Saturday, July 12, 2008

Instead of book websites, book videos

Although this isn't entirely new, HarperCollins Canada has added an interesting fillip to the idea of having a video presence for a book. You can view a teaser for a new title on YouTube. I found this while reading Liesl Schillinger's New York Times Book Review coverage of Rivka Glachen's first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances.

What do I think? Kinda promising, actually, although two caveats immediately come to mind:

(1) Just like music videos, book videos do much imaginative work for the reader, replacing our own mental theatre with pre-chosen images that may be less interesting, relevant, or psychologically satisfying than what we might have crafted on our own. These video images are generally so colorful and loud that they tend to override and obliterate the mental wonders that preceeded them.

(2) The music on this choice is sooooo self-important in that arthouse "We're lit'ry" way. I would have preferred something more laid-back. It reminds me of the trailer for Everything Is Illuminated where the Significance of it quickly edged into self-satire.


(3) This medium still feels promising to me. There are so many books out there, and so much blather accompanies those books. This feels refreshing and hopeful. Plus, the video did its job -- now I do want to read the book and perhaps post something about it here (e.g. whether or not it "feels" like the trailer, how I feel the anticipatory drumroll stacks up against the artistic delivery, etc.). Any publicists out there want to send me a review copy? ;-)

No comments: