When the Internet suddenly stops working, society reels from the loss of flowing data and streaming entertainment in Wayne Gladstone's provactive novel, Notes from the Internet Apocalypse.
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 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 those of you wondering if you have WiFi right now, Wayne Gladstone's Notes from the Internet Apocalypse examines the question "What is life without the Web?"
Funny, insightful read
I've been a fan and follower of Gladstone for a while now (Right, Marion?) and I looked forward to the release of his first novel. I had a blast reading it, in fact I've read it twice now. I seems almost sacrilegious, but I actually got it as an e-book, and with some of the turns the story takes, it made me feel almost guilty for reading it on my iPad instead of an actual real paper novel. As for the story itself, the form the book takes as a series of journal entries in the first person really give tremendous insight into the character of Gladstone. The humor is not for the squeamish, but that just made it more fun. Gladstone (the author and the character) is a funny, funny man, poking fun at many different segments of society while maintaining a healthy sense of humor about himself. I've heard complaints about some of the language in the book, and frankly, I don't see where they come from. The central theme of the book contains such a loving look at mankind and our many foibles that if one is able to see past some of the more juvenile aspects of some of the jokes (plucked straight from the wild and weird world of internet culture), the statement being made about our society is that the more we become technologically connected, the more we also become disconnect from each other, and even from ourselves as we increasingly base our lives around online personae that our avatars become who we think we are. There will be a few places where a reader may see some deus-ex-machina within the story, but the ending redeems all. The witty observations and pathos within the story combine into a very meaningful whole as real life takes center stage over the online life Gladstone has created for himself. If I had one complaint about the story, it's that it was rather short. I'm not a believer in words for the sake of words, and this story is told with a rare economy that is the mark of a great storyteller; however I was left wanting more of this world that Gladstone has created. That quibble aside, I highly recommend this book. Funny, touching and profoundly insightful, it offers a look at our current society that pokes fun at our absurdities while rooting itself in our basic humanity. Bravo, Gladstone!
Very well written, interesting and exciting. The plot is insane but the author maks it very believable