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Video Book Reviews

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Jeffrey has posted some links to videos he's made discussing his life and interests, but I don't think that fits the intended subject of this thread.

The Washington Post recently posted a video review of Mona Simpson's My Hollywood, and the results are ... painful. I love Charles as a writer. I've quoted his stuff in this forum several times. But as a video guy, he makes a good print reviewer.

Judge for yourself.

Although I found the humor mostly painful, I appreciate the effort and look forward to future video book reviews from other book reviewers. If anyone has good examples to share, please post them here.

I suspect that, as with so many other areas, like movie reviews, the best writers don't make for good on-camera personalities. Writers tend to read what they've written for print, and it doesn't work as broadcast-friendly text. Charles is, at least, animated and doesn't look uncomfortable, even if he is a bit awkward.

Also, look at all those edits! Some thought went into this. It's not the one-shot, on-the-cheap spot I was expecting.

Edited by Christian

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Posted · Report post

I spent a minute rolling my eyes at this review (scroll down into the item to see the video), but then found myself ... laughing! And I thought these video reviews didn't work.

Well, let's not go too far with the whole "working" thing. The editing here is kind of clever and helps the humor in places, but I couldn't help but think I might find the review just as funny, or funnier, in print. Still, admirable job by Charles, especially when he highlights some of Freedom's weaknesses.

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Washingtonpost.com is now soliciting reviews of "political books" -- video reviews included!

Who's going to submit one?

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This week's widely read Sunday Ombudsman column is devoted entirely to Ron Charles' video book reviews!

What is noteworthy about the “Totally Hip” videos is that they are conceived, produced, taped and edited almost entirely by Charles and his wife, Dawn, an English teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Occasionally, their teenage daughter makes a cameo, and some friends play parts. But participation by The Post is limited to several editors reviewing the final cut and offering suggestions. The videos are professional, polished and uproarously funny.

And they seem to be gaining a following. Steven King, a Post video editor, said the latest “Totally Hip” episodes have each been viewed between 10,000 and 20,000 times. “The series shows promise for future growth,” he said.

For Charles and his wife, it appears a labor of love. “It takes way too much time,” he said. “We work every night on the script. Saturday morning, my wife and I get up early and work all day long.” After a break for dinner, the editing begins and can continue well past midnight. Additional sound editing often takes place Sunday. Post editors review it Monday, sometimes asking for changes.

Charles isn’t paid extra for the work.

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There's a market for book trailers, which have their own awards. Who knew? These aren't exactly book "reviews," but it's book-video related.

EDIT: Funny! Ron Charles won a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the MOBY Awards, and filmed an acceptance speech. He gave up video book reviews after 13 installments.

Edited by Christian

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Followed a tweet to

Kind of amusing, kind of annoying, like Charles' other videos. Caution re: language in the video title.

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Funny! Ron Charles won a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the MOBY Awards, and filmed an acceptance speech. He gave up video book reviews after 13 installments.

He's back!

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