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


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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

Review

"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." —FantasyLiterature.com

"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 Cracked.com 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

 

 

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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 (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

WAYNE GLADSTONE is a longtime columnist for Cracked.com. 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, Maxim.com, and in the collections You Might Be A Zombie and Other Bad News and The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes.

Customer Reviews

I read the entire book in half a plane ride, not stopping to put it down once.
BOBB
Being familiar with Gladstone's other writings, I expected this book to make me laugh, which it did, but it also made me feel much more than that.
Empire Jones
The writing style moved the story along at a good pace, and there were some very emotional moments mixed in with the hilarity!
GinaMarieGB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 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 Cracked.com 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jwow 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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11 of 14 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ray Gunn on March 12, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is hard to categorize. People want to know, is it a detective story? A madcap caper? A bawdy picaresque? I’d say the answer to all of these questions is yes, but if that’s all you’re looking for, that’s all you’ll find.

Being familiar with the author’s shorter-form pieces on Cracked, McSweeney’s, etc. I went into reading this book expecting comedy, zippy one-liners, perhaps some nuanced satire, some sarcastic observations on our cultural situation. And I found those things. But I also found a surprisingly deep, dark emotional undercurrent that traces the banks of a man’s psyche when he loses the things that are most important to him.

There have been some unkind and unfair reviews of this book, but it seems they come from people who either didn’t read the whole thing or whose reading comprehension is stunted. So eager are they to find fault with the protagonist, who vexingly has the same name as the author, that they fail to see the author’s critique of him as well. Let’s get this out of the way: Gladstone is only a minimally relatable and likeable character for most of this story. He’s a drunkard. He’s a lecher. He’s aimless. He’s lazy. He makes infantile choices. He makes anatomy jokes. But what he also is, is broken in some of the most interesting ways. Ways you’ll see are common to most of us, if you have even at least a shred of empathy. It’s from this perspective of cautious distance and begrudging recognition that a reader can appreciate him and from which we can see him go through a kind of metamorphosis as he puts on his grandfather’s hat and sallies forth.
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