If you’ve been known to slide your copies of OK between The New York Times and The Economist, Ben Greenman’s new book, Celebrity Chekhov, is for you.
The New Yorker editor started the project as a joke but quickly realized its potential for captivating the highbrow/lowbrow audience. Greenman reimagines the Russian literary great’s 19th-century stories, except with familiar faces of 21st-century pop culture in place of Vanya and Miguev. The result is nothing short of brilliant.
Paris Hilton uses words like “obsequiousness” when trading barbed pleasantries with Nicole Richie in “Tall and Short.” David Letterman finds a baby on his patio, panics, and decides to take it over to Martha Stewart in “A Transgression.” And it makes wonderful, twisted sense when, after losing two husbands (Tom Cruise, Keith Urban), Nicole Kidman takes in one of Brangelina’s kids in “The Darling.”
It’s sold only in paperback; you can plant it proudly on your bookshelf.
Available online at amazon.com, $9.50. Catch Ben Greenman tomorrow, 7 p.m., at Borders, 2817 North Clark Street, at West Diversey Parkway.
Photo: Courtesy of Harper Perennial
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