News, views and what I choose to dos




New Statesman review of Sex.com

Category : Internet, Journalism, Sex.com · by May 24th, 2007

I’ve just seen that a review of my Sex.com book has popped up on the New Statesman.

It’s not very long and it’s taken a tack which I was surprised by, but I didn’t think the New Statesman would cover it as it tends to prefer more weighty and political books. Nonetheless, I think I would be intrigued by the review and even consider buying it -so that has to be good. I understand as well that The Times and The Sunday Telegraph will review it this week. And The Register and Techworld should also do reviews soon. And I have a range of interviews lined up next week. Should be fun.

The New Statesman review runs quickly through the story and then this is the opinion of the book: “McCarthy’s account of the court battle for ownership of sex.com is as much a biography of a twisted genius. He paints Cohen as a grotesque bottom-feeder of an individual, who thrives on sex and stolen power. It is hard not to enjoy the story of his downfall, and yet Kremen’s eventual victory is underpinned by the tragedy of Cohen’s mental breakdown.”

So that’s Kieren’s book — “hard not to enjoy” :-)

You can read it here; full review below:

Just for clicks
Henrietta Clancy

Sex.com
Kieren McCarthy
Quercus, 288pp, £12.99
ISBN 1905204663

Taking place against the backdrop of the dotcom boom, the fight for the million-dollar-making domain name sex.com was a battle between two masters of technology, one a scholar and one a conman, which would endure countless lawsuits, appeals and a decade of conflict.

Gary Kremen was the quintessential geek, an entrepreneur who was working with the internet back in the days when it was a tool reserved for governments and universities. He predicted the need for an anti-virus market before the first virus was born; he set up the dating service match.com (now the leader in an enormous international online dating market); and until it was stolen from right under his nose by conman Stephen Cohen, he owned sex.com. The ensuing battle over rights to the domain name became an epic and exhausting fight for justice conducted in the previously unknown legal territory of the online world.

McCarthy’s account of the court battle for ownership of sex.com is as much a biography of a twisted genius. He paints Cohen as a grotesque bottom-feeder of an individual, who thrives on sex and stolen power. It is hard not to enjoy the story of his downfall, and yet Kremen’s eventual victory is underpinned by the tragedy of Cohen’s mental breakdown.

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(3) comments

Ed
7 years ago ·

Well, I bought the book for an amazing £7 including delivery on Amazon and I’ve started it. About 30 pages in and I’m enjoying it a lot so far!

Ed
7 years ago ·

Oh also: I showed the cover to a few people, and about half of them took about 10 seconds to realise that the woman was an X… At least its clear on the spine :)

Luce
7 years ago ·

Woot!

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