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Notes from the Internet Apocalypse: A Novel Hardcover – March 4, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250045029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250045027
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gladstone, an emotionally detached thirtysomething with a dead-end job, wakes up to find the entire Internet has suddenly and inexplicably ceased to function. In this parody of an apocalypse, the first things missed are the humorous memes, flame wars, and pornography. Without YouTube, zombie-like fun-seekers force cats to do tricks. Craigslist becomes a plywood bulletin board full of ads on index cards. People fax in their search queries for librarians to answer for a fee. When a know-it-all psychic proclaims Gladstone the Internet messiah, he makes him a target for all those who either hope for or fear the technology’s return. Gladstone reluctantly assembles a highly likable cohort of disenfranchised online friends to join him in his search for answers, but since he is burdened by depression, his quest is just as much about finding himself as it is about finding the World Wide Web. Some dialogue here is obviously contrived as a vehicle for quips and sarcasm, but the punch lines are pitch-perfect. Anyone who spends time sharing jokes in web communities will find this satire irresistible. --Cortney Ophoff


"An oddly heartfelt journey through the wasteland of a techno-collapse. Gladstone takes an admittedly far-fetched and off-putting story idea and breathes startling life into it. He gambles here, but he wins. Give it a read." —Patton Oswalt

"This is satire in its purest form: an exaggerated, filthy and ridiculous world - which happens to be exactly the world we live in. Gladstone has conceived and successfully executed a clever thought experiment that illustrates just how crazy the Internet has made all of us. Witty, profane and entertaining." —Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

"Wayne Gladstone's satire is a high-concept page-turner brimming with LOL-worthy one-liners and observations about the web-addicted zombies we've become and the price we've paid for our sins. The best way to sum up the reading experience would be an emoticon that has yet to be invented." —Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

"Gladstone's novel makes it clear that losing the Internet would indeed be apocalyptic, but it would also be funny, thrilling, and would perhaps be necessary to remind us of who we really are." —John Warner, Editor-at-Large of McSweeney's Internet Tendency and author of The Funny Man

“A story whose humor is matched by its insight into technology's effect on our relationships. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll beg your Internet provider to never leave you." —Frank Lesser, writer for The Colbert Report and author of Sad Monsters

"An amusing but thoughtful look at what might happen to our culture if the World Wide Web went down for good." —

"An acid cultural satire that skewers what we would miss most about the online world." —Kirkus Reviews

"The punchlines are pitch-perfect. Anyone who spends time sharing jokes in web communities will find this satire irresistible." —Booklist

"If someone’s going to slap down the Internet and our relationship with it, the last place you’d likely expect them to do it is in a book. But that’s exactly the medium to which writer Wayne Gladstone turns to write a belly-laugh account of what would happen if: Someone stole the Internet." —Toronto Star

"With his sharp wit and Googlesque knowledge of the Web, Gladstone lays bare the ways viral communication has become the infrastructure of our economic and cultural identity. The conversations are vulgar at times, but then they throw us unexpectedly into the sublime. At its core, Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is a love story, which is why, even as our narrator spends a week in the Rule 34 club and finally makes a request, it will break your heart." —The Washington Post



More About the Author

WAYNE GLADSTONE is a longtime columnist for He is the creator and star of the Hate by Numbers online video series. His writing has also appeared on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Comedy Central's Indecision,, and in the collections You Might Be A Zombie and Other Bad News and The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes.

Customer Reviews

This is the premise of this very creative novel.
I read the entire book in half a plane ride, not stopping to put it down once.
Any work that can make you laugh and think at the same time is worth the read.
Joshua Caleau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Josh Paustian on March 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being relatively familiar with Gladstone's writing, I expected to like this book.

But I was surprised by how much I liked it.

I expected a sort of absurdist, darker-humor satire about society and internet culture, and Notes From the Internet Apocalypse certainly has those elements. But alongside that valid social commentary is a functionally alcoholic, depressive, vaguely pornographic, romantic, tortured sort of desperation that anyone who has spent countless hours locked to a tiny glowing screen should be familiar with.

Well-written and engaging, with a personable narrator and aptly phrased opinions & criticisms about the familiar world of the Internet and it's communities (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Reddit, Digg, 4chan; each gets a welcome turn in the spotlight), Gladstone's novel is a worthwhile read and deserves a spot on the shelf of anyone who has gotten lost in a bottle and a laptop to distract themselves from their own lives, or anyone who considers themselves to be an Internet addict for one reason or another.

Bottom line? Notes From the Internet Apocalypse is an intelligent appraisal of our general treatment of & perspective on the Internet intertwined with a wonderfully personal narrative and a witty handling of what life is with the Internet and what it might be without the Internet. Caustic one-liners and friendly jibes about the Internet and the people who use it, likeable characters, simple, yet thought-provoking plot-line with entertaining twists and turns. Gladstone had me at the halfway-point, but he hooked me by the end. Highly recommended.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kenny on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Anyone that read Gladstone's serial novella 'Notes From The Internet Apocalypse' on and enjoyed it will absolutely love this novel. It causes you to think about what you would do if the internet suddenly disappeared, without you even realizing it. The novel brought me to laughter one page, and had me on the verge of tears the next, which takes a lot since it's just text on a sliver of pulp from a dead tree.

I had a beautiful dose of irony while reading this today, which is that I ended up acting as tech support for a family member. It almost made me wish for an Internet Apocalypse of our own!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Maura on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The writing is deceptively simple but incredibly engaging. I was half-way through before I realized the magnitude of the narrative.

At first, I expected this book to be a satirical look at what could happen to society if the internet suddenly vanished, and it is. But as I kept reading, I found myself surprised by the depth and power of this novel. It contains all of the humor and sharp observation I thought I'd find, but weaves those into a startlingly impactful psychological study of one man. A man who, incidentally, holds the same name as the author himself.

The world this book inhabits is our world, but one where the internet has suddenly disappeared. A small band of misfits, whose lives have been upended by the loss, set out across New York City to find the internet and whoever is responsible for its vanishing. When recommending this book, I'd be unsure how to classify it. It's a mystery, it's a character study, it's comedic, it's romantic, but it transcends these categories. It's something much more. Like the best creations, it is a mirror of its time, displaying for us things we know but hadn't named.

I absolutely recommend this book and can't wait to read it again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jenn Miller on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are very few books that when I get it into my hands, I can't put it down. This is one of those books. It is a dark comedy that touches on what life would be like without the internet. I laughed at the thought of how awkward communicating with each other would be if there were no social media platform to do so. You feel for the main character, who happens to have the same name as the author, as the story progresses and realize that there is a back story of his life even before the disappearance of the internet.

This is a great novel from a fantastic writer known for his hilarious articles from Cracked and the internet series Hate by Numbers.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Okay, so this author, Wayne Gladstone, is a mainstay, and his Hate by Numbers series changed the way many of us critique our video feeds. When I picked up his novel, I expected a lot. The funny, the level vision, even the flashes of perplexed pain I'd met with in his columns. He'd already posted the original novella, and it seemed this would be a logical expansion, a fine time on a satirical adventure.

What I didn't expect? Characters that turn and meet my eyes. An inviting city under my feet. Encounters that render parodies human. Dread that latches on and turns pages, even as it has me denying solutions. Prose that doesn't strike as pretty, but then it sticks. Images difficult to look at, like my father's tears.

The fact that, even if you've read every column, every novella chapter, if you haven't read his book, you haven't read Gladstone.

Not to say there's no funny. Cat lovers beware, and tweeters, best learn to count while you talk. But whatever it is you'd miss, IMDB, Netflix streaming, your friends' feed, those sites they block at work, all the silly, innocent connections we create with what we value, this Apocalypse betrays the nature of the Net we've made.

But now forget all that, because here's the real story, beyond and perhaps behind our online addictions: the Search. Love and meaning at our fingertips... if we could just find the keywords.
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