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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, March 2014 - It's happened to everyone. You're lounging on the couch aimlessly browsing Facebook, catching up on e-mails or even managing your finances when suddenly your page goes white and the dreaded 'browser cannot connect to the internet' message appears. In high school I would call to my dad to 'fix' the Internet. Now I walk the few feet to the modem and press the reset button. Voilà. Back on. But what if it weren't that easy? What if the internet suddenly went out for weeks - everywhere? In Notes from the Internet Apocalypse, we follow the narrator “Gladstone” as he and his two out-of-work sidekicks (one a blogger, the other a webcam girl) venture through Manhattan in search of the last man with access to the web. Author Wayne Galdstone paints an eerie, hilarious, and unnerving picture of how our country, more specifically, New York City would react and adapt. I breezed through this book and found that I didn’t mind when my commute to work took longer than expected. It is a profane and hysterical satire of our society. The work is filled with references to internet culture and sites – so be warned, it’s definitely for the internet savvy. –Laura, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

When the Internet suddenly stops working, society reels from the loss of flowing data 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 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?"

©2014 Wayne Gladstone (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good writing & characters with nerd references

This novella was chock-full of nerd references, reminding me a lot of Ready Player One (which I loved). There are lots of IT insider jokes that I didn’t get, but plenty of other references for fanboys and fangirls of every persuasion. For instance, early in the novella two characters are described as playing “six degrees of Stanley Tucci because Kevin Bacon was too easy.” Later, when a female character breaks out a Battlestar Galactica quote, her geeky male companions try “to conceal our intense nerd arousal.”

The pop culture references never stop coming, and, as illustrated by the second example above, neither do the references to sex and porn. And while I do not use the internet to pursue either of those topics, apparently many people do. The internet apocalypse has cut off the supply of porn, and the book dedicates many pages to describing the new ways people go about satisfying their urges in its absence. If you have a problem with reading about those subjects, this might not be the book for you.

I expected the nerd references, and pretty much knew there’d be some off-color sexual content. What I did not expect was that there would be some damned good writing in between along with actual character development. The main character, who is quite likeable and serves as the reader’s guide to the internet apocalypse, slowly reveals himself to be a complex, damaged and deluded individual. Along the way, he analyzes the influence of the internet on our way of thinking in passages such as this:

“I miss the tiny dose of fame that comes from being online, where comments are tethered to content people are already reading and statuses appear instantly on your friends’ screens. There’s a comfort that comes from knowing people are already staring at the pond when you cast your pebble.”

I listened to this as an audio book performed by Paul Michael Garcia, who gave it just the right ironic tone, very reminiscent of Wil Wheaton.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Better premise than execution

Great premise, ok execution. The internet mysteriously winks out, noir meets satire meets unreliable narrator. There are some funny parts where people struggle to interact in real life the same way they are accustomed to interacting online (there is a very amusing scene in a bar where people struggle to only present themselves from their most advantageous selfie angle), but this is not enough to carry an entire book (even a short one). There are some interesting conclusions of the overwhelming role of online life in daily life, and how it can cut you off. But it feels a bit half baked in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A good experience!

Though the voice takes some time to get used to it is an interesting story with references that makes sense! Meeting 4chan and reddit irl, i mean in real life, was fun!

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It's defiantly interesting.

Funny parts, though, I kinda felt like it was coming apart at the end.. not sure if I'm going to continue the series.

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Really fun read

What did you love best about Notes from the Internet Apocalypse?

I love technology and the thought of life without the Internet really intrigues me.

What other book might you compare Notes from the Internet Apocalypse to and why?

I haven't read any other Apocalypse-type books, so I can't really compare. I know most of those are really grim and serious, while this one was light and fun! You never guess what's coming.

Have you listened to any of Paul Michael Garcia’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I believe this is the first book I've listened to by Paul Michael Garcia. To be honest, I don't pay much attention to the narrator unless it's bad...and I have heard at least one or two that really put me off, but most are really well done. This was no exception...fantastic narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The only "extreme" reaction I had was the ending. Not sure it made me cry, but it was an absolutely unexpected and rather tender ending.

Any additional comments?

Short, fun read. Highly recommended for those of you that love the Internet...imagine life without technology. I wouldn't know how to get up in the morning. Food for thought, but you'll never see the ending coming (no peeking!!!).

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  • Matthew
  • Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 05-03-14

Terrible

Almost unlistenable. The premise is interesting, and the take on it in a "South Park" episode was extremely amusing. This book is the opposite. The writing is bizarre and unfunny. Not recommended at all.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • George
  • Mount Vernon, AR, United States
  • 03-05-14

A beautiful story

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The last chapter gave me chills and gave me a lump in my throat. Laugh out loud moments are sprinkled throughout the book.

Any additional comments?

This is an extremely beautiful story about a man not only searching for the internet, but also himself and his purpose in life. Wayne Gladstone does an amazing job of painting a picture of a man who has lost everything, and goes on a mission to reclaim what was lost. Paul Michael Garcia does a wonderful job of making the characters and the punch lines come alive without sacrificing the emotion and the heart of the book.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Fort Collins, CO, United States
  • 03-30-14

Good, easy listening

What did you love best about Notes from the Internet Apocalypse?

It is set in real life world, and makes references to current culture. East flowing story.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Eh, it was ok. I think that it leaves a little to be desired, but overall fits well.

Which scene was your favorite?

When he is finding Oz in the peep shows.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I worked it into my schedule. However, it was good for listening to when i was working out in the gym.

Any additional comments?

Good story, satisfied with it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful