The Book Trailer We Can’t Show You at Work


By Neal Comment

M.M. De Voe tipped me off yesterday to a video I think has to set a new benchmark in the book trailer genre… a benchmark for crassness, that is. It’s the eight-minute promotional video for Jay Nussbaum’s new novel, A Monk Jumped Over a Wall, and if you’re wondering why I’m not embedding it like I usually do with YouTube stuff, well, let’s just say this self-described “nymphomercial” pushes right up against the NSFW barrier, starting with a bikini-clad blonde lounging around with a copy of the book and culminating in a reenactment of a scene that appears (I admit, I fast-forwarded—I mean, eight minutes?) to leave a guy buried up to his neck in manure. All in that “it’s ironic T&A, so it’s okay, really” tone which, let’s face it, is almost never successfully ironic nor okay.

De Voe says the film left her “somewhat taken aback,” but she was willing to consider the possibility that maybe it was just her, so she emailed the URL around and asked for opinions. “Most of the women were appalled,” she reports, “one gay man asked to be removed from my list (!!), and most of the straight men hated the ad, but remarked that the title of the book was not ‘nymphomercial’ as they had thought. They all recalled the name of the book.” So I guess, if you can set everything else aside, it’s got that going for it. “What’s the world coming to for novelists?” De Voe asks. “Naked readings next?”