Wednesday, October 01, 2003
After all that “I wrote about the book of Salam Pax: The Baghdad Blog I find via kottke.org a link to Salam’s other book Salam Pax: The Clandestine Diary of an Ordinary Iraqi.
There’s no real description of what the book is about, so I assume it’s the same as “The Baghdad Blogger”, but with a stupider title. Interestingly, listing all books on amazon.com written by Salam Pax only returns that one book whilst the same search on amazon.co.uk returns both “The Clandestine Diary” and “The Baghdad Blog”, although the former doesn’t seem to actually be available. I’d like to know what the difference between these books is, especially seeing as the “The Baghdad Blog” is published by Guardian Books and “The Clandestine Diary” is by Grove Press.
Anyway, spurious mulling aside, when I arrived in Italy, it turned out that my girlfriend had bought “The Baghdad Blog” after I’d explained what it was to her (she knows about blogs), so on one particularly balmy night I set down to read it.
It’s very very weird reading something in print, in a ‘proper’ book which you’ve already read online, something I also experienced when reading the dead-tree format of Sluggy Freelance (an online comic that I used to read when I had that now-rare commodity “free time”).
Still, it’s an excellent read, even if you read it online at the time (as I did). It’s especially interesting reading it with the benefit of hindsight and the continuing trouble. I think here is the point to make an in-depth and penetrating comment about the war, but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.