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Gary Shteyngart And The Art Of The Book Trailer
March 25, 2014
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Gary Shteyngart will be in the red chair tomorrow night to talk about his new book, Little Failure. In addition to being a pretty great read, Shteyngart's book is notable for its completely over-the-top (and completely awesome) book trailer, which features James Franco as his memoir-publishing husband, Rashida Jones as a no-nonsense literary publisher and Jonathan Franzen as his psychiatrist. You can watch that trailer here:

Shteyngart is pretty much the king of the book trailer, a position he cemented with the short film preceding his last book, Super Sad True Love Story. That trailer, which features many of the same actors and a who's-who of literary talent, is funny and absurd — and has been watched more than 280,000 times on YouTube. You can check that one out here:

Shteyngart's not the only author to use the book trailer in an inventive way. Below, you'll find a few of our favourites. 

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

What's not to love about an astronaut in full space suit trying to ride a skateboard? (And what's not to love about Chris Hadfield in general? You can watch his turn in the red chair here.)

Lowboy by John Wray

Lowboy is a novel about New York City and the 16-year-old who can save it from the looming apocalypse. The trailer features an interview with Zach Galifianakis (who recently interviewed none other than the President of the United States)

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories (And Other Things) by B.J. Novak

The Office star released a book of short stories last year, and along with it he released this trailer. He's in it, and so is Mindy Kaling. They speak French.

Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein 

This one breaks the rules of this list a little bit, since this video isn't so much a trailer as it is a short documentary film. In fact, it was written and produced by Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón, and directed by his son Jonás. 

When Cuarón was in the red chair, he talked about his politics and working with Klein on the film. You can watch that interview here (the part about collaborating with Klein starts at 13:50):

Canada Reads Trailers

OK, there are a bunch of these, and they're not officially tied to the launch of any of the books. But this year's Canada Reads trailers are all great, and worth revisiting if you didn't watch them when the contest was on earlier this month. 

There are vignettes for Annabel by Kathleen Winter, Cockroach by Rawi Hage, Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan, The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, and The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. You can watch them all here

And be sure to tune in to CBC tomorrow night, March 27, at 11:30 p.m. to catch George's interview with Gary Shteyngart. 


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