Book Review: I Am Not Brad Pitt and Other Stories
Reviewed by Alexandra Barbush
A humorous collection of three short stories focused on America’s obsession with celebrity and fame—and how far it can take people
I Am Not Brad Pitt is both the title of the collection and Dreiblatt’s first short story. The other two, “Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself” and “Keeping Compliant with the Kardashians” make the compendium complete.
Dreiblatt’s humor is dry and exacting, relying on the narrative arc of the stories and the irony wherein. I’d go as far to say that supernatural and conspiracy fans may not take them as humorous at all, but real possibilities in our current world of fame and celebrity-obsession. Each work is funny and wry and relies on the embedded knowledge in all of us that, if given the option, we’d all enjoy being rich and famous, one of the two, or close enough.
I Am Not Brad Pitt is told in first person, from the perspective of a man who (somehow) always saw himself as an ugly loser and also looks strikingly like Brad Pitt. Tobey, the narrator, starts off innocently enough. He dresses like him for Halloween and gets rave reviews from buddies and women. Then, he dips his toe into being him, dressing and getting his haircut to match his current look, and using that power to get better tables at restaurants.
It all comes to a halt when the real life Brad Pitt wants to speak to him and his girlfriend, Sophie, in person and immediately. Tobey may have bitten off more than he can chew…or it may be the start of an entirely new life.
“Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself” follows Dara, the lead singer of a rock band that’s going nowhere fast. When Keith Richards unexpectedly shows up at one of their performances, he tells her he’s part of a tribal immortal community of vampire/rockstars…and she’s got what it takes to be one too.
Half drug-addled and incoherent, Dara thinks he’s joking around, although his ability to read her mind is perplexing. The story escalates quickly as Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton convince her that Keith may not be as crazy as he seems, or as innocent.
Lastly, “Keeping Compliant with the Kardashians” centers on Maddy, a D.C. publicist who’s used to cleaning up politicians’ messes. When she gets a call from the Kardashians’ representatives, and is offered an insane amount of money, she uproots her life and fully commits to the So-Cal lifestyle. As she gets an up close and personal look at the Kardashian family, she starts to think some things may be a little off. Stumbling upon their former publicist’s notes, Maddy becomes convinced the entire Kardashian clan may be a little otherworldly—and dangerous.
I’d recommend this collection to anyone interested in pop culture and short, fun reads. This collection is hilarious, although it tends more towards irony and the extremes of fame and celebrity. Each of the three stories are concise and interesting.
Dreiblatt manages to keep you on the edge of your seat even as you’re reading about alien-Kardashians. The many named celebrities in each of the stories will be well known by millennials and older, but you don’t have to be a pop-culture buff to enjoy the stories. While they do have an undertone of commentary on celebrity-obsession, Dreiblatt isn’t out to make a moral point. The stories are just fun to read, enjoyable and can be easily put down and picked back up. We simultaneously laugh at and root for his protagonists. It’s a quick and amusing read, don’t be surprised if you hit it all in one sitting (I did).
Publisher: Stone Tiger Books LLC
Genre: Short Story Collections / Humor
Print Length: 391 pages
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