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Notes from the Internet Apocalypse
books > May Read: Notes From the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone

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message 1: by Kimber, The Supreme (new) - rated it 1 star

Kimber (cultofkimber) | 18 comments Mod
We'll be discussing April's pick,Notes from the Internet Apocalypse, here.

Here's the blurb:

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?

Feel free to jump into the discussion anytime. :)

message 2: by Johana (new) - added it

Johana (johanad) | 6 comments I laugh every time I try to picture people walking up to "poke" each other. I like the blurb and can't wait to get started. :)

Caroline | 23 comments I'm about a third of the way through this and I am having a sort of mixed response. I think the premise is interesting, and I enjoy how the author has personified different internet groups. However, I feel like it has some pacing issues? At this point I don't have a clear sense of where the story is going and I feel like I should.

I also just realized that the author's last name is Gladstone and so is the main character and I'm really not sure how I feel about that.

message 4: by Kimber, The Supreme (last edited May 10, 2014 08:54PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kimber (cultofkimber) | 18 comments Mod
(I'll try to avoid major plot spoilers right now, but I'll discuss it again later in the month when more people have read it.)

I didn't enjoy this, and I almost don't even want to talk about it. It's the second worst read of the year for me, and that's only because I read One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, in which the author describes her mother's vagina as her "tearing ring of fire" on the first page. It's hard to top that, but this almost did.

Anyway. The loss of the Internet and society's reaction to it told as a mystery with a hard-boiled-style detective: terrific concept! And maybe I expected too much because that had so much potential, but the execution was just really disappointing for me.

My excitement fizzled out entirely by page 50, and it took me much longer to read than it should have. It does have, like Caroline mentioned, some (mostly forgivable) pacing issues. Certain parts, such as the unreliable narrator aspect, felt like they were being spoon-fed to me in a way that was almost condescending. More than anything, though, I felt like the snarky pop culture references and social commentary, while often funny, overshadowed the plot most of the time. And speaking of plot--without getting too specific--it wasn't the book I was expecting. And that didn't necessarily have to be a bad thing but was when combined with everything else. I'd heard it was ultimately a love story before reading, but I didn't expect that angle to be as contrived as it was. This turned out to just be one big joke at the Internet's expense being explained to me, with a Hallmark card where the last chapter should be. If David Wong's John Dies at the End was a novel; this is a Cracked article with a plot.


Caroline | 23 comments Ugh...I'm so wrapped up in the second ASOIAF book right now that I'm hesitant to even finish it. I didn't have any idea that this was a love story and knowing that makes it less appealing. I was really expecting it to be a more straightforward apocalypse narrative and I'm disappointed to hear that it's not that. I'll probably still finish it, but I won't prioritize it over my other reading.

Lucky | 7 comments URGH. I had high hopes for this title, as I am a librarian and spend a lot of time using the internet. The writing, the pacing, and the dialogue were all pretty terrible and forced. A lot of times it felt as if he wrote a scene just to throw in a zingy one-liner (ex: "I wanted to ask you about your sign...I pointed down to her posterboard, which read, GIVE IT BACK, to make it clear I wasn't talking about astrology" pg 61)--EYE ROLL. I might have liked this more had it been condensed down into a lengthy blog post, but as a full book, it was tough and I ended skimming large parts near the end.

message 7: by E (new) - rated it 1 star

E | 10 comments SPOILERS

I finished this book a few weeks ago, and I absolutely hated it. The premise was intriguing, and I liked the fact that it took place in NYC so I had a mental map of their escapades. Those were the only things I enjoyed about the book, however...aside from the fact it was another easy read.

I thought it was incredibly self-serving to the author. He paints himself as this "aw shucks" everyman, so he creates a crisis in which he can unwittingly be the hero without sacrificing his everyman image. (One inane example of humble douchebaggery: his tendency to call whiskey "scotch." And the fedora. Ugh.) He also happens to objectify women to an unbearable degree: every single woman mentioned for more than a sentence is described in terms of sexual potential, whereas we aren't given an inkling of physical description of Tobey until near the end of the book. He mentions "harassing" his ex-wife into engaging his humor and he sees fucking Oz as the way to ultimately prove his manhood. There is really no evidence to support Oz's interest in him, which is unsurprising considering this entire book reads like a poorly written self-glorified fanfiction.

The plot also fizzled very quickly. Pacing, language, and structure issues aside, it was a big waste of an interesting premise, considering it was used as an excuse to characterize internet memes. The ending was also anti-climactic, nonsensical, and somewhat predictable. I almost threw the book down several times while reading it, but the only things kept me going were the fact it was easy to get through and a mild interest in how it would end. Turns out I wouldn't have missed much.

I feel like the parallels between author and narrator were supposed to add a tongue-in-cheek layer of interest, but it ended up being a huge waste of my time and will guarantee I avoid all publications from (no first name) Gladstone.

message 8: by Cara (new) - rated it 1 star

Cara (crazylikewhoa) @Lucky I just realized I liked your 1 star review & you're in this group!

as previously mentioned, great concept for a book! But it really felt like he had some key lines & scenes that he thought were really clever, and then just banged out a "plot" to connect them. I don't think that's the best way to write a book.

I looked at his Twitter feed and this is the first book in a trilogy, so maybe that explains the shoddy ending. But I will not read the other books.

Jennifer (picaresquity) | 9 comments Whew, I'm pretty glad the reviews are largely negative so far, because I finished this book really quickly and didn't want to post for fear of sounding like a big ol' Debbie Downer.

Basically, reading this book was very irritating. Most of the content is just ham-handed and immature jabs at social media websites. If he had wanted to criticize our society and our means of communication/entertainment....well, there are better ways to accomplish that. This just reads like one douchey curmudgeon griping about different internet communities, with nothing productive/constructive to add to the conversation.

Jennifer (picaresquity) | 9 comments E wrote: "He also happens to objectify women to an unbearable degree: every single woman mentioned for more than a sentence is described in terms of sexual potential, "

THANK YOU. I couldn't put my finger on why I felt so gross reading about him and Oz, and it's because the author doesn't treat women like actual human beings.

message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Matthews | 4 comments Do we have a June poll? I didn't read May's book because I had an inkling I wouldn't like it and by the looks of it I didn't miss much!

message 12: by Lucky (new) - rated it 1 star

Lucky | 7 comments Also wondering about the June poll, I want to make sure I have time to order the title from the library.

Christine (tzusanna) I usually wait a couple of days after reading a book to add my commentary here, just to collect my thoughts and figure out how to coherently say things. I've delayed many more days than usual with this book, trying to find something good or meaningful to say, but I can't figure out a single good thing to say.

This book sucked and I feel like I wasted an entire day of my life reading it. The plot was inconsistent and it feels like he tried to do too much. Our characters seem to use this "apocalypse" as an excuse to abandon their lives, while the rest of the world seems to be able to adapt with the internet. I didn't see how the world had fallen apart, only the main character's had, but long before the internet disappeared.

The end scene was just too weird, I'm not sure where that came from, but it didn't fit with the rest of the book. I will not be reading the rest of this trilogy.

Kristina (kristinalg) I'll be completely honest - I hated this book so much that I gave up after chapter 2. As I said in my review of it, "it reads like the reddit comment history of a college freshman who's utterly convinced of his moral and intellectual superiority and won't hesitate to let you know just what a mindless sheeple you are for liking anything he deems ~unworthy~." Maybe I'll finish it if I ever get bored enough, but I doubt it.

Caroline | 23 comments I was going to finish this but I'm pretty sure I'm not any more. I have other things I'd rather be readings. I was so excited by the premise of this book... I'm really disappointed that it turned out to be so awful.

message 16: by Kimber, The Supreme (new) - rated it 1 star

Kimber (cultofkimber) | 18 comments Mod
I'm actually sad the month is ending just because I won't be able to make fun of what a fragile baby this dude is anymore. If his book was half as funny as his message about how dumb we all are was, I would've rated it higher.

Courtney (saintcourtney) I frequently tweet about the books we've read here and I tweeted the book was terrible and tagged Wayne Gladstone. Got four responses about how I was "slanderous" and "misinterpreting his message" and that I am not allowed to have an opinion on the message he sent one of you guys. Whoops?

Kayzee | 22 comments Courtney wrote: "I frequently tweet about the books we've read here and I tweeted the book was terrible and tagged Wayne Gladstone. Got four responses about how I was "slanderous" and "misinterpreting his message" ..."

Gawd. What a whiny little piss ant.

message 19: by Rebecca (last edited May 31, 2014 09:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rebecca (rebeccadi) | 2 comments I got about halfway through and I just... can't. I might try to force myself to finish it today, just so it'll be done and off my "currently reading list" but ugh it's just so bad. Really bummed at how it has turned out, because I LOVED the premise and it seemed so promising! That note he sent was far more entertaining than the book itself ended up being.

Edit: Sarah wrote: "Do we have a June poll? I didn't read May's book because I had an inkling I wouldn't like it and by the looks of it I didn't miss much!"

Lucky wrote: "Also wondering about the June poll, I want to make sure I have time to order the title from the library."

Kimber posted about it on tumblr! She forgot to put up a poll, so she asked if people would be alright with her just picking one. We're reading Origin (Origin #1) by Jessica Khoury

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