Inaugural Blog Tour: The Beaufort Diaries
by Paul Oliver
More and more, we find ourselves in awe of the quality, depth and variety of places on the internet talking about books. Thus, we’ve decided to take a year-end look at how those places talked about our titles. (Read the kickoff.) The point is to feature not only the titles we proudly published in 2010, but also some of the great writing about those titles from around the internet. In some cases the writing may only mention our book. In these instances the posts would of course have to be extraordinary.
A polar bear in Hollywood. The chaos of stardom. Alcoholism amidst a paper thin culture. No talk of T Cooper‘s book can begin without the David Duchovny voiced short. It’s that good.
Here’s the link. Go enjoy it and come back.
If you’ve just finished watching that for the first time then welcome to the club. And lose the “awe shucks” grin. We have the hard work of blog touring ahead and can’t afford to get too caught up in the glitz and glam of book trailers.
Illustrated by Alex Petrowksy, T Cooper’s The Beaufort Diaries is as easy to enjoy as it is hard to classify. A story of a young polar bear dreaming of bigger and better things and in turn finding them, briefly and convoluted in the cultural epicenter that is Hollywood, is equally foreign and familiar. Add in simple but evocative artwork and an author with biting wit and you have a insightful book that evokes head-shaking and belly laughter in equal measure.
On tap today we have a pair of blogs and one of them is posting about more than just T Cooper. In the case of the first blog, they’re commenting on something as grand as the future of literary humor. In particular they point to Melville House’s role in the development of said future. The site is yet another bookstore blog, this time one run by the Austin, Texas institution: Book People.
If a story about polar bears with abandonment issues, who befriend Leonardo Di Caprio, date super models, and try to skirt the cliche of typecasting in Hollywood isn’t your thing, then The Beaufort Diaries is not for you. For most people, I assume, this is exactly what we’ve been looking for. T Cooper’s writing is straightforward and matter of fact, which is perfect. You never forget that Beaufort is a polar bear, but you stop thinking about this story as a farce, and begin to think of it as not only plausible, but probable. Excuse me while I go out and buy everything T Cooper’s ever done.
BookPeople’s Blog goes on to discuss the deadpan wit of Cooper’s fellow MHP author, Tao Lin. It is flattering to find someone, a bookseller no less, noting a comedic vision in Melville House’s line. More and more it is becoming obvious to us that booksellers are the best commentators on books.
Keeping with the comic theme, we have a rather sarcastically deadpan interview with T Cooper for the LGBT book review pioneer, Lambda Literary.
You write about Hollywood like an insider. And you’ve got David Duchovny as the narrator for the animated short and Tea Leoni’s big blurb on the back. Do you have a secret life as a Hollywood mogul?
Well, it is a little known fact, but I can break it here for the first time ever: I am in fact the genius behind The Jersey Shore, all of the Real Housewives except Atlanta, Hoarders, and Dance Your Ass Off.
The Beaufort Diaries is non-stop funny. But Beaufort’s also suffering from some serious alienation. Was this outsider-ness something you wanted to dig into?
Yes. But the feeling of alienated outsider-ness is so sad to me that I cannot seem to talk about it without getting choked up.
It would be wrong if we did not mention that Cooper opens the interview with some inspirational quotes from rapper 50 Cent.
It is amazing to see the many places and ways Melville House’s books turn up across the internet. Books are clearly not as dead as some like to say.
And so the tour goes on…
Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.