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Complete Prose Paperback – 6 Nov 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (6 Nov. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330328212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330328210
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'It's no secret that Allen's short stories are just as entertaining and accomplished as his films... Allen's witty stories satirise contemporary society and classic modern literature in a style that is characteristically breathless, off the cuff and brilliant' OBSERVER --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Comprises three classic works: Without Feathers, Getting Even , and Side Effects

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE on 11 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is dangerous. It is impossible to read on a bus without frequent involuntary outbursts, strangled yelps of delight and choking fits and any attempt to suppress these will result in facial ticks, bed wetting or worse. Other passengers will stare or, concerned, try to perform the Heimlich manouevre on you (as described in the book). Allen's puckish humour is the perfect antedote to Life in General, the mock philosophic arguments and madcap situations might be right out of Sleeper or Love and Death. He lampoons many characters, institutions and traditions, deflating all that is pompous or pretentious with Groucho-like ease. The Memoir of Hitler's Barber is fantastic, the Detective Story with God as a Missing Person perfect and his story about UFO Sightings another gem but with over 50 short chapters there are too many to pick out. Even the liberally sprinkled Jewish references are funny to the uninitiated (goyim ??). There should be a copy on your bedside table (if you can do without the sleep!)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 16 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a great budget collection of Allen's short pieces/stories, comprising 'Getting Even', 'Side Effects' and 'Without Feathers' (52 stories in all). For those who enjoy the 'early, funny' period- i.e. the stand up such as the 'moose' or the kidnapping, or films such as 'Take the Money & Run' there is much here.
Many of Allen's gripes and themes surface here- the student mentality he satirises in 'Annie Hall' & 'Husbands & Wives', the European novel, 'A Twenties Memory' takes the **** out of Hemingway's 'A Moveable Feast' and predicts the iconic imagery of 'Zelig' . One of the most familiar stories is 'Death Knocks'- which recurs in Allen's play 'Death' and pops up (as a reference to Bergman's 'The Seventh Seal', of course) in both 'Love and Death' and 'Deconstructing Harry'.
A lot of these pieces are succinct and laugh out loud funny, one to commute with or read last thing at night. This budget collection is vast proof that Allen is up there with the great comics and a work such as 'Retribution' predicts the world between comedy and tragedy that he has mined for several decades. A classic collection, even if it just ends up in the toilet!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
One of the funniest things I have ever read. Allen's biting satire, particularly of academic pomposity, is simply brilliant. I felt so sad when I finished it. Hope he writes more.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
Consisting mostly of short stories and general observations from Allen's unique perspective that originally appeared in the 'New Yorker' magazine, this comprehensive collection is pretty much all you need to have. Quite why you would want to buy the books separately (or even together with this book) is totally beyond me. 'Complete Prose' is his three books in one volume, complete, unabridged and totally hilarious.
Surreal, ridiculous, witty, and at times just plain silly, these short pieces will have you in pieces after a few paragraphs. My favourite bits include a story about Dracula, and how come he knows when it's dark if he stays in a coffin all day? When he senses it is dark one day, he pays a visit to some neighbours, intent on blood. When he turns up at their house, they ask if he has come to watch the solar eclipse with them, at which point he immediately runs into the house and hides in a cupboard until nighttime. Another example is a story about organised crime, and how one technique for bumping people off was to lock them in a wardrobe and then suck all the air out through a straw.
I think an alternative title for this book could have been 'Complete Nonsense' and still be accurate, but a more flattering title could be 'Complete Brilliance'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one funny collection. Even if you dont like his films, this book is guaranteed to make you howl with laughter. Hilarious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon65 on 11 July 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the plus side, Woody Allen is the funniest writer alive.

So why one star? From the product description: "Comprises three classic works: Without Feathers, Getting Even , and Side Effects".

I already had Without Feathers and Getting Even, but got them so long ago they're yellowing and literally falling apart. I decided to buy the "Complete Prose" on the assumption that it meant what it said: at minimum, all the contents of both the earlier volumes, plus Side Effects, which I hadn't got. Turns out that only selected pieces from Without Feathers and Getting Even are included here. Some of his very best stuff, such as "God, A Play" in Without Feathers, is omitted. This is NOT his complete prose. I feel cheated, and resentful, which is the antithesis of how I want to feel when reading Woody's stuff.

Later edit: well, my review was pretty grumpy. I've calmed down a bit. It's a good collection, but not exactly what is described. If people are happy with this, then fair enough. I suspect that Woody (who doesn't own a computer for a start) is unaware of the situation. It's the publishers who are responsible. Incidentally, anyone curious about "God, A Play" might get a result from an online search :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. J. Wade on 6 July 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not since I first read S.J. Perelman have I come across such comic genius. Allen's ability to seduce the serious thought from the reader and then unexpectedly pull the carpet from under the feet, is a very rare gift. His facility and timing really are stunning and his ability to find the perfect comic word or expression reveals both his natural comic ear and the breadth of his erudition. Surely the James Joyce of comic writing. Hilarious and exhilarating. Easily worth five stars or more. Barmy brilliant bathos.
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