In the issue of New York Magazine that hit shelves today, writer Steve Fishman has a long piece on Bernie Madoff’s life in prison. Obviously, Madoff isn’t giving interviews, but Fishman crafted a compelling portrait of Madoff’s life on the inside by talking to what seems like every inmate who’s ever stood in the lunch-line with the Ponzi-schemer.
Madoff also wasn’t available to pose for a photo, but New York has made an art out of realistic and implausible photo-illustrations. So to accompany Fishman’s article, the magazine hired a lookalike and had him pose in a jail-like setting (pictured). And what do they have him doing? He’s reading John Grisham.
According to the article, “Madoff likes crime mysteries by Dean Koontz and John Grisham, which he also receives in the mail, reads avidly, and then passes along.” In the photo-illustration, Fake Madoff gazes thoughtfully at the bars of his cell, while clutching a copy of The Firm.
Now, we don’t know what it feels like to be arrested for a billion dollar Ponzi scheme, but The Firm–or, well, any Grisham book, where the bad guys always get toppled by the hero lawyer/D.A./judge–seems like an oddly masochistic choice. We recommend he order a copy of Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman‘s memoir about how she made the best of one year spent behind bars. Of course, in Madoff’s case, he may have to read it 150 times.