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The Complete Prose

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  3,260 ratings  ·  217 reviews
Brings together three hilarious pieces by America's comic genius: Without Feathers, a secret journal that addresses life's "big" questions; Getting Even, Woody as psychologist, historian, and philosopher; and Side Effects, Woody's take on UFOs and more.
Hardcover, 473 pages
Published March 29th 1992 by Random House (first published 1989)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,260 ratings  ·  217 reviews

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Maria Espadinha
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly Unsurprisingly

Woody Allen's prolific imagination is always surprising us with the most absurd surreal kind of thoughts!

However, since craziness means businness to him, we'll easily picture him signing every ludicrous, lunatic thought on Earth. Hence, he's also unsurprising ;)
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, favorites
Αρχικά, έχω να δηλώσω ότι είμαι μεγάλη φαν του Woody. Τόσο που ξαναβλέπω κάποιες από τις παλιές του ταινίες.
Σχετικά με το βιβλίο, τώρα, μπορώ να πω ότι είναι ό,τι πιο αστείο έχω διαβάσει. Αλλά αυτό είναι σχετικό, μιας και είτε λατρεύεις τον Woody είτε τον μισείς, γιατί δεν καταλαβαίνεις το χιούμορ του. Σχεδόν κάθε σειρά του και προκαλεί γέλιο. H συλλογή Without Feathers είναι η πιο αστεία κλέβοντας τη δόξα από τις συλλογές Getting Even και Side Effects που ακολουθούν.
Στις ιστορίες του γίνονται α
Maria Espadinha
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surpreendente sem Surpreender

Woody Allen é um autor que sempre surpreende sem surpreender!

Surpreende porque a sua imaginação fértil é uma fábrica de permanentes e deliciosas loucuras.

Sem surpreender porque dele tudo é expectável!
Luís C.
Woody Allen practices humor version prolo - but apparently only. So try out his jokes at kebab Victor Hugo at the time of ralouf and white sauce. Not sure we will understand the subtle allusions to Schopenhauer, Marlowe or Shaw. He is not a prolo who wants and Woodywood may have regretted not having this rope his bow. Already, one felt without his films that he had never really known the dirt of poor neighborhoods, garbage dumps and depressed workers.

It's not a reason for him to want it. Pride
Jul 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is worth it if just for "The Whores of Mensa" . . .
George Georgiadis
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hamburger
Η ανάγνωση των γραπτών του Woody Allen προκαλεί τα ίδια συναισθήματα/σκέψεις/προβληματισμούς με αυτά που προκαλεί και η παρακολούθηση των ταινιών του. Δίκαιο.
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
MJ Nicholls
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Parniyan Araghi
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
ترجمه ي افتضاح! افتضاح برا يك لحظشه جدا! همه ي نكته ها ي لطيف و ظريف كاري هاي متن بدون هيچ توضيحي و صرفا به نوشتن كلمه با حروف انگليسي در پاورقي بسنده كرده بود جناب مترجم!! بيش از ١٠٠ پاورقي بدون هيچ حاصلي! كل طنز متن از بين رفته بود

لازمه برا درك متن بدوني استراوينسكي كيه! درايزر كيه! ماردي گرا چيه؟ و هزاران مورد ديگر كه از اونجا كه حين خوندن كتاب دسترسي به نت نداشتم نميتونستم سرچ كنم
Leo Robertson
Individually these books are 4*- together they are 3*!

Humour is a hugely important thing in literature because the most laughable thing is a book without a sliver of relief. A book that is all relief, on the other hand, doesn't seem like what literature is for. And from Woody Allen, whose films are filled with insight and tense interactions, that his stories contain not a smidgen is triply disappointing. I was hoping for shorter collections of scenes that resembled his screenplays adapted into s
Sep 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This a collection of short stories, many dealing with issues and subject matter that Allen's films deal with - sex, fidelity, existence, art, music, etc. What struck me most was the inconsistency of the quality of his stories. I'm giving this book three stars, but if I could rate each story, there would be several five stars and several one star stories.

Some were extremely creative and delightful to read. You felt like these stories could have been expanded into full length films. The sci-fi st
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, non-fiction, humor
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
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
“Could Hitler beat Churchill to sideburns? Himmler said Churchill had a head start and that it might be impossible to catch him. Goring, the vacuous optimist, said the Fuhrer could probably grow sideburns quicker, particularly if we marshalled all of Germany’s might in a concentrated effort. Von Rundstedt, at a meeting of the General Staff, said it was a mistake to try to grow sideburns on two fronts at once and advised that it would be wiser to concentrate all efforts on one good sideburn. Hitl ...more
Mirela Vasile (Dinny)
Am citit-o prin 2010, dar azi mi-am adus aminte de ea. E o colectie de proza scurta in stilul specific autorului, deci e limpede: cui ii place genul si omul o sa i se para adorabila si o sa rada cu lacrimi (ca mine), cui :D
A aparut la Humanitas in colectia "rasul lumii" sub titlul: "Apararea invoca nebunia". Cred ca reprezinta doza necesara de optimism si un strop de inconstienta ca sa incepi un nou an si, vorba autorului, te poate apara de efectele "constentizarii excesive a vietii".
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
به نقل از مقدمهی کتاب:
" دفاع از دیوانگی که در سال 2007 منتشر شده، مجموعهای از مقالههای طنز وودی آلن از سه کتاب « بیحساب » « بیبال و پر » و « عوارض جانبی » است. "

اعتراف میکنم از شنیدن خبر انتشار کتاب تازهای از وودی الن به حدی ذوقزده بودم که حتی نگاهی به فهرست یا مقدمه نینداختم و در نتیجه یک مجموعهی تماما تکراری روی دستم ماند. باشد که عبرت بگیریم!
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun, classics
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.
May 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I gave this book 2 stars is because while it was immensely terrible and probably one of the worst books I've ever read (only bested by "Wild Animus: A Novel"), it at least went quickly and I didn't have to suffer through it like the time I contracted pneumonia. The only redeemable short story in this endless barrage of menial shite was 'The Whores of Mensa' which at least conveyed a slight sense of originality while all others could only be compared to the classlessness of a Fami ...more
Povídkové soubory se vždy hodnotí obtížně. Obhajoba šílencova jsou dokonce tři povídkové knihy (Bez peří, Vedlejší účinky a Vyřídit si účty) a některé povídky (např. Drákula, Děvka z Mensy, Kdyby byli impresionisté dentisty) jsou vynikající (hlína) a stojí to za to jenom kvůli nim, na druhou stranu ve velkém množství najednou přestává být Allen vtipný a už je jen absurdní...
Selva Subramanian
I reluctantly add this to my 'read' list coz I didn't complete it for one thing and whatever I managed to read went over me. There was little that I enjoyed. It could be about timing and maturity too. I hadn't seen much of woody Allen movies when I bought this book. I just knew him as a famous director who made eccentric comedies. I was a big fan of his quotes. Now I have seen plenty of Woody Allen and I am kind of a reluctant fan coz his movies of late aren't that good and IMO he has made enoug ...more
Jul 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found it impossible to read large sections of this at a time because Woody Allen's prose is unrelentingly absurdist. There is no narrative of any kind in any of the stories (except the "Kugelmass Affair", which is one of the more enjoyable stories in the book, about a middle aged prof who has an affair with Madam Bovary with the help of a magician), and the emphasis is on unexpected turns of phrase. So you have to pay close attention to the language to get anything out of this.

A lot of the ma
Angie Rhodes
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Woody Allen has been classed as a comic genius , and after reading his Complete Prose, I can see why.
Woody's candid outlook on life, is funny , dry and truthful. Some of his writing had me laughing out loud, while others, had me giggling, The wonderful think, about this book, ? is that he sees the funny side , to almost anything.
Years ago, Mike a friend I worked with, was always quoting Woody. if I was feeling a little under the weather, he used to say something in a Woody Allen voice, and I
Aravind Vivekanandan
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It might sound impossible for a writer to insert a joke in every sentence that he writes and not feel redundant. Well that's not the case with Allen. He goes after his favorite targets- Freud , Sartre , Kafka and all the other poster boys of the intellectual world poking fun at everyone and everything. The only reason why Allen Is not mentioned among the greatest writers of the 20 th century is our disbelief and envy of the fact that one person can be pure genius in two entirely different medium ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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:
Collection of separate essays on different themes by the sometimes funny Woody Allen. I'm not saying I didn't ever laugh at his jokes but most of them were just too abstract for me. I did however enjoy the ones on Hitler and in general the ones treating high or low society habits.

In a way, good public transport literature. Easy to read and keeps you entertained.
Ashok Ramaraj
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully funny,laugh out loud comic pieces. Some of his trademark philosophies and his satirical take on God,Christianity,the concepts of love,sex,soul and religion. Some interesting ideas as well(a character loses himself among the pages of a book he reads, a man having an affair in want of intellectual argument, game between death and its victim in the style of bergman.)
May 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
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.
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked 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.
Jun 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Truthfully I've been working on this book for a couple years and am not exactly done with it. I am a Woody Allen fan and I like his whole "thing" but it still is something which in prose form, I can only take piecemeal.
Sep 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
The complete prose of my husband, Woody Allen.
Without Feathers
--Selections from the Allen Notebooks
--Examining Psychic Phenomena
--A Guide to Some of the Lesser Ballets
--The Scrolls
--Lovborg's Women Considered
--The Whore of Mensa
--The Early Essays
--A Brief, Yet Helpful, Guide to Civil Disobedience
--Match Wits with Inspector Ford
--The Irish Genius
--Fabulous Tales and Mythical Beasts
--But Soft ... Real Soft
--If the Impressionists Had Been Dentists
--No Kaddish for Weinstein
--Fine Times: An Oral Memoir
--Slang Origins

Getting Even
--The Metterling
Adarsh Chauhan
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Woody Allen is a witty guy, I give him that. Here is a vast collection of all the comical prose that he has composed, quite many of which will leave you chuckle. A majority of them are essentially 'pseudo-intellectual' in nature - critiques, reviews, recollections and memoirs of incidents/places/works of art/literature, along with fictional pieces which are parodies of your classic detective, adventure and mystery fictions. He frequently works by creating a train of thought, repeatedly derailing ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glasgow, owned-books
This collection comprises three works: Without Feathers, Getting Even and Side Effects. After working my way through the mixed bag that was Without Feathers, I enjoyed this collection immensely. The pieces are short and readable, and so ridiculously witty it's unbearable. Without Feathers had quite a few cringe moments (as opposed to genuine admiration of Allen's writing style and wit) but you can really follow Allen's progression in maturity as a writer after that. I was laughing out loud by th ...more
Steven Gutierrez
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Original collection of short stories. Quirky and confusing.

A lot is off-putting because the formula of replacing something normal with something odd (such as ‘he sat for breakfast at 6pm and ate a chainsaw) was used too often to be funny. The film ‘Zelig’ (1983) used this formula perfectly (in other words: not too much!)

There are a few brilliant stories amongst the silly writing. My favourites, in this order:

1. 'Retribution' (Side Effects), daughter and mother in law love tales with an unexpecte
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
If you don’t love this collection then you really have to ask yourself if you like to laugh. I grew up with these books and I can’t think of a more influential comic in my lifetime than Woody Allen. No one has even come close to his originality and wit. Jerry Seinfeld is a hack in comparison and I don’t care that he has become a billionaire. I saw Seinfeld mock comedy writers, his contention that only stand-up really matters which is something you would expect from a guy who can’t write.

If you
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Labai labai puiki - charizmatiška, ironiška ir su daug taiklių įžvalgų apie šių dienų visuomenę!
Richard Coady
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Quite simply one of the funniest books I've ever read.
Jan 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
did not succeed
Pat Pettite
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
funniest book ever
Jake Jones
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
No, this is not "Confessions of a Statutory Mind", as a lot of other pedophiles avoiding the spotlight and/or wanting representation in the public were hoping for. Allen Konigsberg, in fact, is a man I very much respect for his intellect and wonderful movies, despite all the controversy. And if you like his jaw-clicking, retracted-dicked, shrimp-eyed fantasy style, then you should have a ball with this compilation of his three literary collections.

I believe this was recently published under the
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Tom Steele
Okay, a lot of the reviews below are absolutely correct. This book is very hit-and-miss and Mr.Allen makes way too many references to various thinkers, artists and cultural icons throughout the book (particularly Igor Stravinsky, who must have been mentioned in 10+ stories/essays). As you might imagine this makes this a really difficult collection to read simply for the wide breadth of knowledge you need to have just to understand a simple one-liner.

I am a bit biased towards a lot of these ref
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times Woody's writing is hilarious, but I found it is best consumed in small amounts. This is a collection of individual pieces written over the years. I'm sure these pieces were highly effective when they were first published in magazines (mostly the New Yorker), but when taken as a whole they become a little repetitive. The humor is a blend of Woody's well known neurotic rants, a good dose of Jewish self deprecation, and at times complete absurdity. I was often reminded of Groucho Marx and ...more
Tom M
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only other Allen book I've read was Mere Anarchy and I enjoyed this collection of three books much more than that.

My criticism is one that relates to that of a Dave Barry book I reviewed prior to this book. Allen's mix of dryness and absurdity is almost like a graduate version of Barry. What I mean is that Insanity Defense is a collection of funny stories, but all of them have the same dry/absurd/surreal humor quality that, if you read the book in one sitting like I did, tend to stop being f
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Heywood "Woody" Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg) 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 majori ...more
“Is Knowledge knowable? If not, how do we know?” 24 likes
“No, thanks. I already own a penguin.” 7 likes
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