This Book Is Full of Spiders
|Published||2012, Thomas Dunne Books|
|Media type||Print, e-book, audiobook|
|Preceded by||John Dies at the End|
|Followed by||What the Hell Did I Just Read|
This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (also known under its working title of John and Dave and the Fifth Wall) is a 2012 comic horror novel written by Jason Pargin under the pseudonym of David Wong. The novel is a followup to Wong's book John Dies at the End, which was initially published as a webserial and later as a printed novel. This Book Is Full of Spiders was first published in hardback on October 2, 2012 through Thomas Dunne Books and chronicles the further adventures of John and Dave.
A year has passed since the events of the previous novel. John and David still live in UNDISCLOSED. David continues to work in the video store, and John works at whatever jobs he can temporarily hold down.
In the opening pages of the book, David and John witness what appears to be a large military convoy driving through the outskirts of town. The convoy crashes, and the pair go to investigate. They discover a strange box guarded by G.I. Joe like action figures in the back of one of the convoy’s trucks.
One night while asleep in his bed, David is attacked by a spider-like creature. When a police officer arrives to investigate the disturbance, he is unable to see the creature, which then turns on him. The creature takes control of the officer’s body, inducing a zombie-type infection.
Despite the efforts of David, John, and a detective named Lance Falconer, the infection spreads throughout the town, panic ensues, and the town is cordoned off in an attempt to stop the spread of the infection.
David and John become separated. David is captured and, assuming he may be infected, authorities imprison him in the hospital along with several hundred other presumed-infected. The hospital grounds are fenced off as a quarantine zone. Meanwhile, John makes his way to a town two hours away, where David’s girlfriend, Amy, goes to school.
John and Amy eventually make their separate ways back to UNDISCLOSED, each with the intention of finding and rescuing David. Meanwhile, David and several other hospital prisoners discover a tunnel in the basement of the hospital that will potentially lead them to freedom. David is prevented from escaping, which turns out to be fortuitous, as all of the escapees are slaughtered at the other end of the tunnel by would-be rescuers who believed the escapees to be zombies.
John rescues David from the hospital by “ramping” his car over the quarantine fence and driving off with David. They eventually meet up with Amy, who has discovered the recently abandoned command center of the authorities responsible for stopping the virus. She has uncovered their plan to destroy the entire town. Despite the severity of this plan, it is deemed acceptable by the rest of the country, as the media has led people to believe that the entire population of UNDISCLOSED is infected, when in fact, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, the heavily-armed citizens have kept the chaos relatively under control.
The box that John and David discovered at the beginning of the book contains a supernatural gun capable of creating whatever the holder desires when fired. With this weapon in tow, the three of them manage to gain access to the authorities’ new command center at the outskirts of town and subdue them. John, David, and Amy are desperate to somehow demonstrate to the aerial bombing personnel in their approaching aircraft that the citizens about to be destroyed are not hopelessly infected zombies. To accomplish this within a very limited amount of time, John organizes several dozen people to arrange themselves into a universally recognizable shape: a giant penis, visible from the air. The plan works, and the aerial bombing is averted.
Critical reception for This Book Is Full of Spiders has been predominantly positive. Publishers Weekly and Tor.com both praised the novel, Tor.com highlighting the character of Amy as one of their favorite parts of the book. SF Signal gave This Book Is Full of Spiders an overwhelmingly positive review, stating that it was "Kevin Smith's Clerks meets H.P. Lovecraft" and that "this exceptional thriller [...] makes zombies relevant again."
A third book in the series was released on October 3, 2017, under the title What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror.
- "This Book is Full of Spiders (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- Ayers, Jeff. "Wong returns in 'This Book Is Full of Spiders'". Lubbock Online. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "This Book Is Full of Spiders (REVIEW)". Booklist. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "This Book Is Full of Spiders (review)". Library Journal (Book Verdict). Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "Fiction Book Review: This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- Fisher, Ali. "You Can Go Ahead and Touch This Book is Full of Spiders". Tor.com. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- Sharps, Nick. "BOOK REVIEW: This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong". SF Signal. Retrieved 8 January 2014.