There’s a well-known legal axiom that when in court a lawyer should never ask a question to which he or she doesn’t already know the answer. I am sure that an analogous rule applies to authors’ posting reviews of their books on the internet – it’s probably not a good idea to do it unless you know what the review says.
But what the hell.
Here’s a video I found of someone called Jim the Librarian giving a review of A GOOD AMERICAN in sign language. I’ve written in the past about the strangeness of hearing someone else narrate the words I’ve written (for the audiobook) and of picking up a book with my name on the cover and not being able to read a word of what’s inside (foreign editions.) Watching this, though, was a whole new brand of weird. I don’t know sign language, and I can’t lip read, so I’ve really just been watching Jim’s wonderfully expressive face as he talks about the book, without knowing what on earth he’s saying. Trying gauge someone’s opinion of a book on the basis of facial expressions alone is a new experience for me. It’s equal parts surreal and frustrating, with moments of anxious hilarity.
I’m pretty sure he wasn’t that crazy about it, to be honest.
My favorite moment is at about the 4:15 minute mark. The look on Jim’s face is absolutely priceless, but I’m not entirely sure I want to know what he’s talking about.