The Internet is dead and only one man can bring it back. Unfortunately, he’s in a psychiatric ward.
While Gladstone has been out of commission, his best friend, Tobey, begins to spread the word that the Internet Messiah is back. With a little help, by releasing Gladstone’s private writings, Tobey creates a mystique that surprises them both. But while Gladstone struggles by not being able to connect to the ‘Net, his priority is in winning back his ex-wife.
The social commentary in this book is overt and obvious and often bitingly funny. This is satire which brings to mind books such as Catch-22 or Richard Hooker’s M*A*S*H books, but with a sci-fi edge. The satire makes sense, given that author Wayne Gladstone writes for Cracked.com.
I love the idea behind this book, ’cause, yeah … what if the internet were to disappear tomorrow? Who among us WOULDN’T feel lost and confused for a bit? And of course if it were to disappear, there would be conspiracy theories abundant. And how would we react if someone claimed to have the ability to bring it all back?
At times, this book was near genius and I was really getting in to it, and couldn’t wait to read on. But the book also seems to have trouble maintaining focus and tells us the same things repeatedly (how many times in this short book do we have to learn about Gladstone’s book? And how many times will we be told that what he wants is to get together with his ex-wife?).
The author Gladstone seems to have trouble plotting out a story and letting it develop over the course of a novel. Perhaps from writing too many short bits for cracked.com, Gladstone can only seem to deliver by giving us the story in short bursts, with lots of repetition.
The characters are fun and have lots of potential, and the idea is brilliant, but I really wanted a more engaging and consistent story.
Looking for a good book? Agents of the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone is biting social satire about our modern dependence on the internet with flashes of greatness, but fails to stay the course.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Agents of the Internet Apocalypse: A Novel
author: Wayne Gladstone
publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
hardcover, 256 pages