Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesday: Man Alive! by Mary Kay Zuravleff

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

A quarter.  A parking meter.  A bolt of lightning.  A changed life.  That's the premise of Mary Kay Zuravleff's third novel, Man Alive!.  While feeding money into a parking meter, pediatric psychologist Dr. Owen Lerner is struck by, as they say, a bolt out of the blue.  He survives the jolt of heavenly electricity but he's a changed man.  Now all he wants to do is barbecue--much to the consternation of his family.  Here's what award-winning novelist Alice McDermott says about the book: “A lightning bolt to a parking meter certainly packs a punch, but so does every sentence and scene of this exuberant novel.  Mary Kay Zuravleff writes so well—with such wit and compassion and wry intelligence—that she can make the daily, domestic life that follows Owen Lerner’s encounter with the transcendent as electrifying as the lightning strike itself.  A suburban marriage, a young romance, gymnastics, brain chemistry, backyard barbecue, wherever Zuravleff aims her keen eye, something transformative happens, the way a thunderbolt turns sand to glass.  Man Alive! is vividly alive and breathing.”  To be honest, I hadn't even heard of the book before I saw the trailer.  The video, which bubbles along with a Bobby McFerrin-esque jazz scat, is cryptic and pretty downright full of WTF?! images.  Sizzling bacon, a bar graph of quarters, a man in shorts and sandals spinning through space?  Totally WTF.  But that's what makes it effective as a book trailer; I was so puzzled by what I saw, that I zipped right over to Iconoclast Books' website and did a search for the title.  Ah!  Now it started to make sense.  When I later saw a video of Zuravleff giving a reading at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, the hook was set even deeper.  I might just have to give Man Alive! a spin.  Not only that, but now I have a hankering for some grilled bacon.

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