There’s a disclaimer on David Thorne’s website, 27bslash6.com: “This website contains material for my amusement only.” Unfortunately, the same disclaimer is nowhere to be found on his book, The Internet is a Playground.
The book, which is essentially just a printed collection of the randomness that has appeared on Thorne’s website, can be split into two parts: the email conversations and the rants. The email conversations, which includes Thorne’s attempt to pay a bill with a picture of a seven-legged spider, are little more than internet trolling done via email. They are also hilarious.
But where the emails are funny, the rants are just plain confusing. Characters are introduced alongside photographs, and you don’t know if Thorne is mocking real people, making shit up for the hell of it or forming some weird hybrid of the two. But the simple fact is that it doesn’t matter – while the email exchanges are filled with random humour and entertainment, the rants feel like nothing more than a private joke – a private joke you paid money for, if you bought the book.
Which leads us to another point – the book seems to add nothing to the collection of stories and rants on the 27bslash6 website. The blurb on the back promises “articles not available anywhere else” but after reading the book and browsing the website all the memorable exchanges are there to be clicked. And if you can hit a link and read all of the funny and unfunny musings for free online, why would you bother spending money on a book?
But still, as David himself points out in his introduction: “The content in this collection purposely has no point and I have found that this pointlessness seems to be its main appeal”. And if you’re looking for a way to distract yourself for a few minutes, this will do a decent enough job.