Notes From the Internet Apocalypse

Notes From the Internet Apocalypse

Book - 2014
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"When the Internet suddenly stops working, society reels from the loss of flowing data, instant messages, and streaming entertainment. Addicts wander the streets, talking to themselves in 140 characters or forcing cats to perform tricks for their amusement, while the truly desperate pin their requests for casual encounters on public bulletin boards. The economy tumbles further and the government passes the draconian NET Recovery Act. For Gladstone, the Net's disappearance comes particularly hard following the loss of his wife, leaving his flask of Jamesons and grandfather's fedora as the only comforts in his Brooklyn apartment. But there are rumors that someone in New York is still online. Someone set apart from this new world where Facebook flirters "poke" each other in real life and members of Anonymous trade memes at secret parties. Where a former librarian can sell information as a human search engine, and the perverted fulfill their secret fetishes at the blossoming Rule 34 club. With the help of his friends, a blogger and a webcam girl both now out of work, Gladstone sets off to find the Internet. But is he the right man to save humanity from this Apocalypse? For fans of David Wong, Chad Kultgen, and Chuck Palahniuk, Wayne Gladstone's Notes from the Internet Apocalypse examines the question "What is life without the Web?""--
Publisher: New York :, Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press,, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250045027
1250045029
9781466843349
Characteristics: 216 pages ; 22 cm

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PearlyBaker
Apr 28, 2017

Surprisingly this piece was witty, sexy, smart, snarky, weird, hilarious with accurate, biting social commentary on today's media addicted masses to boot. He nailed our Orwellian nightmare and devolution of communication to hieroglyphic dank memes or 140 character attention spans. I am often without speech when my five year old asks me questions, listens and seems genuinely interested and curious about my history, work, thoughts, friends, hobbies, music and family. Betty told her preschool teacher a few years ago that Jerry Garcia died of hot dogs and cigarettes. That's when I figured out she was actually listening.

o
otterno11
Apr 26, 2016

“No wonder you miss the Net so much. Where else can you be all-powerful and completely inconsequential at the same time?”

I posted an insulting comment online the other day. Not on Goodreads, of course, but on a certain “literary” site known for wretched attempts at "satire," it was just such a smug, contemptible, heaping of ignorance, I felt compelled to toss in my own two cents. Not really something I tend to do, even online, but I could definitely feel a bit of the appeal of the loss of all censoring impulses on the web. It was a pointless gesture, of course. Poe’s Law, you know. Still, would I say anything in real life? No.

I bring this up as a segue into my response to reading Wayne Gladstone's quick paced, genre defying satirical novel, Notes From the Internet Apocalypse. Both a satire of online habits and an exploration of the meaning of self and our reactions to grief, Notes hits with a furious mixture of pathos, thoughtfulness, and dick jokes, tossing out a thousand interesting ideas, from the nature of our relationship with information to our own self identities. Not unlike the subject it tackles. On the other hand, the novel takes on so much, that it almost feels over stuffed in spite of its fast pace; the quixotic quest of its unreliable narrator, a dozen aspects of online life put forth for examination, exploring the ramifications of a generation lived under the constant stimulation of the internet, and what this means for our culture, particularly among men under 40.

Notes from the Internet Apocalypse takes the forms of the journal of one Gladstone, a 30-something schlump whose life has hit a low point; having recently lost his wife, his career, and his only source of solace aside from a flask of scotch… the internet. Something, or someone, has killed the internet and conspiracies abound, spread now by word of mouth. As society begins a slow collapse, the government cracks down on protesters, aimless millennials wander around looking for replacements for their web, annoying anyone in their path, and Gladstone, lacking anything better to do, attempts to track down the secret in the tradition of a film noir private eye. Aided and foiled by his two friends, Tobey (a former web writer and manchild) and Oz (an Australian camgirl) they encounter various factions and characters who all wish to return the internet for their own gains, including a psychic former librarian who pegs Gladstone himself as the Internet Messiah.

Written by Cracked columnist Wayne Gladstone, the novel definitely shares this website’s style; irreverent, crude, glib. This is both a strength and a weakness. Gladstone’s alter ego struggles with his own life and used the internet to distract himself from it. At times, the book reads like a collection of anecdotes imagining what subcultures users of Twitter or 4Chan would form offline, while at other times on philosophical implications of the internet itself. On occasion, the points and political asides seem a bit heavy handed, at others vague, but there is so much to think about and quite a lot of humor too. Would we ever be able to go back to a time without instant connections, now that we have grown accustomed to it? In the end, it is all personal.

As an aside, as a librarian, I have a somewhat fraught relationship with the internet. It is by far the most powerful tool I can use, and it is important that we keep abreast of its power. You know, I used to keep lists of my library and the books I’ve read in print. Now, with Goodreads, and LibraryThing, and BookLikes, there’s no need. If the internet disappeared, I fear even my knowledge of the books I read, my own books, would disappear too. Have I read at all it if I have not rated it and tagged it and social networked it on my accounts? Has this become a problem, or a blessing?

m
menard_eric
Sep 11, 2015

while the concept is interesting, and the means and methods that people use to pass their time without use of the internet is humorous; the concept wears thin quickly. the whole story and characterization seems self gratifying for the author. I stopped reading halfway, as I no longer reached a "suspension of disbelief"

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