts becoming a major theme in Book 3, especially when it's revealed that there are many infected people that have remained almost entirely unchanged. They're basically just regular people with the possibility of "monstering out" in the future, much like David.
John: Okay, can somebody quickly just summarize for the shotgun department who it's okay and not okay to shoot?
Carlos: The world doesn't make it that simple for us, my friend.
- Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": Dr. Tennet, who is fine with nuking a city full of innocents to kill some infected. He justifies it because it's beyond his authority and probably for the best.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Several times. A notable example is in the penultimate chapter. After Dave comes to terms with the fact that a sacrifice is necessary, he willingly lays down his life for Amy, only for Molly to do the same for him. Ouch.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Discussed and thoroughly deconstructed. The public is quick to jump onto the idea that a zombie apocalypse has occured, and all sorts of people who have fantasized about it occurring spring into action. Some are geeky horror fans, like the people who try to help Amy, while others are self-important survivalists, like Munch's father Daryl.