The Complete Prose of Woody Allen

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9780517072295: The Complete Prose of Woody Allen

Although Woody Allen is best known for his cult movies, he is also a writer of wit and skill. This collection offers 52 pieces of hilarity, deadpan weirdness and outlandish ideas. Do you want to hear about the time Hitler went for a haircut? Or why Woody reveres Socrates? Have you ever wondered what would have happened if the Impressionists had actually been dentists? You can learn much about history - the piece on the invention of sandwiches is eye-opening - or modern life in this selection of thoughts, observations, diaries and stories from one of the most original minds and wonderfully comic voices of our time.

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Review:

Born in 1935, Allen Stewart Konigsberg (better known as Woody Allen) is today one of the most influential figures in cinema. He has written and directed such memorable films as Annie Hall and Manhattan, and has acted in over 40 films. He is also the author of three books--Getting Even (1971), Without Feathers (1975), and Side Effects (1980). The Complete Prose of Woody Allen brings these memorable titles together for one bumper collection--a must-have for Allen addicts.

Getting Even is a collection of 17 of Allen's magazine pieces from the late 1960s discussing such bizarre topics as the invention of the sandwich, laundry lists, death, obesity, and, of course, rabbis.

Without Feathers delivers more of Allen's New Yorker-style humor. Worthy stand-outs include "If the Impressionists Had Been Dentists," a genius piece that puts oral surgery in a whole new, much more exciting, light.

Finally, Side Effects compiles Allen's best New Yorker essays from the late 1970s. Although not as outrageously funny as his previous books, this is still a classic piece of comedy. --Naomi Gesinger

From the Inside Flap:

Without Feathers--"Getting through the night is becoming harder and harder," writes Woody Allen in his secret journal. "Last evening I had the uneasy feeling that some men were trying to break into my room to shampoo me."

Throughout, Allen grapples in his wildly inventive way with the targets that obsess him: death, God (or lack of God), women (or lack of women), intellectuals, the arts, and even dentists.

There is a distinct romantic strain that runs through much of his writings, which the author describes as "either Byronic or moronic." Allen is forever at war with the universe and claims unequivocally that he is "two with nature." His artistic ambition, as he puts it, is to "forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. And then see if I can get them mass-produced in plastic."

Getting Even--Investigates such significant subjects as Organized Crime, the invention of the sandwich, the secret diary of a Latin revolutionary, and a day in the life of Count Dracula.

Represents Woody Allen as psychologist: "...death is an acquired trait."

historian: "I did not know Hitler was a Nazi. The truth was, for years I thought he worked for the phone company."

philosopher: "I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear."

Side Effects--Discusses such subjects as the nature of relativity, the UFO menace, and the predicament of modern man:

"Ah, God, how the mind boggles when it turns to moral or ethical considerations. Better not to think too much. rely more on the body--the body is more dependable. It shows up for meetings, it looks good in a sports jacket, and where it really comes in handy is when you want to ge a rubdown."

Whether he is musing on philosophy, science, world events, or offering the ultimate in restaurant reviews, The Complete Prose of Woody Allen displays the author's versatility and virtuosity with the written word--and his special brand of hmor.

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Allen, Woody
Published by U.S.A.: Wings Books (1991)
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