Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Celebrity Chekhov

When I first heard about this book, I was curious. The cover seems to say it all, "Stuffy Russian guy with a hint of Hollywood paparazzi." My affection for silly celebrity news is displayed here every Friday (here's last week's note) and is scattered throughout this blog. Now, I could never get through a Russian novel. I always feel cold and sad with each page - two of my least favorite feelings. The idea of merging Chekhov's stories with pop culture characters appeared to be the perfect marriage for me!

The choice of celebrities is interesting. It's 2010 and dropping names like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie - who broke into our homes with their alleged reality show earlier this decade - seems out of touch. Nicole is a mother who makes headlines for her fashions. Paris is in the news for her accidental drug possession incidents. The story "Tall and Short" paints Nicole as the jealous one. Puhleaze. If anyone is jealous, it's Paris. The girl is clearly desperate for attention. And, though I understand it's a modern twist on these old stories, I would never, ever believe that Paris - a girl who's known for saying, "That's hot!" - would use a phrase like "official obsequiousness." Sorry. My inner gossip queen just took over.

The second story, which places David Letterman in a more believable predicament was fun. I also thought "Joy," in which Kim Kardashian delights in the release of her sex tape, could have been a true story.

I was especially creeped out by "A Classical Student." It might as well have been the real true story about Lindsay Lohan. I have always thought her mother pushed her too hard to take jobs (how else is she to maintain her lifestyle - get a job of her own?). I also believe, based on my years of reading tabloids, that Lindsay feels a great deal of pressure to financially take care of her family even though she clearly needs someone to take care of her emotionally. But Jesse James (that's right, he of the Sandra Bullock heart-breaking, Bombshell McGee whoring Jesse James) as the disciplinarian? Really. Disciplinarian. He spanks her with her head between his knees. I thought I had passed out while reading and started that story over. Yep. Spanking. Lindsay. Lohan. I feel just as dirty writing that as I did reading it.

"The Darling" centers on Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and - what the huh? - Brad Pitt. That, along with "A Lady's Story" (overuse of the words "Justin" and "Timberlake") and "Terror" (Michael Douglas as an unsatisfied coffee shop owner) were so bizarre. They reminded me of those dreams that I have when I take an extra shot of NyQuil. What? It's to get over my sickness faster!

Some of the stories left me feeling a little sad and cold. It was not my favorite marriage (that's peanut butter and chocolate). But it was interesting. I will now tell people that I have read Chekhov. I just hope they don't ask me to name any characters!

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