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I Hate the Internet

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,085 ratings  ·  351 reviews
What if you told the truth and the whole world heard you? What if you lived in a country swamped with Internet outrage? What if you were a woman in a society that hated women?

Set in the San Francisco of 2013, I Hate the Internet offers a hilarious and obscene portrayal of life amongst the victims of the digital boom. As billions of tweets fuel the city’s gentrification and
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by We Heard You Like Books (first published February 7th 2016)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-fiction
If Kurt Vonnegut and Michel Houellebecq had a kid and that kid was raised in the bay area circa 2012, they would have produced something like this.

Here, at last, is the full frontal, humanistic assault on our digitized age which older, more venerable writers are simply too tired, or too out of touch to make. By reminding us of a simple fact, namely, of who really controls and makes money off of the internet, Kobek clears out years of bullshit, techno-utopian thinking. Online activism, tumblr
Ryan Bradford
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
20% of this book is profound in a way that genuinely inspires
10% is profound in a way that baits pseudo-intellectuals by giving them something they can righteously echo.
20% is your activist college roommate who makes a lot of sense until you realize he's no fun
5% is straight-up GTFO
5% is despair that not enough people will read this because no one reads anymore :(
10% makes you feel bad for existing right now
20% is really, really funny
10% is enraging

It's far from a perfect book, but I'd
I was complaining to a colleague last week that I hadn't yet read a novel that explains our fundamental situation as a society at this juncture in history.

Then I read I Hate the Internet, and I have to conclude that this is an important book. Nay, an Important Book. Read it. Urgently.

What if you took Vonnegut's weirdo autistic-anthropologist writing style like he evinced in Breakfast of Champions, and applied that to contemporary San Francisco? No one gets out of this looking good. Tech
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-read, usa
This novel does make you feel like you're surfing from one hyperlink to the next, or like pacman eating away liberal ruminations on a gigantic discussion board - but does this make for a good book?

Let’s talk about the story: There is none. Well, there are some recurring characters, but it’s not like this book is about them, they just serve the purpose to string together random internet- and silicon valley-related anecdotes, facts, and opinions. Some of them are new and interesting, most of them
W.D. Clarke
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you are a Kurt Vonnegut fan, you'll know what I mean when I say that while I enjoyed Sirens of Titan, I wished I had read it before I read Cat's Cradle, as the former seemed to be the work of the journeyman, while with the latter the Man, the Master, has arrived.

So it is for me with this book (2016, and my second Kobek) and Only Americans Burn in Hell (2019). This was a rollicking good read, and one that makes you think a helluva lot. But the new one was just that much tighter, riskier, more
Oct 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I seriously could not finish this. This book has so many raving reviews. So, maybe I did not get the irony, but not only did I find it pretty unreadable but also quite pretentious.
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
San Francisco has always been an odd city to me. There are many wonderful things about it, but then the technology internet companies moved in, and sort of changed the landscape from the literary beats with great bars to Google world. Yet the city houses one of the great bookstores in the world, the iconic (rightfully so) City Lights, but alas, the literary tradition does continue on, which is Jarett Kobek's novel "I Hate The Internet." Yet, the novel doesn't prowl through the streets of Dashell ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
I do hate the internet and I also kind of hated this book. I like my satire razor sharp and clever and with this book I felt like Kobek was hitting me over the head with the satire stick. I found his approach exhausting and repetitive. It's possible I'm just too old for this (I don't have Twitter or Snapchat) and I'm sure millenials will eat it up. What was so frustrating was in amongst all the exhausting hardwork attempts at biting satire there were moments of complete genius. But you have to ...more
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Pretty fantastic.

This is the first book I've read which genuinely succeeds in a complete critique of the Internet and its effect on its denizens. It succeeds, probably, because it employs its language. Its currency is a tweet-sized cleverness, paragraphs whittled down to declarative one-liners which return all the time, as if the author is merely retweeting himself. Within the book Kobek has already captured the inevitable backlash it will receive, and when he describes his own work as a "bad
David M
San Francisco, you are the worst place on earth! You have taken the dream of a bohemian enclave for misfits and morons and you have transformed it into a Disneyland for the noveau riche.*

Found this book rather grating and unfunny at first, but it started to grow on me around the halfway mark. Ended up finding the plot - if it can be called that - ingenious; a middle-aged woman starts using Twitter and doesn't know what hit her, all while watching her friends leave San Francisco in search of
Narrated in a wry, staccato, explanatory style, I Hate the Internet is a sort of non-novel – it has the bones of a plot, and features fictional characters (but many more real people), and things happen, but what it really is is an enraged (and knowingly hypocritical) cri de coeur against capitalism, sexism, racism, materialism, gentrification, literary fiction, San Francisco, Ayn Rand, the US government, and, yes, the internet. The internet is, variously, 'an excellent way to distribute child ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. I love this book so god damn much .

Finally someone has said everything I've been thinking for the last three years living in San Francisco and they've done it with such style and such wit I can't even believe it.

It's hard to describe what this book is. Maybe sort of kind of a whirling vortex-like omniscient rant/narration of the year 2013 that consumes everything it touches and converts it via hate and intelligence into the darkest purest critique and comedy of late capital
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best book of existentialism I have ever read. Now I just have to work through the despair and figure out how to get on with the rest of my life.
Zachary Romano jr.
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is more a screed than a novel, and wow, what a mixed bag. Jarret Kobek uses a variety of characters as mouthpieces for his opinions on how the Internet is the culmination of a long tradition of content creators being screwed out of the fruits of their labor and how internet-driven discourse is not only totally FUBAR but is an amplifier of the FUBARred-ness of our already FUBAR society. Kobek's arguments and observations are occasionally insightful if not particularly well-developed ...more
Max Urai
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
After reading a lot of what Kobek mockingly calls "good fiction", this book felt like a splash of cold water in the face. Kobek has about zero interest in what are normally considered the hallmarks of good books, like lyrical descriptions of houses and parks or meditations on history. His book is deliberately simple in style, with lots of repetitions and explanations about just how Fucked the modern world really is, with people everywhere going lonely and destroying each other over social media ...more
Dutton Kearney
Jul 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Like an average five year Twitter account--mostly drivel, but every once in a while there are some perfect one-liners about San Francisco. It reads like a watered-down mashup of R. F. Laird's The Boomer Bible and Kurt Vonnegut at his most repetitive.

That being said, the book's constant refrain of Twitter/Google/Facebook/Apple making money off of us making idiots of ourselves as we search for idiocy, stream idiocy, and bask in that narcissistic idiocy is dead on. But we didn't need a novel to
Paul Dembina
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Actually more like 6/5. I'm not usually one to gush, but consider me in full gush mode.
No plot to speak of but the guy speaks my language. I know he hates any comparison with Kurt Vonnegut but in my opinion it's undeniably there. Plain speaking and heart felt. Please read this guy if you have any interest in the world we find ourselves in
May 23, 2016 marked it as to-read
Unsure, So does wanting to read this book make me a
-a Hipster?
-a Anti-Hipster?
-a Closet-Hipster?
-a Hipster Wannabe?
-Just some confused Middle Aged Guy?
* Feel free to offer your opinion

Looking forward to this book.
It seems strange to link to these Internet Book Reviews

Kai Schreiber
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Well. This rant against the current incarnation of web spirit is so clearly modeled on Vonnegut in style and content that it's impossible not to notice how the major ingredient that made Vonnegut's ramblings cohere and transcend is sorely lacking in this one: heart. It is not enough to declare everyone a dumb asshole in a semi-poetic recurring chant, nor to create pessimistic lists of the frustrating mechanisms of existence, to create something positive.

While this book is funny at times, and
Lucy Biederman
Mar 19, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you are *super* into what Vicktor Shklovsky called estrangement, you will love this book. It really rides that device all the way home. It's kind of like a book written by the smartest high school sophomore. Like...oh yes, son, I never thought of any of those clever things you have to say about OKCupid/the Paula Deen scandal/the whole financial system being a ponzi scheme...*closes eyes, begins nap* Please, tell me more!
Well, who doesn’t? If you don’t Jarett Kobek delivers many scorched earth reasons why you should. His flaming declarations encompass not just the Internet but the casual racism and sexism of modern American society, the passé existence of modern literary fiction, how Marvel comics screwed Jack Kirby, why we’re in thrall to advertising and, in particular, the utter destruction of San Francisco, America’s most beautiful city, by the depredations of modern technology.

The book has an odd structure
Pickle Farmer
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I first heard of this book because I read an interview with the author online. The interview was basically a scathing rant that I found hysterically funny, so I read this book to find more of the same. In that sense the book doesn't disappoint. It's basically a howl in the dark. Reading this for character or plot is not the best mindset with which to approach it. I read it because I enjoyed reading sentences like "Miley Cyrus' songs were about the same six subjects of all songs by all pop stars: ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jarett Kobek is not a genius, nor was Gilles Deleuze, but the latter had a moment when he wrote, "It is not the slumber of reason that engenders monsters, but vigilant and insomniac rationality," and the former seemingly tapped into a spectral intelligence when he wrote ATTA, henceforth being held to this impossibly high standard when he wants to address the organization of daily living in his works that have followed. I Hate the Internet is a shout from the Mission rooftops to the zombies ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is it. This is the darkness laid bare, this is the evisceration of our rotten-boweled reality. Rage, yes, righteous rage but *funny*. If you're going to be filled with righteous rage, you might as well be funny too.

Kobek wrote the brilliant book Atta a few years back. Powerful, brilliant work. Hard to shake. This is better. I'm so honored and glad to have found this book. It feels like freedom, and if it's the freedom of death, of finding out that, yes, we're all already dead, well, that's
Oct 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: for-uni, dnf
Okay so normally when I DNF books I had to read for uni it's because I didn't have time to finish them before class, and will eventually go back and finish them. This is not one of those books. Kobek is one of the most infuriating authors/narrators/human beings I have ever had the misfortune of having to read.

On the bright side, my lecturer thought it was hilarious that I could only get to chapter five before wanting to fling it out my window. She was more interested in the fact that she loved
Aug 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, unfinished
Meh. I don’t get it.

Very cool premise, very cool start and then it completely lost me! The side rants/conversations were increasing and didn’t make sense to me and it kind of minimized the actual plot and main rants/conversations. The excitement just dwindled and I’ve put the book a side after a bit more than half way through the book.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is terrible. Don't read it. The occasional moments of insightful observation are just not worth it. Also, way too much Ayn Rand.
May 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book spent 280 pages convincing me it was a bad novel
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long, entertaining rant about the impact of the Internet on our daily lives, disguised as a novel. The blurb describes this bloke as "Kurt Vonnegut for the Twitter Age" and that's pretty accurate. His prose style mimics Vonnegut in every way: the layering, the short sentences, the little asides explaining some aspect of politics or everyday life. His voice comes across as a bit more cynical though, not as warm, more smartarsey. At times it became a little annoying, like when he spends more time ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This book was amazing. It was such a brilliant and unapologetic blend of fiction and nonfiction; basically Kobek just wanted to discuss nonfictional discourse but created fictional characters to very blatantly illustrate his points, which was something I’ve never seen before in a novel (at least not quite like this). Reading this, I felt like “finally someone gets it!!!” because many of the points made in the book were things I’ve thought about myself and no one ever seems to understand
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