In all honesty, I don’t know that much about Woody Allen other than some people find him funny. I love a funny book and so picked this up as an antidote to the excellent but sad book I was reading at the time. While I did find this book amusing, in a wry smile kind of way, it was also hard work. Allen’s writing is pretty laboured, full of long convoluted sentences that are very clever but in a ‘look at me I’m writing something wonderfully clever and wildly amusing’ style. I prefer the understated sort of humour that sneaks up on you and makes you laugh out loud. Thank goodness this is a short story collection because I could only muster the required energy to wade through it in short stints. The stories were interesting, neat little jibes at the weird world we live in – often based on short news clippings. And they were really quite clever, I just wish they didn’t have to make such a laborious display of it.
From: the Barnes & Noble on East 17th St opposite Union Square Gardens in NYC, which I found by accident and then accidentally left with about 7 other books. There’s a place called the Pavilion just opposite which will serve you cocktails at about ten past 12 without any judgement and leave you in peace to start tackling the mountain of books or watching the world go by.
Felt: it was appreciably funny and the right kind of ludicrous. While the stories were interesting, the writing style was far to fussy for me and had to be managed in short spurts.
Would recommend: hesitantly. I felt like the book wanted me to like it quite a lot more than I actually did.
3 thoughts on “Mere Anarchy – Woody Allen”
Interesting. I love Woody Allen’s movies but have never read his fiction. Though, the way you describe his jokes is pretty spot on for the jokes / style of his movies too. I wonder if I would like it as much in print though. Most of the reason I find his unnecessarily-pedantic / academic dialog so charming is because he’s such a nerd and so awkward. That wouldn’t come through in his books so I don’t know that they’d have the same effect on me.
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Oh that makes a lot of sense – and has encouraged me to dig out some of his films to watch too! do you have a favourite? or one you’d recommend?
Annie Hall is my all-time favorite movie!
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