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The Complete Prose

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,569 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Brings together three hilarious pieces by America's comic genius: Without Feathers, a secret journal that addresses life's "big" questions; Getting Eve n, Woody as psychologist, historian, and philospher; and Side Effects, Woody's take on UFOs and more.
Hardcover, 473 pages
Published March 29th 1991 by Wings Books (first published 1989)
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This is worth it if just for "The Whores of Mensa" . . .
I've finished this book and believe me when I say, I'm really sad that it has gotten over. However, I console my heart with the fact that this book is a keeper. I know that I can pick it up anytime and it will make me laugh. Not the loud howling kind, but a subtle philosophical kind of laugh that I will shake my head over.
Woody Allen needs no introduction, and if he needs one for the uninitiated, well I recommend them to get familiar with his movies first and then go for the book. Because the wa
Sep 19, 2012 Anne-Marie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Anne-Marie by: mommy :)
UPDATE: Okay, I just had to edit this review and add some amazing quotes. So yeah. Here are some of the best lines, although nearly every page was laugh-out-loud funny so it's hard to choose which are the "best" quotes.

This is from the Whore of Mensa. It is about "intellectual" prostitutes - men pay to discuss great works of literature with women:
"It wasn't just intellectual experiences - they were peddling emotional ones, too. For fifty bucks, I learned, you could 'relate without getting close.
MJ Nicholls
Without Feathers is the funniest of this trilogy, with Getting Even a close second. The other selection was great too, and I maybe should have read this in shorter bursts rather than all at once. My sides are currently damaged beyond repair.

Allen writes stories with deeper philosophical meaning. He asks searching questions that scratch through the absurdity of life, with way more laughs than Nietzsche or Sartre.

I'm catching up with his movies too. Zelig is currently sitting in my disc drive.
Boy what a dilemma! It is something you have read in bits. Not because it’s too much or too boring but because, obviously, you need to take a couple of days off now and then just to laugh.
The humour sprouts suddenly and is mostly not empty. It is accompanied by a bit of unique insight and by the end of the book you will need to re-examine your brains to make sure, they have not been affected forever, twisted as it would be after a roller coaster ride that just does not seem to end!
Whether he is
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Short pieces of absurd pseudo-intellectualism in a typical Woody Allen style! He affirms a notion I once came across about the human condition: "loose your sense of humor, and you're in trouble"

On the book cover of Picador edition, Will Self praises the book as "an ideal bedside companion". I can't disagree.
Allen is also a prolific writer that has wit, style, and an abundance of intelligence. He expresses this in his first three collections of short stories: Without Feathers, Getting Even, and Side Effects. And in the early 1990’s this was compiled to The Complete Prose of Woody Allen.

Read more:
Back when Woody Allen was funny, no one could touch him. This book gathers together the stories he wrote for Playboy and The New Yorker. It is a riot to read. For the teachers out there, I recommend it between classes when you need a little pick me up before third period.
Feb 06, 2011 Benjamyn is currently reading it
Recommends it for: Woody Allen fans
His short stories in this collection are brilliant. I absolutely loved the short story The Whore of Mensa, I've gone back to this chapter three times so far.
So far it's a very good book, perfect if you like to pick up a book if you want a quick fix.
Vassilena Valchanova
It's a great read, and quite varied, so if you don't enjoy one story, you sure will like the next. Being a fan of Woody Allen, I liked it a lot. A word of advice: don't read more than 5 stories at once, as you can overdose and spoil the experience.
I did not finish reading this book, nor do I intend to read any other book by him or watch his films.

'Coz he is a fucking asshole. That's why.
Richard Coady
Quite simply one of the funniest books I've ever read.
Woody Allen schreef deze verhalen vrijwel allemaal voor het blad The New Yorker en daar zullen ze ook beter tot hun recht zijn gekomen dan in een boek. The Complete Prose is een bundeling van de drie boeken (Getting Even, Without Feathers en Side Effects) waarin al zijn verhalen al eerder waren gepubliceerd. Nadat ik in eerst instantie elk verhaal ging lezen maar sporadisch werd beloond met een goeie grap heb ik helaas door meerdere verhalen heen moeten bladeren. Slechts een paar verhalen zijn m ...more
Jon Arnold
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 unmemor ...more
Gerald Thomson
Woody Allen’s prose provides the perfect balance between bizarre situations and absurd outcomes. His humor writing has inspired me, and many in my generation, for years. If you are looking for light reading with existential meaning, you have found it.
Kashyap Joshi
One of the few books that induces sniggers and laughter at almost every line. It's hilarious, it's quirky, and it's so Woody Allen that at times you can hear his voice narrating it. Only he could have pulled this off.
Araventhy Nanthanan
This book is ridiculously fantastic. It's a bunch of short story-like things that mostly have no point but because Woody Allen has written them with rather hilarious poignancy, you can't help but go "Oh my god, your brain is full of magic!" after each story. I had to resort to writing random quotations from it all over my arms so that it's magic stayed with me while I did things that did not involve reading...and then subsequently rolled up my sleeves at every opportunity and go "LOOK! I have wi ...more
Yes, Will Self's blurb on this book being "an ideal bedside companion to be dipped into" probably should have given me a hint on how to read it.

Instead I approached the collection as a continuous reading and this was too quick a rollercoaster of one and five stars.

Six stars for sure to "The Kugelmass Episode". Read here an abstract (warning: big spoiler!)

And, no, I could not find it "hilarious", if this means "screamingly funny". I found it witty.
fun fun fun!!!
The book that saved me from an ill-advised haircut!

Whilst suffering from antibiotic induced depression, I suddenly decided to get my hair cut off. Thankfully on the same day I picked up this book from my library and it's weird and wonderful stories picked me up fantastically.

It's perhaps a book to pick up and put down rather to read in one sitting (as most books of short stories are) as I did, but I enjoyed it hugely.

I may not agree with Mr Allen's life choices, but I can't deny his comedic geni
Sep 01, 2009 Sofia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Woody Allen fans
This book is a collection of short stories Woody Allen wrote for several magazines (mostly The New Yorker and Playboy). Some are hilarious, others are more on the nonsense side, but in all of them you see the kind of humor that made Allen famous.

If you like his movies, you will love this book. You will come out of it wondering about the meaninglessness of life and absurdity of everything, but it will be worth it.
Nguyen Santiago
Apart from the four or five stories that are constructed along a bit more of a narrative framework, this is in incredibly irritating collection. The endless surrealist non-sequitors grate very quickly, and about the most to be said is that we at least learn through frequent repetition what the Woody of the time evidently thought was the funniest profession (hat-blocker) and the funniest name (Quincy).
Ted Cross
I like Woody's movies so much that it amazes me how little I liked his writing. Even trying to picture Woody saying the lines from the text didn't work. It was just silly or downright stupid, and I couldn't get through it. It feels as if he is just trying to come up with the most absurd references as if just saying silly things will make something funny. I'll have to stick with his movies.
Woody's definitely a wit, but he rarely knows how to end a story effectively. Of the three volumes compiled in this book, "Without Feathers" is the best. His many parodies lose their way in the later half of the book, though it does contain the wonderful short story, "Retribution", which uncoventionally crystallises his eccentricity into solid fiction.
Otávio Augusto
Bought this book solely because I wanted to read The Whore of Mensa.
A big book. Don't think it had much to offer.
Of course, I should not forget to mention the Gossage-Vardebendian Papers, which I already knew.

The fact is: it took me quite a while to read this book simply because it did not inspire me to read on and on.

Daphne Bennett
best bedside table book
I laugh every time I read this book. Absolutely brilliant! "Without Feathers" is by far my favorite part and I honestly believe that everyone should be required to read this book at least twice.

If I could date Annie Hall and read this book twice a year, I'd be in heaven.
Endre Bakken Stovner
Allen's movies are mostly turkeys, but a few are brilliant. The dud to stroke-of-genius ratio is inverted in his short story collections.

His parodies of famous artists like Dostoyevsky, Ibsen and Bergman are pitch perfect, surreal and very, very funny.
I bow to no one in my admiration of Woody Allen's films, but this wasn't as funny as I thought it would be. The cover blurb talks about laugh-a-line and I see other reviewers found it side-splitting - it only made me smile and then all too rarely. Sorry!
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Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Königsberg) is a three-time Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, actor, jazz musician, comedian and playwright. His large body of work and cerebral film style, mixing satire, wit and humor, have made him one of the most respected and prolific filmmakers in the modern era. Allen writes and directs his movies and has also acted in the majority of them ...more
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Without Feathers Side Effects Getting Even Mere Anarchy مرگ در می‌زند

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