The Complete Prose, Paperback
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


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


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary essays
  • ISBN: 9780330328210



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

The three volumes of Woody Allen’s short comic pieces, mainly from the pages of the New Yorker. It’s a little strange that the volumes are out of order, with the first volume second and the second first. If you’re familiar with Allen’s other work the style and often absurd humour won’t surprise, and are more likely to raise a chuckle than a belly laugh. As with any anthology of work some pieces appeal more than others (for me it’s Viva Vargas! and The Kugelmass Episode) and some float by unmemorably. Only the penultimate piece in the book, Revolution, feels uncomfortable after Allen’s romantic history and recent accusations.

Review by

Funny, yes, but not uproarious. Good one-liners here and there, but the absurdist style of the humour becomes a bit formulaic after a while. Plus, in my paperback edition every piece (most of which are only five to ten pages long) is introduced by a title page, a blank verso and then a half-page drop, so there's a <em>lot</em> of white space and the volume could easily have been forty pages shorter.A highlight: "The Gossage–Vardebedian Papers", in which two academics play chess – and then Scrabble – by correspondence. But at least one of them is cheating, both are more interested in intellectual one-upmanship than enjoying a social pastime, and neither of them can admit that the game has long since become hopelessly confused.

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