I've been scouring my Internet history trying to remember where I heard about this 2009 title, but with no luck. Damned RSS readers that leave no breadcrumb trail I can follow...
Anywho, somebody liked this book well enough to write an enticing review, and I took the bait. Here's the NPR interview of the author on Fresh Air, along with a good chunk of chapter 1. And if IMDB is to be trusted, we can expect to see it in a movie theater in 2012.
p. 50, when Pete Tarslaw is planning out the type of book to write:
"Not including a murder in your book is like insisting on playing tennis with a wooden racket. Noble perhaps in some stubborn way, but why handicap yourself? [...]
Writing an updated version of some public domain story seemed like a worry-free route to literary success. A ready-made plot would keep my mental effort to a minimum. It would just be gussying up the SparkNotes, really. In my notebook I wrote down a few ideas: Oliver Twist in exclusive San Diego gated community? Huckleberry Finn with a hovercraft? Hamlet but he loves sudoku? Iliad among Hawaiian surfer chicks? But these all seemed tough to maintain past the first hundred pages." (emphasis and hyperlink is mine)