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Celebrity Chekhov: Stories by Anton Chekhov Paperback – October 5, 2010
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“Nothing short of brilliant. . . . you can plant it proudly on your bookshelf.” (Daily Candy)
“Ben Greenman’s Celebrity Chekhov might be the first literary mashup that actually adds to our understanding of the original work.” (The Very Short List)
From the Back Cover
The immortal stories of Anton Chekhov have long entranced readers with their insights into the universal truths of human behavior . . . but you've never read them quite like this.
Q: What do Tiger, Paris, Lindsay, Alec, and Oprah have in common with the enduring characters of Anton Chekhov?
A: Love, loss, pride, yearning, heartbreak, renewal, transcendence: the very stuff of life.
- Former friends Nicole and Paris exchange prickly pleasantries in "Tall and Short."
- Talk-show host Dave narrowly averts another potential domestic crisis in "A Transgression."
- Reality star Kim shares her newfound notoriety with Khloe and Kourtney in "Joy."
In a witty, graceful, and revelatory feat of literary reinvention, acclaimed novelist and humorist Ben Greenman takes nineteen of Chekhov's greatest stories and recasts them with some of the best-known luminaries of our time—with eye-opening, and oddly ennobling, results.
More About the Author
Ben Greenman is an editor at The New Yorker and the author of the underground indie hits Please Step Back, Superbad, and A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both. His short fiction and music criticism has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Paris Review, and he writes a regular comedy column for McSweeney's. He lives in Brooklyn.
Top Customer Reviews
Eminem demands absolute quiet while wracking his brain for inspiration, leaving his study door open lest anyone forget a genius is at work ("Hush"); conversely, Alec Baldwin arrives at his family's summer digs only to be shuttled from one room to another, temper waxing and waning with the source of provocation ("Not Wanted"). As Chekhov mines the layers of Russian society, Greenman finishes with a flourish, a mildly poignant "Trilogy" wherein Jack Nicholson ("Gooseberries") admits, "I wish I was young! I wish I was young!" and Jamie Foxx reminisces about a secret love for his friend Jay-Z's wife, Beyonce ("About Love").The sad Fate of Lindsay Lohan is bemoaned in "A Classical Student", Lohan's mother, Dina, flayed for the exploitation of her troubled daughter as a commodity.Read more ›
"Some years ago Justin Timberlake and I were riding towards evening in fall time in Louisiana to get some coffee...." Kim Kardashian exults to her siblings and parents that she has finally achieved lasting fame: the Internet is buzzing about her sex video with ex-boyfriend Ray J. "Before setting off for her audition, Lindsay Lohan kissed all the movie posters...." "One fine evening, Conan O'Brien was sitting in the second row at the Staples Center, watching the Lakers run away from the Sacramento Kings...." Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler go hunting in the Northern California woods and trade stories about the sorry lives of other famous people.
As a critic, I like most of the books I'm given to review, and I sometimes long for a really bad one to thrash. This one is not at all bad; I'm just not convinced it's ... um ... worth it.
The best stories take time to unfold: "Terror," in which Michael Douglas confides to a nameless narrator his fear of death and unrequited love for his wife, while a dissipated Gary Busey keeps interrupting to wheedle a job out of them; or "The Darling," in which Nicole Kidman is the quiet frontier widow of obsessed theater impresario Tom Cruise, then lumberman Keith Urban, and is barely sustained by the platonic friendship of Brad Pitt, whose son she agrees to care for.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What I Can Tell You:
I read this book last night in about 2 hours. It was so fun and witty. Until today, I had no idea who Chekhov was. Read more
If you think Anton Chekhov's writing would be too staid, too removed from modern life to be worthwhile then Celebrity Chekhov is an inventive (and very amusing) retelling of some... Read morePublished on October 19, 2010 by Victoria Craven