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21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com | [Mike Daisey]

21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com

Mike Daisey worked at Amazon.com for nearly two years during the dot-com frenzy of the late nineties. Now that his nondisclosure agreement has expired, he can tell the real story - one that blends tech culture, hero worship, cat litter, Albanian economics, and venture capitalism into a surreal cocktail of delusion.
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Publisher's Summary

Mike Daisey worked at Amazon.com for nearly two years during the dot-com frenzy of the late nineties. Now that his nondisclosure agreement has expired, he can tell the real story - one that blends tech culture, hero worship, cat litter, Albanian economics, and venture capitalism into a surreal cocktail of delusion.

In 1998, when Amazon.com went to temp agencies to recruit people, they gave them a simple directive: send us your freaks. Thus began Mike Daisey's love affair with this quintessential dot-com. His ascent from lowly temp to customer service representative to business development hustler is the stuff of dreams - and nightmares. Daisey takes us from Amazon's high point, when the stock traded at $361, to well into its rollercoaster plunge to today's humble two-digit price, all the while reflecting on the very nature of the new economy and the darkly humorous compromises made every day to survive in corporate America. At strategic intervals, the narrative is punctuated by hysterical (in every sense of the word) letters to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos - missives that seem ripped from the collective unconscious of dot-com disciples the world over. No wonder Newsweek has dubbed Daisey the "oracle of the bust."

With a hugely popular Web site and a hit one-man show that has received phenomenal coverage (with stories in Wired, Newsweek, Salon, and elsewhere), Daisey has become the bard of the dot-com boom-and-bust - a smart, imaginative, and acutely perceptive chronicler of our times.

The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, is the original publisher of 21 Dog Years in hardcover.

Executive Producer: Laura Wilson
Original Jacket Design: High Design
Original Jacket Art: Joyn Tynes
©2002 Mike Daisey
(P)2002 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A modern Dickensian fable of pointless toil inside an industrial madhouse. Too funny not to be accurate, too heartbreaking not to be true. If you are wondering where all the time and money went, this book has the answers." (Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (334 )
5 star
 (98)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.5 (44 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.6 (44 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    M. Lucas Maryland USA 10-17-11
    M. Lucas Maryland USA 10-17-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Dog of an Audiobook"

    I am a avid listener to audiobooks and this one is one of the worst I have heard. I concur with the other reviewers who gave it 1 star. I was looking for an insight to the company and their rise to success, like the book The Facebook Effect. But this one was simply about the author, who is really a bit wack. So much that I couldn't even get through the first 21 minutes of this thing. I wasted a credit on this book. Buyer beware! Take a listen first and read all of the reviews before you think about downloading (which is what I should have done).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Chicago, IL, United States 07-19-07
    Brian Chicago, IL, United States 07-19-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    78
    10
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    "It's OK"

    This book is nothing to write home to mom about. A story about a self-described slacker working for a slacker company. There were good parts - Once I even found myself laughing out loud. More often though I was just wishing the book would end. If Amazon and Jeff Bezos are so inept, how come they're still both around 7 years after the book story ends? Every company has it's Dilbert moments - I see nothing unusual about Amazon. Several sub-plots describe some really useless dot coms. Too bad Daisey didn't work for Digital Convergence Corp.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Go Bruins 5000 California 08-03-04
    Go Bruins 5000 California 08-03-04 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Boring..."

    I was part of the 'dot-com' era, and I just did not find anything interesting about this book. I did not laugh once. Also, I could not stand how the author spoke.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Pleasant View, TN, USA 05-25-03
    Robert Pleasant View, TN, USA 05-25-03 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Dot Com Story"

    This story of an individual's experience at the beginning of the internet explosion. Great story, a single story and would work whether it was about Amazon or Sears.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephany PB Gardens, FL, USA 01-26-03
    Stephany PB Gardens, FL, USA 01-26-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Satire on the .com work world."

    Mike Daisey offers a glimpse into the work environment of this much discussed internet company. His observations are often hysterically funny about how ludicrous and unbusinesslike Amazon could be, and at the same time, how swept up and driven the employees were when they calculated the value of their own stock options.

    He tells his story wonderfully, and perhaps you will hear a dead on description of yourself in the many customer service horrors on which he elaborates. You may never ask to speak to a customer service supervisor again!

    9 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Knob Noster, Macau 04-15-03
    Robin Knob Noster, Macau 04-15-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More! More! I want more!"

    This book is incredibly funny and extremely well narrated by mdaisey. I wasn't ready for this one to end. You don't have to have participated in the dot com boom to appreciate 21 Dog Years.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike United States 05-01-03
    Mike United States 05-01-03 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This dog should be put to sleep"

    I thought this would be an entertaining book, but I found it to be incredibly annoying. After listening to the second CD, I threw the rest away not wanting to subject myself to any more of it.

    11 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew ShanghaiChina 03-26-03
    Andrew ShanghaiChina 03-26-03
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    "Thoroughly enjoyable."

    Mike Daisey adapted 21 Dog Years from his play, and it shows in his easy reading style and flair for comic timing. There's a segment I particularly like after a long day--other listeners will certainly remember the "I understand, I empathize" spiel from a customer service rep.

    While the focus is indeed his job(s) at amazon.com, much of the story is purely about the life and times of Mike Daisey; fortunately, it's almost all funny.

    Delicate ears should be warned that there is occasional profanity.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Van Buijtene Den Haag, Netherlands 12-19-11
    M. Van Buijtene Den Haag, Netherlands 12-19-11 Member Since 2010

    creativity coach

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't stand the negativity"
    Would you try another book from Mike Daisey and/or Mike Daisey?

    No.


    Would you recommend 21 Dog Years to your friends? Why or why not?

    No.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I liked the honesty and humor, but they couldn't keep me interested to hear this story out. About halfway through, I gave up because of the negativity, smugness - he's so proud to be a slacker and petty thief - and naivete of someone who doesn't expect colleagues to do their job and companies to act as corporations.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerry 10-31-11
    Kerry 10-31-11

    I have existed since the beginning of time at the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the heavens!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Funny Book its a Joy to Raed"
    Where does 21 Dog Years rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would say it ranks in the top 10 books I have read


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mike was the main character


    Which character – as performed by Mike Daisey – was your favorite?

    Himself


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The training portion


    Any additional comments?

    Great book a must read!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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