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

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Warning: You may have huge, invisible spiders living in your skull. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR. You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection: The spider secretes a chemical into the human brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That's just as well, since the "cure" involves learning what a chainsaw tastes like.

Another pseudo-autobiographical 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 paralyzing venom 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 twice, things somehow get worse. Despite the amount of brain-hugging spiders, gruesome deaths, grotesque monsters and nausea/Nightmare Fuel, 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.

A third book, titled What The Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror, was released October 3rd, 2017.

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'".
  • An Aesop: In times of crisis, the great killer is paranoia, fear, and human stupidity.
  • 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 closest he gets to being mean-spirited is calling John a manchild for, in Tennet's opinion, refusing to accept what he believes is a good idea in uniting America under fear of the 'other' by way of a zombie threat.
  • 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, which Dave notes it's the type of name you find on Miami Vice-style cops who have gunfights all the time and own gull-wing sports cars. The epilogue implies Dave made that name up for him to specifically sound badass.
  • 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.
  • Beware the Living: Present and accounted for with the hipsters and other folks, who are all mentioned to have killed uninfected people out of paranoia.
  • 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.
  • 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. Except, the Spiders turn out to be sentient and point out that a lot of humans have them inside them without any adverse effects. In short, making Spider-Brain not a big deal. A quality our antiheroes aren't quite sure how to deal with.
  • Bookshelf of Authority: Dr. Tennet is shown in front of a bookshelf of books he has written, foreshadowing a later revelation that the shadow people (bad guys) are using him for their own purposes.
  • 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: John asserts that only "cure" to spider infection involves "finding out what a chainsaw tastes like". He later uses a chainsaw to decapitate an infected Frankie. John's enthusiasm for chainsaws is a bit of a Call-Back to David's assertion in the previous book about how chainsaws make the absolute dumbest weapons.
  • 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. The protagonists treat her cautiously, as if they're half-expecting her to reveal herself to be some kind of monster at any moment. To everyone's surprise, although it turns out she is a monster, she doesn't want to kill our heroes.
  • 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 after killing dozens of innocent people. Dr. Marconi notes that zombies are the perfect villain: an enemy that can be destroyed without any guilt, since the enemy is already dead. Also not only does the military effectively contain the infection, but do so in a relatively short timespan, with the entire story taking place over only a week or so.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • Late in the book, an airstrike manages to only kill infected and their hatchlings. This being John Dies at the End, it's heavily implied some kind of
    • Weaponized with The Fur Gun, which apparently materialises or edits whatever the wielder wants or needs. Just as the monsters close in and it seems like the conspiracy will go off without the hitch, a Deus ex Machina is literally invoked when one of the main characters' obsession with a cheap kitschy painting of Jesus becomes a Godlike divine smiter firing laser death rays from its eyes after it's struck by the Fur Gun in desperation.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the Best Buy, David knocks several people over trying to escape to find Amy. It's heavily implied in her later POV chapter that one of them is Amy.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Shadow Men.
  • 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.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Amy didn't lose her hand in a car crash. A Shadow Man deletes her hand by walking through it, and reality retroactively rearranges itself to explain the loss with a mundane event. As Amy has been one-handed for the whole series, the Shadow Men's powers not only retconned the book's reality, but ours as well.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In keeping with real-life official names such as the CDC and the FDA, fictional organizations include REPERnote  and OGZAnote .
  • Genghis Gambit: "Them"'s partial reasoning for causing an otherworldly zombie outbreak is in uniting America and the world against a threat of outsiders - in this case, the possibility your neighbor is now a mutant brain-eating zombie infected by spiders. Unfortunately, this both means importing in extradimensional monsters who are fully aware of their formerly-human status and is also about using paranoia to divide and conquer humanity... ...and take over the world in case the monsters spread.
  • Genre Savvy: As with the previous book, John and Dave frequently anticipate horror tropes, though they're not always right. John flat-out refuses to get onto the elevator with Anna because she's a Creepy Child and doesn't want to be Alone with the Psycho. Instead, he races the elevator and positions himself so that he can blast her the moment the elevator door opens in case she transformed into a monster on the way up. 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 Molly's 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. He can also control his transformation and re-assume a human form.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Averted. When Amy needs to get into REPER's computers, she starts with a Boring, but Practical real hacking trick: see if anybody wrote their password down. She figures that any sufficiently complicated security system probably involves so many different passwords that the employees can't memorize all of them and have to keep a list somewhere, and a quick search of the nearest desk proves her right.
  • Hope Spot: Early in the book, it looks like John has solved the problem by torching a house. Then we meet Halfface Firefighter Bloodyhead Spinbones, and things... become much worse.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Defied. The zombie enthusiasts believe that they have gained practical knowledge and skills by watching zombie movies and playing zombie video games, but it turns out that they have no idea how to handle firearms or defend themselves.
  • 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.
  • Incoming Ham: John, after vaulting the asylum wall in the Caddie shouts, "DID SOMEONE ORDER SOME FUCKING PRISON BREAK WITH A SIDE OF SHOTGUN?".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Malaproper: John. A lot.
    John said, "That'll be that, the lid will be off their whole charade"\\.
It took me a moment to figure out what John had said because he pronounced it "sha-rod".
  • The Man Behind the Man: Dr. Tennet, who, after a reveal that he's a villain, claims he's simply a pawn of "Them".
  • Manchild: Amy's opinion of the college students that are set on killing zombies. Dr. Tennet calls John one (accurate), and acts as if Falconer is one as well, though The Reveal that the very traits that led to Falconer seeming immature are fabricated makes it questionable how much of this scene is to be believed.
  • 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. It's implied that the spiders are sentient beings like Carlos trying to survive.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Burning down the house with the spider eggs in it is exactly the wrong thing to do. 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.
    • Amy is just trying to get to her boyfriend, and she does try to rein them in, but talking Josh's group into actually doing to Undisclosed turns out...badly. Suffice to say that more heavily-armed people ready to shoot anybody who twitches funny is pretty much the last thing the place needs—still less so when those people have absolutely no real-world gun experience. (At least the locals forming an angry mob don't accidentally point their firearms at each others' heads).
  • 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.
  • Noodle Incident: Invoked. The disclaimer before Molly's chapter states that any explanation for how the author acquired it would be less satisfying than what the reader could come up with themselves.
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Thankfully nobody actually dies, but Amy (in a safe area) takes a picture of the news video of Dave's house burning on her cell phone and texts him. Dave sees the photo, thinks she's at his house, and immediately heads back into the danger zone to rescue her.
    • Repeated again when John believes that Dave has been killed and does not tell Amy. This leads to Amy becoming extremely frustrated when John is in no hurry to get back to the quarantine zone and rescue Dave—she doesn't know that John believes there isn't any more Dave to rescue—so she calls the CDC hotline on herself and then groups up with Josh and his wannabe-action-hero friends. This accidentally gets John kidnapped (when he goes to look for Amy, the goons grab him instead) and contributes to the asylum massacre (Amy's speech about how Josh is all talk seems fairly accurate, so he might well have stayed all talk if she hadn't shamed him into taking action).
  • Portal Network: Dave and John use one consisting of doors that lead to other places to get around Undisclosed (and in and out past the quarantine). A dressing room and a portable toilet are shown.
  • 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.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Name-dropped near the end.
  • 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.
    • Amy gives an actual one to the zombie enthusiasts, telling them how woefully unprepared they actually are to face down a zombie menace. She's right.
  • Reckless Gun Usage:
    • John falls asleep holding a loaded shotgun in his lap. When he wakes up it's shifted so that it points right at his head.
    • 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.
  • Ret-Gone: The Shadow Men have the power to erase anything from existence so thoroughly that it will never even have existed at all. That's how Amy lost her hand.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Not the ending, thankfully, but the sideplot with Amy hitching a ride with a bunch of zombie nerds hoping to kill some zeds as well as the sideplot of David helping to break out some of the friends he'd made during a memory blackout at the quarantine both end in the zombie nerds accidentally murdering the escapees in a panic, which draws the actual zombies to their location and murders them all.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Firefly: When REPER bursts onto the scene, Amy thinks they said "Reavers," "like from Firefly".
    • Aliens, when the leader of the Hipster Zombie-Hunters says, "They're coming out of the goddamn walls!"
    • John stops time and explains that it's like Saved by the Bell, apparently referring to Zach Morris's Breaking the Fourth Wall moments.
  • 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".
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The previous book was fairly balanced, but here things slide far more towards the "Horror" end.
  • 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.
    • Survivalists and people with a fetish for the apocalypse are made targets, regardless of what their particular flavor is. The zombie apocalypse fanboys are a bunch of clueless geeks who have no idea how to properly handle their weapons, and in the end accomplish nothing more than killing a bunch of innocent people before getting effortlessly massacred by the real monsters. The Free Republic guy likes to pose as a survivalist to his online buddies, but the encounter with him shows him as a posturing fake. The militias going around town trying to take care of the problem on their own probably did nothing but kill innocent people or each other, considering that they racked up a body count in the hundreds and the infection was never bigger than about 70 people. And the bit where David sees what happens when the US Army takes on the monsters makes it pretty clear that the idea of the Army being overrun by zombies, or ordinary people succeeding in surviving and thriving against a threat that the Army's resources fail against is really pretty laughable.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Dr. Tennet sacrifices himself to his own monsters to prompt the army into restarting their cleansing of Undisclosed.
  • 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. A wrench is thrown into things when John and Dave meet Anna, a little girl quarantined with the rest of them. Sure enough, she's actually a monster. 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 Happened to the Mouse?: It's not stated what actually happens to Carlos and Anna, but it's implied they're incinerated in the airstrike.
  • 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.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The zombie survivalist hipsters. Watching Resident Evil and Night of the Living Dead (1968) thirty thousand times, unfortunately, doesn't translates to being an effective zombie slayer. They kill a lot of innocent people and get killed by the monsters because they have no damn clue of how these monsters actually function, no idea of how to differentiate infected from non-infected, and Storming the Castle doesn't works if you have no idea of where the castle actually is.
  • 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 occurred, 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.

Alternative Title(s): This Book Is Full Of Spiders, This Book Is Full Of Spiders Seriously Dude