Author(s): Jarett Kobek
In New York in the middle of the twentieth century, comic book companies figured out how to make millions from comics without paying their creators anything. In San Francisco at the start of the twenty-first century, tech companies figured out how to make millions from online abuse without paying its creators anything. In the 1990s, Adeline drew a successful comic book series that ended up making her kind-of famous. In 2013, Adeline aired some unfashionable opinions that made their way onto the Internet. The reaction of the Internet, being a tool for making millions in advertising revenue from online abuse, was predictable. The reaction of the Internet, being part of a culture that hates women, was to send Adeline messages like 'Drp slut ...hope u get gang rape.' Set in a San Francisco hollowed out by tech money, greed and rampant gentrification, I Hate the Internet is a savage indictment of the intolerable bullshit of unregulated capitalism and an uproarious, hilarious but above all furious satire of our Internet Age.
'The Internet was a wonderful invention. It was a computer network which people used to remind other people that they were awful pieces of shit.'
"This succinct, surprising, infinitely self-knowing book is the Infinite Jest of the Twitter age all the same. Oh, and it's the Kurt Vonnegut, hell, the Swift and Voltaire of the Twitter age too, why not? He has come up with a satirical novel that, at least while you're immersed in it, makes everyone else's novels look like the blinkered artefacts of the bloated, tech-addled, smilingly exploitative western culture that he so nimbly takes to bits. It's vicious. It's a hoot." -- Dominic Maxwell The Times Could we have an American Houellebecq? Jarett Kobek might come close, in the fervor of his assault on sacred cows of our own secretly-Victorian era, even if some of his implicit politics may be the exact reverse of the Frenchman's. I just got an early copy of his newest, I Hate The Internet and devoured it - he's as riotous as Houellebecq, and you don't need a translator, only fireproof gloves for turning the pages -- Jonathan Lethem This book has soul as well as nerve ... My advice? Log off Twitter for a day. Pick this up instead. New York Times "[A] thrillingly funny and vicious anatomy of hi-tech culture and the modern world in general ... Kobek has been compared to the French enfant terrible Michel Houellebecq by none other than Jonathan Lethem, the Brooklyn-based writer of "good novels", though this book's cleverly casual style, apparently eschewing literary artifice, reminded me much more of Kurt Vonnegut. But it's the enraged comedy of its cultural diagnosis that really drives the reader onwards. There are so many brilliant one-liner definitions that it's hard not to keep quoting them ... If Ambrose Bierce woke up today from suspended animation and decided to write a sequel to his Devil's Dictionary in the form of a sort-of fiction, it would look a bit like this. And when a bad novel is this good, who needs a good one?" -- Steven Poole Guardian
Jarett Kobek is a Turkish-American writer living in California. His novella ATTA was called 'highly interesting,' by the Times Literary Supplement, has appeared in Spanish translation, been the subject of much academic writing and was a recent and unexplained bestseller in parts of Canada.