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on 9 June 2010
If you've never visited David Thorne's website 27b/6, don't go there just yet. Buy The Internet is a Playground, and then visit the site once you've consumed every page of this hilarious book.

The Internet is a Playground comprises "the complete collection of articles and emails" from Thorne's infamous site. So there's little here that you can't already get for free on the website, but Thorne's material really does deserve a place on your coffee table.

Thorne shot to fame in late 2008 when he tried to settle a bill with a drawing of a spider. The resulting email correspondences were posted on his website, and word quickly spread around the internet.

The book consists of the spider piece along with a number of similar--and no less hilarious--emails. Thorne invites himself to his neighbour's party, turns the tables on a strict teacher and weasels his way out of paying a late fee for some rented DVDs. But summarising these emails could never do them justice. You just have to read them yourself. Read one and I guarantee you will be hooked.

Unfortunately, the "articles", which feature on Thorne's website and form a large part of the book (much more so than the emails), aren't anywhere near as funny or engaging as the emails. Many of these articles see Thorne writing in the name of people he knows--such as colleagues--and essentially parodying them to the utmost of his ingenious abilities. These articles have their moments, but generally I found myself racing through them in order to get to the next email piece.

Make no mistake about it, the emails featured in this book are comedy masterpieces. Like hidden camera TV shows, half the fun is seeing how people react to Thorne's absurd emails. And Thorne never fails to reply to each email with clever arguments, witty observations and downright off-the-wall logorrhea .

If you like the writing of Maddox, then you'll love The Internet is a Playground.
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on 28 May 2012
David Thorne is an Australian and a designer. Those two facts seemed so relevant when I read "The Internet is a Playground" but right now I can't for the life of me work out why that should be.

Having received a letter demanding payment for something or another, David responded with a drawing of a spider and then posted the exchange his 27b/6 blog. The episode went viral and he developed his brand of humour from there.

This book is basically a compilation of his blog entries, based on humourous email exchanges with unsuspecting dupes (irritating work mates, friends and neighbours, lawyers, business concerns etc) in a similar vein to the spider-drawing-episode, interspersed with more abstract musings and ramblings. It's slightly spoiled by the gradually building suspicion (confirmed elsewhere) that David is not being entirely honest with us: many of the correspondences are almost certainly doctored by him for added comic effect and it's possible that some probably started life with no comic content at all.

Still, taken at face value, it's good for a laugh. The humour is a little childish, in the vein of phoning someone up and asking them if their fridge is running ("well you'd better go and catch it then!" har har). It is also hit or miss: when he's funny, he's very very funny, but it doesn't always work and the rest of the time it's just amusing.

As for buying it as a paperback? Don't. Most or all of the content can be accessed via David's blog and the book is currently hugely over-priced.
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on 13 June 2011
'The internet is a playground' by David Thorne is without a doubt the funniest book I have ever read. His text is extremely edgy, taboo and at times completely out of order, which is perhaps why I like it so much. What Mr.Thorne has done is achieve two principle things. The first is to write a rip-roaringly funny book, I had read some of the articles before on his website but I think if anything I laughed more reading them for a second time. The second achievement of Mr.Thorne's may well be completely inadvertent. What he has managed to do is create a a book that flies in the face of unnecessary and completely overzealous censorship. In an age where so many writers choose to conform to what is essentially becoming a predictable and somewhat 'nuclear' read, Mr.Thorne's book is a breath of fresh air. The book is in no way written to offend, nor should it be seen as a text which will 'corrupt' the youthful generation. In short Mr. Thorne's book tests and tries social acceptability and norms, and finds them stead fast and in place, without the need for any book burning!

Five Stars.
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on 30 November 2010
The emails that are printed in this book are very very funny (like many I came to David Thorne as a result of his 'spider' email).

However beware ... the book also contains several articles (usually about seemingly invented individuals) these sections are usually long and convoluted and far less funny than when he is taking the mickey out of biggots and those who can't see past 'red tape' etc.

Very funny in some places - a bit dull in others! Sorry to confess but I tended to skip the articles so I could get to the next amazing email chain.

A Tip: If you like this book, or this sort of humour (by which I mean the emails to unsuspecting members of the public), then you'll love 'The Timewaster Letters' by Robin Cooper.
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on 12 March 2014
What an absolutely hilarious man. I love his wit and the sarcasm. Not usually into sarcastic wit but quite honestly, this was inoffensive and for anyone complaining that he is a bully then get a grip. I literally found myself rolling around the floor laughing and had my asthma inhaler close by, as my lungs got a huuuuge work out with all the laughing. I did nothing all day, as I sat reading and laughing and then had 2 spend time recovering myself so that I could read on. The story of Missey the Missing Cat is priceless and the other emails really are the funniest. And to say that Thorn doesn't even change the names of the people he winds up is ridiculously brave. I ended up reading this book several times, as when my family each came home from work, I selected a few extracts and read with them. They were also in stitches.
Why does this book only get a 4* rating then? There are other parts that are quite boring. Various stories. However, I suppose that in stark contrast to the real life emails, anything would seem boring. However, this said, there are easily plenty of these e-mails to keep you in fits of laughter. This is probably the funniest book I have ever read. I soo wish that Thorn was part of my office team. I can imagine that as well as being a pain in the bum for a few people, he would be the person that makes work such a joy. For his critics, get real!! Thorn offers extremely lighthearted (albeit sarcastic) wit and humor, as a way of dealing with people who just do not think about others. If you could only read one book in your life make it this one. You will not be disappointed.
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on 29 November 2012
After having read many of the ridiculously funny and often genius email conversations that David Thorne engages in, I felt compelled to buy his book. However,the book comprises almost entirely of Thorne's random rants about aspects of the internet and society, none of these being that humourous. There are oddly few of the email pranks that he is so infamous for. A wasted opportunity of a book, considering the wealth of material available (for free) on his website.
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on 28 April 2011
The patronising voices of authority have become a little too loud lately, imposing pointless rules & regulations that are impossible to adhere to. They send annoying letters and patronising emails, if only there were someone who could be twice as annoying, twice as patronising, someone to beat them at their own game!

Thank the Papua New Guinean Mud God for David Thorne!

The Internet Is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius is a tangible, portable version of the 27bslash6 website with never before seen content, content too rude for the internet! Ok, that's not actually true; it's more likely it was deliberately neglected for online content in the hopes to one day make a profit by releasing it on some sort of paper object for people to buy.

David Thorne's ability to trivialise the most serious of scenarios, yet maintain the relevance to the subject matter is astounding. Read David's (sometimes cringe worthy) responses to outlandish allegations and statements, and feel somehow empowered by his capability to get things done and identify shortcomings of inept institutions.

One of my favourite email correspondences is between David and Simon Edhouse, in which, David explains to Simon that his idea was fundamentally flawed as it was essentially created 3 years ago in Facebook and Twitter. For those who have read Martin Lukes: Who Moved My BlackBerry?, it would be David telling Martin Lukes where he can shove his "creovative" idea!

I've enjoyed every aspect of the book and will do again, I thoroughly recommend it, and aside from being extremely entertaining it never runs out of batteries! Alternatively, if you don't like it, you can always use it as a drink coaster and buy Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever, My Story.
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on 18 April 2016
It would be The Redemption of Althalus by David Eddings. But I digress. I would certainly recommend this book for anyone who wants to laugh at the inanity of humanity and to see some interesting new perspectives that are strewn throughout.

Is it the psychological book of the year. NO. But that's probably because it wasn't published this year
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on 17 March 2013
I got this book after being directed to Thorne's website and reading the "Please Design A Logo for Me. With Pie Charts. For Free," series of e-mails.
Sadly, that's the funniest one he appears to have done, so the other emails contained in the book, whilst amusing, don't match it.
The bigger problem is the guff between the emails: a series of musings and outright odd pieces that just seem to be trying too hard to be funny and come across as being, for wont of a better word, daft. And not funny.
The emails are more amusing but derivative: pick on a employee, send them emails containing one-part sense and two-parts nonsense and watch them struggle. By the end of the book I was siding with the recipients of these emails - people doing their job and having to spend working time replying to facetious provocation. To their credit, many people don't snap until the fourth or fifth stage of correspondence.
Yes, some people are idiots and almost ask for a good skewing-by-email. Others, however, aren't and there's little real pleasure to be had from the author's approach.
I am a pretty avid reader. I also ordered Thorne's other book "I'll Go Home Then; It's Warm and Has Chairs" at the same time. I won't bother even opening this up. Heresy, I know.
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on 20 August 2012
I recently got this book after a brief visit to the author's website, 27bslash6. I've never been so amused while reading about someone else's shenanigans and tomfooleries in general. You could easily mistake all of these stories for complete nonsense, which is what makes them so funny. I have somewhat of a short attention-span and to my wife's dismay, (from waking her up with my laughter in the middle of the night) nearly finished this entire book in one solid read.

I've already purchased the second book and can't wait until it arrives. Everyone I've shown this book to has been thoroughly entertained. I'd recommend this book to anyone who even has a little bit of interest in it. There are so many overpriced humour books out there; "Oh yay! 10 pages for 14.99!" However, this book is worth purchasing. I'd recommend the actual book in lieu of an e-book, because you will want to share it with others.
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