"Gary has managed to escape the anxiety of influence by the sheer fact that he has never read a word...I really admire that state of pure, pure ignorance," deadpans best-selling Pulitzer-prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides. He's speaking, of course, of novelist Gary Shteyngart, whose new novel Super Sad True Love Story has given birth to the strangest book trailer the world has yet seen.

In it, eminent critic Edmund White confesses not to have read the whole book, actor-turned-writer James Franco talks about collaborating on a "were-bear" project with Shteyngart, and acclaimed author Mary Gaitskill--awarded a Guggenheim for her brutally intense fiction about heroin addicts and prostitutes--says the only reason Shteyngart is published is because he's "so good looking"

What's going on here? Publicity genius, or omens of the end of the Western literary world? You decide: