A Field Trip with the President and a Comedian

After a lengthy, tiresome trip to the UBC Bookstore, I settled upon a memoir written by the then U.S. senator from Illinois, now current U.S. President Barack Obama. This memoir being his second known as The Audacity of Hope, Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream ¬†through which Obama highlights such understanding and bipartisanship that he believes is hopeful and can give Americans the best going forward. My eye was immediately drawn to the look of the book, and the stance that the President takes in it. He’s leaned over, hardly smiling, wedding ring prominent and without a tie, giving a semi- formal look about him. Furthermore, the term “The #1 New York Times Bestseller is featured on the front and back covers, not once, but three times. To myself, these two factors alone make for a best seller. Obama is youthful in this photo, his wardrobe and prominence of his wedding ring seems to make his audience the 18-40 year old range of people who can look at him and see many things that they see in themselves in him; from the readers marriage to his own, and his own semi-formal dress with the reader’s own relaxed attitude. Being on the New York Times Bestseller list, let alone being on the top of it makes this a memoir people will be attracted to. An authority such as the New York times, can assert it as notable, making this voice the one that’s heard, due to a well known, reputable media outlet endorsing this product, and causing many people to buy and read it on recommendation alone.

On the Internet, I chose to look at Bossypants by Tina Fey, due to its humorous nature as a autobiography from the SNL alumni, and also because the cover of the book. It’s pink hue with Fey featured with the arms of a much older man made me chuckle. However, it’s the reviews that stuck out at me the most. The reviews on indigo.ca are varied from ones who sing the praises of the book such as this one by sauceawesomest, who tells that the book is “The opposite of blerg” playing off it’s humor as well as comical stories. At the other end of the spectrum lies a review by an individual who states that it’s simply “disappointing” and “not very engaging”. These two reviews alone can sway a potential reader to either camp. By both existing at polar ends they draw in our attention, to those two extremes through the way they engage the buyer; they’re just far enough from the median that when read, they can help sway what the buyer will ultimately think of the book. This alone can help for Fey to get her narrative across without doing anything other than writing the novel because of the people writing what they think allowing for promotion to take place. It’s the reviews from others that will sell us on a book, and not just a humorous photo on the front cover.

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