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Complete Prose [Paperback]

Woody Allen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

6 Nov 1998

Although Woody Allen is best known for his cult movies, he is also a writer of outstanding wit and skill. Dip into this collection of fifty-two pieces for hilarity, deadpan weirdness, and some extremely 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 laugh-out-loud collection of thoughts, observations, diaries and stories from one of the most original minds and wonderfully comic voices of our time.

‘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

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Complete Prose + Without Feathers + Mere Anarchy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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 alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Allen's three outrageously funny collections in one volume
Complete Prose brings together Allen's three outrageously funny collections, Without Feathers, Getting Even and Side Effects. "No 500-page book ever contained a laugh a line, but this one gets pretty close" Daily Telegraph

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware. Don't read this on a bus ! 11 Nov 2002
By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Budget price collection of comic genius. 16 Sep 2002
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Hysterical 18 Jun 2002
By A Customer
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete Comedy 21 Jun 2003
By Touring Mars VINE VOICE
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic stuff 28 Sep 2001
By A Customer
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Jones Plays Wagner! 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very very funny 7 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Woody Allen's Complete Prose is a classic. Full of surreal observations, witty one liners and a logic that is pure Woody Allen. Just try reading "Viva Vargas" without crying with laughter. Wonderful stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I loved this book. In prose form Woody is considerably more surreal than in scripts, and if you like this type of humour, you'll love it. Myself I think it's great: it's one of the funniest books I've ever read. Some of the early pieces had me in stitches on the floor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for Use in Public
I had to stop reading this on public transport. I became too self conscious laughing as hard on my own and feared the same big men might shampoo me for it.
Published 4 days ago by D-503
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his films by a long way.
A big disappointment, hardly raised a smile. I love the films.
Published 11 days ago by Ms. Mary Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by S.TAVAKOL
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by Linda Mckay
5.0 out of 5 stars a good buy
not all that funny, half/half but enough, and I am a big fan of WA.
Published 3 months ago by Andrzej
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
One of the best books I have read in a long time. An excellent purchase I would recommend it all
Published 5 months ago by P I Westrop
3.0 out of 5 stars I Love Woody Allen!
but his writing ought not to be published.
He is clearly a person who thinks in pictures and expresses himself in films. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Bodil Marie Sørensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short stories, plenty of laughs
favourite line so far... 'money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons'. Full of laughs, which challenge the way you enjoy non-comedic texts
Published 8 months ago by Alastair Geddes
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
What to say, this thing doesn't even need a review, or does it? It's absolutely great, you will have a whale of time with it!
Published 9 months ago by Sean3791
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny or what?
You will enjoy this book if your sense of humour is slightly off the wall and you think that life is like a German joke (no laughing matter!). Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2012 by Keith Tilly
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