top of page



When his new toaster shreds his Pop-Tart, Magnus Haycock has had enough with humankind’s incompetence and decides to take over the world.  But first he has to graduate from high school.  Magnus employs his razor-sharp wit to narrate his quest, along the way ranting about everything from the creepiness of mother-son dances to the dishonesty of no-stir peanut butter.  Magnus is forced to accept a scholarship to a snooty liberal arts college where he suffers through boring classes and a dull social life.  After feigning an emotional disability, Magnus convinces the college to grant him a very unconventional comfort animal.  An altercation with an upperclassman requires Magnus to defend himself before the Student Life Committee, with a little help from his absentee father.  Will Magnus’ transgressions derail his plans for world domination, or will they spark a revolution?


     After considerable deliberation, I decided to take over the world. I was simply fed up with humanity:  its pettiness, its ignorance, and, most of all, its incompetence.  At the tender age of eighteen, I’d seen enough to understand why God had decided to charter Noah’s Yacht Club.

Thad has been my BFD, best friend by default, since ninth grade.  He’s also a loser, but I have tried not to let that impact our relationship.  I don’t just value fidelity:  I practice it.

“The mother-son dance is this weekend if you’ve changed your mind and want to go,” my mother cooed.

“Nope.  Still passing on the incest cotillion,” I confirmed.

“I thought you liked going to dances,” she replied.

“I like going to dances with chicks who have different DNA than me,” I clarified.

     “Things are just pretty screwed up right now,” I lamented.  “Something’s gotta change.”

     “Change how?” Pete inquired, furrowing his brow.

     “It’s like, nothing works the way it’s supposed to . . . not computers, or cars, or even toasters.  Quality control has gone out the window . . . But it’s more than that . . . like nothing’s real anymore,” I explained. 

     “This rolling tote is so smart,” my roommate reasoned.  “It’ll protect my tablet, and books, and folders.”

     “You know what that thing’s going to safeguard even more than those:  your virginity.  You might as well start wearing a t-shirt that says ‘I heart leprosy.’  Look, those things are for septuagenarians, or people who have been in industrial accidents, or deranged bombers.  When we get to the dorm, stow that thing in a closet and never take it out again.  Then strap on a pair and buy a backpack like everyone else.”


     "The Pop Tart Insurrection represents satirical humor at its best and poses a battle that begins when a new toaster destroys Magnus Haycock's pop tart, leading him to become determinated to take over the world and correct such wrongs.  His decision to assume command of his world and life, sparked by the seeming low-importance specter of a pop tart gone awry, provides a hilarious scenario that teen to adult readers will find fun and thought-provoking as Magnus struggles with graduating high school, pursuing his goals, and enduring dumb instructors who come with higher-level studies and pursuits.  All these encounters just serve to prove to Magnus that his special abilities are needed, and that taking over the world may not be an impossible goal when faced with the IQs of those who currently run it.

As Marcus Herzberg romps through the visions of a new adult who thinks he can do better, readers gain a vivid story of brewing revolution, institutional craziness, family relationships gone awry, and instructor Dr. Thorn's precarious position between administrator and student perceptions.  The Pop Tart Insurrection's special brand of social inspection is sassy, funny, and thought-provoking, all in one. Its social, religious, and political inspections may rub some readers the wrong way, but that's the delight of an edgy story designed to keep them thinking about sane and insane pursuits.

The satire embedded in these inspections is as strong as the revelations that challenge Magnus to achieve his goals, and come from unexpected, crazy places.  
People like Magnus, whose reeling journey through his new adult years intrigues, delights, and sometimes puzzles his readers with inspections of how the foundations of insurrection can emerge from daily life frustrations and routines."

Read the complete review at

SPR Logo.png
SPR Review.png
bottom of page