Sign o’ the Times

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.


Comments 3

  1. How about 4:44?! That was my favorite. It didn’t seem favorable either but it sure was damn funny. Thanks for sharing this! I had never seen a “signed” review before.

    You know, this could turn into a game or fun way to give away your book.

    “Favorable or unfavorable?” Readers guess on or the other from the signer’s body language, then have someone who knows sign language give us the interpreted review. After the votes are in, a winner is picked from all of those with the correct answer. With the prize, of course, being a signed book! Ba-da-bum.

  2. This former Midwesterner (but will forever be a Midwesterner in my heart and soul) found your book at my library here in PA. I chose it because it took place in central MO. It made me even more homesick than I usually am (I’m from KC)! My husband’s family is from central MO and you gave detail to what I’ve only heard in his family’s memories. His ancestors came from Germany, entered through New Orleans and settled in Osage County. What a great story-I will be recommending A GOOD AMERICAN on my blog (I Have Writer’s Blog). Congratulations on your ABA selection. Interesting review above….

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