Ah, the book trailer. That strange, sad anachronism, surreal enough to seem real, yet as functionless as wax fruit.
What are book trailers about, besides being totally hideous?A guess: Someone, somewhere in a moment of frenzy to keep their job from becoming redundant at a major publishing house, hit upon the idea of a DIY advertisement for the printed page–and thus the mutant spawn of book trailers were born. Part Flash animation, part PowerPoint, it’s a stilted, primitive presentation of a book you would probably only have read in a scenario where television is not an option.
More than anything else, the book trailer is a visual manifestation of hopelessness. This is what is looks like when a culture has given up. I don’t mean the broader culture, American culture, pop culture or even literary culture, really. It’s publishing culture, which has long since given up trying to mask it’s desperation with pride–like your regular 5 train vagrant, it has taken to terrorizing people.
We’re running out of ways, surely, to get people interested in reading. But this is not news. If people aren’t sufficiently enticed to read a book because of the attractiveness of it’s cover, let’s face it, it’s not happening, no matter how crisp the prose is, no matter how relatable and moving the story.
It’s clear there’s only one thing to be done: books have to become sex. The experience of reading has to come as close to the experience of screwing as possible. What is the future of the book? Orgasm. What is the fate of the written word? To be inserted, thrust up and down in a fluid motion, washed and reused several times.
But we haven’t gotten there yet. In the meantime, here are some particularly hideous book trailers for you to enjoy.