Title: Internet SpyInternet-Spy1
Author: Ian Probert
Pages: 92
Reading Level: 10 & up
Star Rating: ★★

In the 1980s, the Internet was on the rise. Along with it came the possibility of a new kind of spying – hacking.

(The main character’s name is not given. Per tradition, I’ll call him Madagascar.)

The Story.

Madagascar isn’t bored with life. But when the opportunity comes to make a bit of quick money, he jumps at it. After all, there’s nothing wrong about picking up a package for this man, Helmut, and delivering it to a young man named Karl Muller, is there? And if the opportunity presents itself, a person should always try to make money!

But what Madagascar doesn’t realize is that Karl and Helmut are both members of a hacking gang – a group of spies who acquire secret information from off of the Internet. By working for them, even as a lackey, he has placed himself under the watchful eye of the KGB. And the FBI…

Will Karl and Helmut be caught? And will the police believe in Madagascar’s innocence in the affair?


My primary interest in Internet Spy was its biographical aspect. I was interested to read, in his own words, the story of the main character, the boy who knew a world class internet hacker. And it was an interesting story. But then, I read the glossary, and appendixes and learned that the narrator never existed. He was fake! Several other of the main characters were fake, too.

Because reality and fiction is thus blended, and because the incident it treats is not one which is paramount to an understanding of the 20th century, I do not consider Internet Spy to be an important story. Its finest point is its portrayal of the world at a time when the internet was becoming more common. I had never stopped to imagine what it must have been like to be introduced to the “newest thing around” – the internet or to understand its importance.

Although intensely concerned with relationships and their results, Internet Spy was entirely disassociated from any sort of family setting. The main character seems to view his family as something bothersome to avoid instead of a blessing to be enjoyed.

The narrator declares that he and Karl “seemed to be somehow linked by fate. Try as I might, I couldn’t exorcise him from my life.” [pg. 49]

The narrator attends a carnival where he rides a “ghost train”. Skeletons, giant spiders, and headless people appear.

The narrator witnesses a man and car being burned in a conflagration.

A disrespectful relationship is depicted between a husband and wife.

The main character lies once. It is ‘unnecessary’.

Karl Muller smokes in several scenes.

Conclusion. So-so. An interesting subject, but one which would be better explored elsewhere.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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