Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut

Employee #55’s story of the first five years of, which “brims with fascinating Amazoniana” (Los Angeles Times)

“This book is far more important than just somebody’s experience at Amazon. Amazonia really does convey the experience of the era.” —Henry Blodget

In a book that Ian Frazier has called “a fascinating and sometimes hair-raising morality tale from deep inside the Internet boom,” James Marcus, hired by in 1996, when the company was so small his e-mail address could be, looks back a decade later at the ecstatic rise, dramatic fall, and remarkable comeback of the consummate symbol of late 1990s America.

Observing “how it was to be in the right place (Seattle) at the right time (the 90s)” (Chicago Reader), Marcus offers a ringside seat on everything from his first interview with Jeff Bezos to the company’s bizarre, Nordic-style retreats, creating what Jonathan Raban calls “an utterly beguiling book.” For this edition, Marcus has added a new afterword with further reflections on his Amazon experience.

In the tradition of the most noteworthy and entertaining memoirs of recent years, Marcus offers us a modern-day fable, “a clear-eyed, first-person account, rife with digressions on the larger cultural meaning throughout” (Henry Alford, Newsday).


“As fine a guide to the late 1990s world of Pioneer Square and Pike Street as we are likely to see.”
The Weekly Standard
“The most entertaining memoir I’ve read this year.”
—Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Should win over even the most jaded dot-com vets with [its] swift, clever, and intelligent rendering of their history.”
Seattle Weekly
“Funny, contemplative . . . a memoir that generates frequent smiles of recognition.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Marcus is a graceful writer with an eye for detail.”
The Boston Globe

Goodreads Reviews