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Your Next-Door Neighbor Is a Dragon [Kindle Edition]

Zack Parsons
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Finally, a book about the Internet that takes place outside the Internet!

Your Next-Door Neighbor is a Dragon leaves the bleeps and bloops behind for a series of surreal interviews and adventures with the people behind the computer screen.

Something Awful's Zack Parsons risks life and sanity by meeting with people who believe they are real dragons and elves, attending a furry convention in costume, paying a visit to a white power group in Texas, talking shop with people who want to be swallowed whole, and witnessing the launching of the Ron Paul Blimp.

More than a year in the making, this epic adventure is full to bursting with the jokes about wieners and poopy that made Something Awful a true Internet sensation. Have you added the book to your cart yet or do you just hate yourself that much?

Product Details

  • File Size: 703 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0806527595
  • Publisher: Citadel (August 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002NOGF4G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,457 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Zack Parsons, longtime writer for humor website Something Awful and the author of My Tank is Fight, casts his second book, Your Next-Door Neighbor is a Dragon, as a travelogue/novel mash-up - or, perhaps more accurately, a self-insertion travelogue fanfic - that explores some of the most popular subcultures developing on the Internet. Rather than study the subcultures in their online iterations, Mr. Parsons (or, that is, the character based on the author) travels through several states to interview the strange characters hiding behind their furry avatars.

Mr. Parsons's Something Awful articles range from the utterly bizarre to the understated and wry. Perhaps his funniest work lands somewhere in the middle; for example, his caricature of Levi Johnston, the father of former Gov. Sarah Palin's grandchild, constructs the teenage father's online persona as a hilariously half-informed, yet sympathetic, rambunctious redneck. Your Next-Door Neighbor is a Dragon tends toward the subdued, which, despite its odd episodes, allows the narrative a sense of truth. A grotesque prologue depicts a distracted Zack sustaining an intense injury to his hand while discussing the genesis of his book with his publisher; this injury, and his medical treatment, straddles the line between the improbable and the normal. Mr. Parsons maintains this level of uncertainty over the veracity of the narrative throughout much of the book, which highlights the discussion of bizarre Internet subcultures at the expense of really hilarious commentary.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only so-so January 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While portions of this book feature some great descriptive prose familiar to those who have read Parson's articles, it still doesn't satisfyingly deliver on the premise that the book is selling--namely, an exploration of bizarre internet subcultures. The only chapter that fully delivered in this vein was the chapter on vores, as it thoughtfully analyzes and provides interesting insights about individuals from that subculture. Most chapters lack this insight and merely describe Zack visiting and aimlessly observing his intended subjects.
The entire final portion, in which Zack visits a cult, is not at all entertaining yet is so obviously fictional that it throws all of Zack's other accounts into doubt. Zack's reports cannot provoke thought because it's very likely a lot of them were exaggerated or made up. In the end, Zack manages to make some good jokes but frustratingly deprives his book of any statement or meaning.
Unlike Zack's articles, the book is also peppered with juvenile jokes and a "wacky" running gag about "Super God" in order to appeal to teens who prefer unsubtle and obvious humor. Feh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book That Offers More Then You Expect August 25, 2009
Being a long time fan of Something Awful and Zack Parsons I was quick to pick up this book, expecting a solid coffee table time killer.
What I found was a book that was both wildly entertaining but also has depth.
Zack describes his adventure researching various internet personality disorders and while it is a hoot to read, you actually find yourself stepping back and realizing that this isn't just about isolated quacks. This book outlines through examples how the internet has helped foster and bring together subcultures that in the past would have been extinguished through isolation.

The book is a quick entertaining read and I was pleased to get more out of it then I had expected. Zack Parsons ability as a writer is fleshing itself out and I look forward to his next outing.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Wave Gonzo August 4, 2009
Even on the wings of "My Tank is Fight!", "Your Next Door Neighbor is a Dragon" comes as a surprise. Being a long time reader of Mr. Parson's articles online, I expected a satirical, yet frank and honest, look at internet subcultures. Which it is, of course. What I didn't expected was that the book was, in fact, a piece of Gonzo Journalism in the vein of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". And it succeeds spectacularly in this regard.

Parsons blends fact and fiction in such a way that everything in the book seems true, even the most insane and egregious imaginings that appear in it. No doubt this stems from the subject. Like Hunter S. Thompson's work, the subject of "Dragon" is already steeped in madness, yet it's real madness. It's easy to imagine men and women dressed in animal costumes and under the idea that they are inhabited by the spirits of dragons and elves fitting right in with Thompson's fever dream Vegas. All of this is linked together by an underlying narrative that strikes true, even if there's no way to tell where reality and fiction meet.

Especially given the subject matter, Parson's approach is even more unexpected. His writing humanizes (most of) his interviewees, yet never once forgets the fact that they are bouys in a sea of insanity and depravity, the best example being the chapter on Voraphilia. But it's not so heavy handed as to relent to pathos. The combination of Parson's frank but light-hearted tone, off-kilter associates and the increasingly insane scenarios in which he finds himself kept me in stitches from the first paragraph all the way to the end of what is possibly the longest acknowledgment section ever published. It's honestly one of the funniest books I've ever read, made more so by the fact that every bit of it is true, even the lies. Especially the lies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't get enough of this book.
Zack Parsons writing on Something Awful has been keeping me thoroughly amused since 2004 and "Your Next-Door Neighbor is a Dragon" did not disappoint. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Erin L Chandler
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure, distilled internet
Zack Parsons is one of the best writers I've had the pleasure to read. This journey down the rabbit-hole of the worst corners of the internet is both amazing and... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Thomas Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Terrifying
I bought this book for my boyfriend and he was absolutely ecstatic. Then mortified by the prologue, which features a description of the term "degloving", as it applies to the human... Read more
Published on March 26, 2012 by Andrea
2.0 out of 5 stars the material is obscured by the attitude
This was a really frustrating book. I like the author's work on Something Awful, in general, and I knew that there would be some amount of bias or at least lightheartedness toward... Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by Ricardo Signes
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware
If you are short on time I will sum this review up quickly; for the sake of your wallet please avoid this book. Read more
Published on January 9, 2012 by Hudson1000
1.0 out of 5 stars this book is horrible
Its sad when incomplete and misleading and plain wrong reviews for a book lead innocent people like me to buy them. this is not a nice book. Read more
Published on November 4, 2011 by Sea Zee
5.0 out of 5 stars Internet Interviewed
Zack Parsons takes us into a guided tour of the internet. He does this by actually going to actual people who are part of strange internet subcultures and by doing this, he puts... Read more
Published on January 9, 2010 by Humanvegetable
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
I found most of the book hilarious and thoughtful (sort of). Buy it; read it. You won't regret it.
Published on September 14, 2009 by J. Petry
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly funny!
I was anticipating lots of lame Internet memes, but Zack tells interesting stories in a very captivating manner. Definitely worth the price.
Published on September 10, 2009 by atroche
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should buy this book
This is the greatest book I have ever read. I have read many books in my 27 years of existence and none have quite moved me the way this one has. Read more
Published on August 20, 2009 by R. Shooltz
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More About the Author

Zack Parsons is a Chicago area writer known for his acerbic commentary and bleakly humorous science fiction. He has authored two non-fiction books, MY TANK IS FIGHT! and YOUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR IS A DRAGON. His works, including That Insidious Beast and CONEX: Convict Connections, have appeared online and in various published anthologies including A COMMONPLACE BOOK OF THE WEIRD: THE UNTOLD STORIES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT and OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS: DOOMSDAY SCENARIOS.

His debut novel, LIMINAL STATES, will be released in April of 2012.

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