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Epic Win For Anonymous [Hardcover]

Cole Stryker
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Jan 2012
4chan is the 'Anti-Facebook': a site that radically encourages anonymity. It spawned the group Anonymous, which famously defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by hacking and taking down MasterCard's and Visa's Web sites. Created by a 14-year-old wunderkind in 2003, it is the creative force behind "the Web's most infectious memes and catchphrases" (Wired). Today it has over 5 million monthly users and over 300 million page views, with enormous social influence to match. Epic Win is the first book to tell 4chan's story. Longtime blogger and 4chan member Cole Stryker writes with a voice that is engrossingly informative and approachable. Whether examining the 4chan-provoked Jessi Slaughter saga and how cyber-bullying is part of our new reality, or explaining how Sarah Palin's email account was leaked, Epic Win proves 4chan's transformative cultural impact, and how it has influenced - and will continue to influence - society at large.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (19 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715642839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715642832
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 547,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'One of the largest forums on the Internet... one of the darkest corners of the Web.' --New York Times

'Like it or hate it, 4chan is an important cultural force ... It is a huge site, and so many Internet memes are formed there, it's hard to ignore it.' --June Cohen, executive producer of TED media

'Here's a short list of what 4chan has been blamed or lauded for, depending on your perspective: they started a version of Lolcats, probably the Internet's top meme ... They started the 'Rickroll,' a trick where you click on a link you want to see, but instead you're brought to a YouTube video of Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna GiveYou Up' [and] they spread a rumor that Steve Jobs had a heart attack, and the shares of Apple dropped $10.' --Vanity Fair

About the Author

Cole Stryker is a writer at Urlesque.com, one of the web's leading sites for dissecting memes and 4chan news. He has also written for Nerve, Popmatters and Converse's arts and culture blog, Play. Cole has appeared on Al Jazeera's Global Village Voices television program, discussing the web's reaction to the 'Ground Zero Mosque' controversy.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Makes a nice door stop. 9 Nov 2011
I was given this book, which is the only plus, because I'd feel ripped off had I actually bought it.
The book is filled with conjecture, wild assumptions, over blown statements and exageration about Anonymous and 4Chan, much like the media reports. In fact, it reads like a long winded, article that drones on and on with little direction.
At the end of the book I was sure the author didn't have a clue what he was on a about. But hey, someone had to write this book and quick, there's money to be made while Anon's popular with the press.
Do yourself a favour and don't waste your money on this junk.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating review of the culture of the web 22 Jun 2012
By Pete
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is definitely one of the most fascinating books I have read in many years, and I learned a huge amount from this book. Although I work in an Internet and web career, I have always felt that I have missed out on some of the more back-street aspects of the social web. Facebook and LinkedIn are all very nice, but they feel manufactured. This book exposes that organic and raw side of the social Internet.

I think this book can best be described as a biography of Internet culture, and in that respect it is exceptionally exhaustive, going right back to The Well and before. It charts the development of social activity on the Internet from long before it became mainstream, alongside a strong focus on the development of memes. Even with such exhaustive coverage, it barely scratches the surface of all that is out there I suspect.

The use of 4chan as a framework for presenting this culture is interesting, and provides a central theme to the book. Without as such, I suspect it would be impossible to draw the sprawling collective of ideas together. However this is not just a book about 4chan, and merely uses 4chan as a case study. As others have commented, the actual coverage of "Anonymous" is relegated to a final chapter, but to me that seems necessary, as the background is of such critical importance. Trying to appreciate Anonymous without understanding its history and influences would be doomed to failure.

It is important to note that this book has received many negative reviews, but I suspect those are people objecting to the very nature and concept of the book rather than the content. This is not surprising since much of this culture being explored prides itself on being covert and non-mainstream; a biography akin to a Lonely Planet Guide must be an abhorrence.
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Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
124 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read, Ignore Negative Reviews 14 Sep 2011
By Tony - Published on Amazon.com
This is a well written and fascinating read on internet culture.

A long time lurker on 4chan and b, this book is even more relevant in today's society than ever. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, MANY 4chan users have taken to purposely giving this book 1 star reviews. I would not heed them. For those interested about 4chan and internet culture, this book is for you.
71 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice introduction for those hoping to learn about 4chan and Anonymous. 4 Sep 2011
By Arthur - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So I'll start by saying that I found the first few sections of the book to be pretty boring. They're primarily introduction content but assume that the reader knows absolutely nothing about the internet at all. At first I was thought "Well this book is going to be a total drag," but I realized that this book was different than what I was expecting. With a subtitle like "How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web," I was expecting an opinionated viewpoint on why Anonymity matters and how one example (4chan) proves that it can accomplish tremendous goals. Instead, this reads more like required reading for a college course entitled "4chan 101." Which isn't a bad thing, I just wasn't expecting it.

In terms of how the author manages to teach all the various learnings of the internet, I have to say he did a pretty good job. There's a few chapters dedicated to "memes" and how they've defined most people's internet experiences. The more interesting chapters focus on how 4chan or Anonymous have affected the world through a few small actions. Such as how PR and Marketing companies have started attempting to create memes or content that people who visit 4chan would talk about. It's fascinating.

My experience with the subject material is somewhat adequate. I've visited 4chan for a little over a year which I understand doesn't give me a lot of credibility but I'm familiar with various memes and slang used on 4chan that most people probably wouldn't understand. If you're someone like me than the first hundred pages or so of this book with be a little too brain dead simple for you care. I found the later sections of the book to be a little more interesting but I can also see how someone who's been visiting the site for four years and keeps up with everything Anonymous is doing, would find this book boring throughout.

Like I said before, this book seems like an introduction to an untapped field. As much as you guys may hate it (read the other reviews), there will be more books about 4chan. This one is more tooled for people who don't know what 4chan is rather than a member of the community who wants to read someone else's perspective on why the website is a good thing. There's no opinion and no argument made, just a listing on events that have occurred. Like a history book.

My only complaint is, for a book that has "Anonymous" in the name, it doesn't really focus on Anonymous all that much. There's a Chapter dedicated to the group but the book should've been called something like "How Memes Have Affected The World." Since there are three out of eight chapters dedicated to memes. The rest are about similar sites before 4chan and a few about the internet in general.

Overall: If you know nothing about 4chan, this book is great for you. If you have a little knowledge, this will fill in the gaps and if you know a lot, you probably don't need to read this.

To 4chan: I saw this book on /v/ and I thought "Well this is going to be retarded." It's not. I think Cole Stryker handles the subject material with respect to the community. He's not another dimwitted normal person despite what the unfortunate title may imply (Seriously man? EPIC WIN?). Please don't rate the book until you've read it. Thanks.
22 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful. 9 Nov 2011
By Kazmaka - Published on Amazon.com
What a disapointment. The author shows a striking lack of knowledge for the topic he is writing about and presents it in a tone that is nothing but labourous to read. Couldn't finish and regret purchasing. Avoid this book.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview 29 Jun 2014
By Brian Gagnon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good background and overview on this world. Thought the detail of the various websites was helpful. Been curious about anon for a while and enjoyed this eye-opening look.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The title is misleading 29 Sep 2011
By Steve Knowland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
From a book titled Epic Win for Anonymous, I found very little in this book about Anonymous. Most of this book is about meme generation, which may nor may not involve Anon and may or may not involved 4chan. The book discusses various social sites like Fark (I'm a Farker), Reddit (I'm a redditor), Digg, ICHC, ED, LiveJournal and so on and probably spends about as much time on those sites combined as it does on 4chan. Anonymous itself rates really about a chapter or two and all of there more famous exploits are crammed into those chapters.

If you are looking for a history of Internet memes and 4chan culture, you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for a more in-depth discussion of Anonymous, this book is not an epic win.
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4chan expert, cole stryker??? 0 2 Sep 2011
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