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Notes from the Internet Apocalypse: A Novel (The Internet Apocalypse Trilogy) Hardcover – March 4, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Internet Apocalypse Series

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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

  • Series: The Internet Apocalypse Trilogy (Book 1)
  • 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,129 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This book isn't the worst thing I've ever read, but it's nowhere near the level of writing ability that Gladstone's years of writing for Cracked indicates. The attempts at Internet satire are facile caricatures of various websites' users, while the character motivations don't progress from beginning to end. Add in a twist ending that's cheap and reads like the author hit his minimum page count and wanted to make up something that seemed "deep" and this is a huge disappointment of a debut novel.
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Format: Hardcover
I've always loved Gladstone's writing so the fact that I loved this book is not really a huge surprise. While the internet references sometimes do seem strained, the book is a very entertaining read. Furthermore,while often tongue in cheek, there is some really insightful musing on the way we interact with one another in the modern internet enabled world. The ending was really confusing, thought it made more sense once I realized this was the first of three. This book is very much worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading this book, I get the impression the author had about 85% of the plot figured out before writing and didn't know how to resolve it. Instead of following through with an ending to match the character of the rest of the book, it's almost as if he thought "Whoa, this is getting kinda crazy" and brought it back to a more mundane reality. I hope I'm not spoiling the book for anyone, because there were some entertaining spots, but a lack of commitment to the story on par with an 'and then he woke up and it was all a dream' ending has left me disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm an avid reader of "Cracked," a website that's both informative and hilarious, brimming with sarcasm and holding no subject sacred when it comes to investigation and/or mockery. It has some talented writers among its staff, and said staff has gone on to put out several "real-world" books -- "You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News," "How To Fight Presidents," and "John Dies at the End" and its sequel "This Book Is Full of Spiders," among others. "John Dies at the End" is on my to-read list, but I happened across a mention of "Notes from the Internet Apocalypse" on the Cracked website and was intrigued by its description. It looked to be a hilarious read, and so I was able to talk my local library into purchasing a copy. (I prefer to read a book from the library before I purchase it for real, because I'm not paying for a book unless I'm sure I'm going to read it more than once.)

Unfortunately, "Notes from the Internet Apocalypse" is not a book I'm going to re-read. It has moments of brilliance and an interesting premise, but at its heart it's a confused and mean-spirited mess that's way too smug for its own good.

The titular Internet Apocalypse is a simple but devastating disaster -- one day the Internet simply quits working. Soon the effects of this technological disaster are felt all over the world -- the economy is in ruins, the US government starts the Net Recovery Act and turns New York City into a police state, and Internet-addicted "zombies" roam the streets, struggling to recreate their favorite websites in the real world. At the heart of this mess is unemployed widower Gladstone (yes, named after the author), who is keeping a journal of events that he hopes to post online should the Internet ever come back.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gladstone (of Cracked.com notoriety) keeps it fresh with his first published novel, establishing an interesting world where we are all one day suddenly deprived of the Internet.

Not exactly sure how to start, Gladstone (the character) sets out on a journey toward the truth to investigate the cause of this Internet Apocalypse with a small band of friends. On this journey, he navigates through real-life adapted memes, newly established dark-corners, and people from Reddit. And topped with an ending that leaves you considering at least a second read.

The writing is concise and fun and Gladstone (the author) shows he not only knows what he's talking about, but knows how to transform that into a compelling narrative.
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Format: Hardcover
The story reminds me of the show Revolution although instead of loss of electricity,the Internet mysteriously shuts down everywhere causing a ripple effect.of chaos which sends the protagonist on an introspective self revealing quest to "find the Internet". Entertaining,fast paced, unique,well written,engaging,quirky,subversive.Very cool book with an unexpected ending.I didn't realize this was a trilogy when I finished it. I think it stands alone a a good complete story yet i am intrigued to find out what happens next. This book carries an important message and I highly recommend to adult readers.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely adored this little slice of witty social satire and drama, which dares to ask - how would our society cope with the sudden loss of the Internet? Smart, riveting, full of fun nerdy references for online addicts like me, and I just couldn't put it down till I'd finished the whole thing. Be sure to check out the sequel ('Agents of the Internet Apocalypse') as well!
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Format: Hardcover
I love books that surprise me...the ones that you pick up expecting one thing and getting something else entirely. If I were to base the review on that criteria alone, I'd give it 5 stars. This was a great read; full of wit and fun, but strangely heartfelt at the same time. Highly recommend!
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