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Book trailer screening room: Andrew McCarthy and more

August 24, 2012|by Carolyn Kellogg

Welcome to the first edition of the Book Trailer Screening Room. Today we bring you Andrew McCarthy, Antoine Wilson and Jonathan Evison.

McCarthy is yes, the same Andrew McCarthy who was a heartthrob in the 1980s. In recent years, he's mixed travel writing -- serious, award-winning travel writing -- in with his career as an actor. And his acting talents show in the trailer for his first book, "The Longest Way Home." There he sits, anxious in the face of his impending nuptials; there he goes, hiking wild jungles (scary crocodiles!), climbing mountain peaks, following confusing British roads, and riding camels across deserts before he can settle down. What makes it work is that McCarthy shot video while traveling around all those exotic places. Book trailers often seem as if they are put together by a marketing team once the book is finished; this one is able to use video to tell the story organically. The other reason it works: it's Andrew McCarthy.

Next up: Antoine Wilson, with the upcoming novel, "Panorama City." I know Wilson, and I know he is a very funny guy. Yet he is flummoxed by having to put together a book trailer and made this instead. As he admits himself, he cannot act. He cannot act to such a large extent that he appears to be faking it as he walks down a path. Hard to believe, but it's true. Just watch.

That's why it's good that a friend of his made this mash-up book trailer instead. Appearances by James Patterson do not constitute an endorsement.

Finally, Jonathan Evison's trailer for his novel, "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving," which comes to bookstores Aug. 28. I've met Evison on book tour, and everything he says here is true. This is exactly the kind of training he needs.

Evison's book tour begins Sunday in Washington; he'll be at Skylight Books on Sept. 11. Bring him beer -- or aspirin.

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See the trailer for 'Life of Pi' [Video]

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