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Notes from the Internet Apocalypse: A Novel (The Internet Apocalypse Trilogy) 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

  • Series: The Internet Apocalypse Trilogy
  • 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 (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,823 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 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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11 of 15 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Abel on July 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Somewhere on the comedy spectrum between A Confederacy of Dunces and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Notes from the Internet Apocalypse could find a happy home. The jokes are solid, the story is sufficient. It's a quick, easy read for a highly amusing commentary on the current state of technology from 2005 to today.

I have a slight concern about the material's longevity, but only time will tell on that one. While references to 4Chan and Ducklips feel ripe for comedy in 2014, it's tough to say how relevant they'll feel when my children are old enough to enjoy. The other comedy stylings I compared it to have proved timeless, but even the Blackberry mentioned in Notes will seem like an ancient relic a decade from now.

Regardless, what matters is right now and right now I really, really enjoyed it. Read it in the next five years and you should have a great time.
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6 of 8 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elsi on June 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Internet just wasn't working? Horrible, right? No more working from home. No more e-mail. No more Facebook or Instagram. You'd have to buy stamps, even if it were just to pay your bills.

Wayne Gladstone's Notes from the Internet Apocalypse exposes the possible aberrant behaviors that people might adopt in such a disaster. Even more, who is responsible: terrorists, Corporate American, foreign governments? And then there's the search for the rumored possibility that someone, somewhere still has access to the Internet.

In this short, but humorous look at who we are, both online and off, Gladstone has offered a peek into a possible, terrible future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tristram Draper on July 29, 2014
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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