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    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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I Saw the Movie and I Read the Book

Is that going to be on the exam?

Please take moment, treat yourself to a good laugh, and watch this hilarious book trailer for Gary Shteyngart’s new novel Super Sad True Love Story:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfzuOu4UIOU

Now, please take out your number two pencil and answer the following questions:

  1. Do you have the new “skill set” for becoming an author?
  2. Have you fully grasped the new technology as the “game changer” for marketing books?
  3. Define the meaning of the word “whore.”
  4. True or false: we are guilty of fetishizing all things Russian: vodka, matryoshka dolls, novelists
  5. The durability of Jay McInerney. Comment.
  6. Mary Gaitskill.
  7. Gary Shteyngart: brilliant buffoon or pretty poseur?

I’m thinking of making a trailer for the revised Forest for the Trees due out in October. I think I’ll start by visiting authors’ graves. Then, I’ll interview James Franco and compare notes about our experience as MFA students. I bet we feel exactly the same way. Then I’ll download something. Then I’ll ask James Franco to join me and August in the hot tub. Would it be too much to ask him to recite The Most of It by Robert Frost? Then we’ll go on a publishing lunch date and pretend to enjoy it. Then we’ll marvel at our iPads. Then we’ll end at Yale where James Franco is teaching. And then we’ll kiss.

What’s gonna be on your book trailer?


20 Responses

  1. I think you should go the James Franco route for your book trailer. I’d watch it and post about it on my blog 🙂

  2. just skip to what happens after you kiss James Franco and keep it for your private collection.

  3. I would start with a real trailer. A U-haul.

  4. Cult of personality turns blurbs to blab

  5. 1. Absolutely. I have my web site mapped out, complete with viral features and interactive components. I love my digital marketing plan more than my memoir.
    2. Yes. Bring it.
    3. One who pays bills.
    4. I don’t know. I don’t hang out with cultured people.
    5. Who?
    6. On my list.
    7. College professor.

    Book Trailer: It starts with a deep male voice over that says something like, “In a world…” or “In a time…” and then there are images and video of people upset, or in the midst of the bubonic plague. Then big words start shooting out at you that say things like, “Passion” “Desire” and “How far would you go?” A lot of making out, skin showing, dancing, music, and big fast cuts, so you don’t really know what it’s about. At the very end, a vampire shoots his fangs out.

  6. Do we have to show our work?

  7. Well, I will not have the literary incrowd in my book trailer but this is the how I see it:

    I travel down to my hometown of Abbeville, Louisiana, Cajun to the core, where the Dixie Theatre (yes, they really had the “re”) and I used to dream about sitting in the balcony with the black folk and watch Jerry Lewis. I smile at the camera as though I am still a naive fool.
    I walk down the deserted street, past the defunct rice mill that reminds us all of a time in the future when all manner of bad things were sent to earth from a vengeful god – did I mention I was raised Catholic? _ pan to the St. Bernard Church steeple where I was baptised and the priest slapped me across the street- suddenly the scene is Edward Norton killing the Boston Bishop and then the camera focuses on me smoking a small, but long cigar. I look up, and here walking towards me is Esutis Mallot, farmer, mullet catcher, whose ambition, he tells us, is to have a role in True Blood. He says: “mais, petit, dat dem loup-garou is more’ real-like dan Treme, I tell’ ya, mon mon. Been in dis deepen’ marsh alla mine life. Seen ’em, done ’em. Mais, Is gota go, my pain perdu is burnin”

  8. Well, I will not have the literary incrowd in my book trailer but this is the how I see it:

    I travel down to my hometown of Abbeville, Louisiana, Cajun to the core, where the Dixie Theatre (yes, they really had the “re”) is abandoned and I used to dream about sitting in the balcony with the black folk and watch Jerry Lewis. I smile at the camera as though I am still a naive fool.
    I walk down the deserted street, past the defunct rice mill that reminds us all of a time in the future when all manner of bad things were sent to earth from a vengeful god – did I mention I was raised Catholic? _ pan to the St. Bernard Church steeple where I was baptised and the priest slapped me across the face- suddenly the scene is Edward Norton killing the Boston Bishop and then the camera focuses on me smoking a small, but long cigar. I look up, and here walking towards me is Esutis Mallot, farmer, mullet catcher, whose ambition, he tells us, is to have a role in True Blood. He says: “mais, petit, dat dem loup-garou is more’ real-like dan Treme, I tell’ ya, mon mon. Been in dis deepen’ marsh alla mine life. Seen ’em, done ’em. Mais, Is gota go, my pain perdu is burnin”
    Okay…this goes on but I’m taking up space….

  9. sorry to have posted 3 times, computer goofy today…

  10. According to some slattern who just walked by my office door, I cackled while watching the trailer, cackled harder when I read the rest of this post and made a spectacle of myself pausing to look at James Franco.

    Jay McInerney’s looks have held up reasonably well.

    As for the rest, I have a youtube channel where I deep throat Dairy Queen ice cream cones. Does that count?

  11. Mary Gaitskill is hot. Jay McInerney has found a new career–selling the Sham-Wow to intellectuals.

  12. Basically just my book pulsating on the screen. And maybe one of those aggressive gravelly voices like you hear during a storm warning? The subhuman weirdly motorized voice? Commanding fear? Respect and authority? The voice will shout BUY IT NOW GO. Something like that. And then maybe some incongruous images of animals or trees or whatever. In the po-mo tradition. Or is this now the post-post-modern era? I have lost total touch with academic trends. Po-po-mo. This is getting absurd.

  13. I stole the video and posted to Twitter and my FB (giving credit, of course!) because I was curious: would this trailer make them buy the book. It made me laugh, and then I wasn’t sure who the heck I was supposed to laughing at.

    It must be good though, it’s the only trailer with a talking head author that I ever watched all the way through. I hate talking-author-head trailers!

    I had my moment of jealousy after seeing it. I couldn’t get Meryl Streep or Charles Dickens, so my sister and I made my book trailer, buying images ten bucks at a time from Getty–and testing it with my husband and her girlfriend. Sister convinced her friend to write a piece of music.

    Hey, it worked. St. Martin’s liked it. They put it up on Amazon. We kept it under half a minute.

    Interesting: a teenage fan made my first trailer on a whim. It’s up on You Tube with mine–I should have a contest. Who made which?

  14. Can’t think of anything clever to say, but loved that trailer…I like silly…and when did Jay McInerney get so cute? Or was he always cute? Can’t remember..

  15. This as nothing to do with getiing in a hot tub with James Franco and August, or any of that. Besides i need a book before I need a trailer. That requires writing — somthing that’s been very difficult sitting in my silent little office.

    • I’m not sure what happened, but I’m not through.

      Amazon delivered a Memphis Horns CD so I put it on the computer and cranked that son-of-a-bitch up until the walls are shaking. Can you hear it? The computer screen is vibrating. I started writing. OMG I’m rolling like a giant wheel. I spinning in greased grooves. I’m typing in time to the music.

      I hope I don’t lose my hearing before I finish the book.

  16. My book trailer is a double-wide.

  17. I loved this post when I read it the other morning and imagined myself writing a clever response, complete with full answers to the quiz (I intended to rave somehow about Mary Gaitskill in a way that wouldn’t seem dumb or fawning). Day job interfered. Must say though that I’m glad Betsy alerted me to the trailer for Gary Shteyngart’s new book.

    My book trailer? Silly question. Like Bill Stephens, I need the book first.

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