Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996. She is the author of "News to Me: Adventures of an Accidental Journalist," winner of a Minnesota Book Award.

From sea to shining sea (with laughs)

Posted by: Laurie Hertzel under Books, Book news, Minnesota authors Updated: June 8, 2011 - 12:11 PM

Paul Jury, who found Iowa to be "56,000 square miles of dull."

Paul Jury, who found Iowa to be "56,000 square miles of dull."

 It is always charming when a writer's mother sends a polite e-mail, trying not to boast, but wanting to make sure that I had seen something noteworthy that their writing child has done.

And this time, what the writer's mother had to offer was really, really cool.  It's just a two-minute book trailer on YouTube, but it's a funny two-minutes. The book is "States of Confusion: My 19,000 Detour to Find Direction," by Minneapolis native Paul Jury (who now lives in L.A.).

In his book, Jury visits each of the 48 contiguous states in just 48 days as a way to figure out where he wanted to go in life. I've not read it yet, but if it's as funny as the trailer, he's got a hit. And actually, the trailer itself is a hit--1.3 million hits so far. In it, he races through each state (including Alaska and Hawaii), stopping to deliver his own slogan. North Dakota? "Somehow even worse than South Dakota."  Wisconsin? "It's too cold to be sober."  Minnesota? You'll just have to watch and see.

Jury went to Hale, Field, Folwell and South High Schools, and somewhere, his mother tells me, a comment from his kindergarten teacher is buried in the YouTube comments.

By the way, the Dave Schwimmer-like guy in the video is not Paul Jury!  Paul's working the camera, and wrote the lines.

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