July 11, 2004

Plugging plog

I don't know whether it's standard for all its customers, but Amazon.com has launched something it calls a "plog." The only thing blog-like about it is the reverse chronological order of posts; otherwise, it's more or less a marketing tool. In some ways its useful -- it shows when one's most recent purchases have shipped, for example, saving one the trouble of clicking through several pages to get to the "Where's my stuff" page. In others, though, it leaves something to be desired.

Some months ago, I ordered The Jewel of the Seven Stars by Bram Stoker, who of course is best known for writing Dracula. The Jewel of the Seven Stars was Stoker's mummy novel; I bought it out of curiosity but still haven't gotten around to reading it. (I'm not a big Stoker fan -- I don't care for his style, and, unlike Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Stoker's ideas and preoccupations don't engage me as a reader). In any case, here's the Ingram summary of Stoker's mummy book:

An Egyptologist, attempting to raise from the dead the mummy of Tera, an ancient Egyptian queen, finds a fabulous gem and is stricken senseless by an unknown force. Amid bloody and eerie scenes, his daughter is possessed by Tera's soul, and her fate depends upon bringing Tera's mummified body to life.

So, my Amazon plog tells me, on the basis of my purchase of The Jewel of the Seven Stars, that there's another book, recently published, that might interest me:

We thought you'd be interested because you bought The Jewel of Seven Stars.

Amazon.com: An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.... read more.

Obviously, the "p" in "plog" stands for "plug."

Posted by Ideofact at July 11, 2004 11:27 PM

Amazon recommended Clinton's book to me because I had bought "Islam" by Fazlur Rahman. That's at least a bit more relevant than your recommendation. :-)

Posted by: Zack at July 12, 2004 12:11 AM

Have you read the Rahman book yet? I'd be interested in hearing your opinion.

I'm not so sure, by the way, that you're right about relevance. I vaguely remember Clinton cracking a joke about the mummified remains of a Peruvian teenaged girl -- something about her being attractive enough to take out on the date.

Of course, in the Karloff film and subsequent remakes, it's usually the mummy who has the romantic interest in a living person...

Posted by: Bill at July 12, 2004 01:19 AM

I am reading it now. So far, I like quite a bit of what I have read. I especially like the way he balances the requirements of a scholar of religion and a religious scholar in his writing. I'll review it in a couple of weeks when I am done.

No comment about the Clinton joke. :-)

Posted by: Zack at July 12, 2004 03:29 PM

I actually considered deleting the joke -- all of us say things at times that are ill-advised, the difference is that most of us aren't trailed by legions of scribes writing down our every utterance.

Posted by: Bill at July 12, 2004 06:16 PM