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KIRKUS REVIEW contributor Gladstone offers up an outlandishly specific takedown of online culture via the popular apocalypse comedy genre.

Readers who don’t dabble regularly on the Web won’t get it, but fans of sites like Reddit, Instagram or Facebook (or streaming pornography, come to think of it) should find themselves howling at this profane, very funny comedy about our worldwide addiction to the Internet. In fact, this satiric adventure already has fans worldwide, having first appeared in a different version on as short, serialized entries, supposedly from a journal found in a Dumpster in Bayside, N.Y. Basically, one day, the Internet just stops, and things quickly get weird. Activists from Anonymous and Occupy pretty much escape unscathed, but much of the population shuts down, becoming zombies with no Web-based stimuli. Other subcultures struggle to reproduce themselves in their unplugged versions, leading to the hilarious image of Reddit addicts screaming at each other in circles on the street. “Gladstone,” our narrator, begins investigating the Internet's disappearance with Tobey, formerly only an online chat buddy, and Oz—short for Ozzygrrl69—a smoking hot Australian girl whose income dried up when she could no longer shower in front of perverts via webcam. In Central Park, a former librarian dubs himself “Jeeves,” answering questions for $5 each, and quickly goes viral. When Jeeves dubs Gladstone the “Internet Messiah,” all hell breaks loose, and Gladstone finds himself on a mad dash through 4Chan meetups, epic bar crawls, the “Rule 34 Club” (you’ll have to Google it if that doesn’t ring a bell) and the narrator’s own frighteningly unstable psyche to get to the bottom of things. Strikingly similar to fellow contributor David Wong’s (Jason Pargin's) John Dies at the End, there’s a surprising amount of pathological drama at the book’s denouement that shows there’s a lot of brains behind all those dirty jokes.

An acid cultural satire that skewers what we would miss most about the online world.

Pub Date: March 4th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-04502-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2014


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