Notes from the Internet Apocalypse
Author: Wayne Gladstone
Length: 323 minutes / 5.38 hours
The main concept behind Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is interesting: one day, the internet just stops working. All the computers and phone lines still work, but the internet has just gone missing. The story that results should be considered a satire since I hardly believe people who have hidden behind a veil of anonymity for so long will do the same deplorable things in real life just to get their “internet fix.” Bringing the reality of our connected society to its extreme logical conclusion in a world without internet, Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is a harsh mirror of what we’ve become, even to the point of cringing at it.
I was a little taken aback by the amount of vulgar language, overt sexuality, and lack of common decency by the characters in this book. Of course, in a book about the internet, these types of people run rampant. If I were one to include animated gif memes in my reviews, I’d likely insert the Arrested Development “I Don’t Know What I Expected” one at this juncture. Yes, the internet is mostly pornography, and the rest seems to be filled with trolls who comment on news articles and YouTube videos, but I doubt these people would resort to acting out their internet lives in real life.
In the end, I had kind of hoped the subtle undertone of addiction was the focus of this book. With the main character who’s clearly alcoholic (even to the amusing point of calling Jameson’s Irish Whiskey “scotch”), and supporting characters who are either addicted to recreational drugs or sex, I wanted the satire of the book to focus on our addictive personalities as a culture, merely perpetuated and sustained via the ever-present internet. As it is, the ending wasn’t quite satisfying enough, providing a preachy bumper sticker to get readers to tune in to the next volume in this series.
An interesting concept that highlights the lowest common denominator, I give Notes from the Internet Apocalypse 2.5 stars out of 5.