For all those who lament the decline of the quality of book reviews, here’s something to make you lament some more: video book reviews on image

This review raises incoherence to an art form (well, at least she’s having fun with it).What if all criticism looked like this? Smashwords and bookstore promotions (both online and in-person) are starting to rely on videos; what does this portend? Are NY publishers going to start hiring Jerry Seinfeld every time they wish to promote the next bestseller?

(I bought the book at a book sale yesterday and checked the reviews on Amazon to learn more about the author. The book itself—which consists of imaginary interviews with dead people– sounds like a fun concept). For the record,  my two favorite reads for 2008  are Mark Salzman’s Laughing Sutra and Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life.

Update: Apparently the joke is on me. The reviewer, Lauren Wheeler, is a comedy writer for NPR and John Stewart. I’ll assume for the moment that she did this review purely out of love for the book. But if celebrity endorsers are allowed to put video “reviews” alongside actual consumer  reviews, how long will it take before endorsements will be for sale?


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