The first new collection from Allen in 25 years features 18 inimitable pieces, ten of which were originally published in The New Yorker. These pieces are classic Woody Allen--sharp, funny, witty, intelligent, and irresistible.
To err is human, to float, divine
Sam, you made the pants too fragrant
This nib for hire
Calisthenics, poison ivy, final cut
How deadly your taste buds, my sweet
Glory hallelujah, sold!
Caution, falling moguls
Sing, you Sacher Tortes
On a bad day, you can see forever
Attention geniuses: cash only
Above the law, below the box springs
Thus ate Zarathustra
Surprise rocks Disney trial
"It's been 25 years since Woody Allen's last humor collection, and for lovers of the New Yorker "casual" (a blend of goofy personal essay and literary parody), that's far too long. Most of these pieces appeared originally in the New Yorker , but there are a handful of originals as well, all of which will please those determined souls who like their humor distinctly old school ("On a Bad Day You Can See Forever," a rant about the horrors of rehabbing a condo, begins with the narrator reading Dante and wondering why there is no circle in hell for contractors). The topsy-turvy literary allusions pour from Allen's pen like bullets from a Gatling gun (an appropriately obscure simile), exposing the intellectual pretensions of a ragtag assortment of Allenesque everymen--endearingly unkempt nebbishes who, despite knowing their Dostoevsky, can't quite deal with the absurdities of daily life. Take Flanders Mealworm, the unfairly unheralded author of The Hockfleisch Chronicles, who, desperate for cash, agrees to write a novelization of a Three Stooges movie: "Calmly and for no apparent reason, the dark-haired man took the nose of the bald man in his right hand and slowly twisted it in a long, counterclockwise circle." If Larry, Moe, and Curly Joe weren't exactly what Yeats had in mind when he used the phrase "mere anarchy" in "The Second Coming," they should have been. --Bill Ott Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"This collection of 18 sketches, 10 of which appeared in the New Yorker, is Allen's first in 25 years. The animating comedy is part S.J. Perelman and part borscht belt: Allen piles the ludicrous on top of the ridiculous and tops it with an acidic lemon squeeze, and then just keeps the jokes coming. So when the babysitter in "Nanny Dearest" describes her boss--"Bidnick gorges himself on Viagra, but the dosage makes him hallucinate and causes him to imagine he is Pliny the Elder"--we laugh; when, in a piece making fun of the New York Times science page, "Strung Out," Allen notes that "to a man standing on the shore, time passes quicker than to a man on a boat--especially if the man on the boat is with his wife"--we groan. Sometimes the simplest pieces work best: man goes to New Age retreat and learns to levitate, but not to get back down. While this collection doesn't quite measure up to Allen's Without Feathers (1975), there are pieces here--for instance, the report on Mickey Mouse's testimony at the Michael Eisner/Michael Ovitz trial--that will put a rictus on your kisser. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| New York :Random House,2007
160 pages ; 22 cm