Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Getting EvenGetting Even by Woody Allen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Woody Allen's "Side Effects" is one of the funniest books I have ever read (I review it here and, of course, I rate it with five stars) Then I read "Without Feathers", expecting a repeat and getting rather a major disappointment (two and half stars, rounded up, my review is here ). Now I have just finished Woody Allen's "Getting Even", which is even weaker. It contains 17 very short stories (the total of 110 pages), of which I find only three really funny.

In one story, a sexy woman comes to Mr. Lupowitz, a private detective, and hires him to find out whether God exists. These are some of the most hilarious nine pages one can read anywhere. Another great piece, titled "A Twenties Memory", is about the author's friendship and adventures with famous people of 1920s: Hemingway, Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Matisse, Alice Toklas, Igor Stravinsky, Salvador Dali, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and others. Not to spoil it for the potential readers, I will not quote the funniest part. The third really funny piece is "Spring Bulletin", which spoofs a brochure that advertises continuing-education courses in an adult school.

I would not have believed it before I had picked the book that I would find nine out of the 17 stories totally, and I mean totally unfunny to me. Of course, Woody Allen is a master in writing funny sentences. Alas, funny sentences do not automatically make funny stories. Let's have some funny sentences to encourage you to pick the book, despite my grumbling:

"I had completed the philosophical work that I am hoping will not be uncovered until my death, or until the year 3000 (whichever comes first)."
"Students particularly interested in these aspects of psychology are advised to take one of these Winter Term courses: Introduction to Hostility; Intermediate Hostility; Advanced Hatred; Theoretical Aspects of Loathing."
"For instance, the Rabbi likes to sleep on his stomach. The disciple also likes to sleep on the Rabbi's stomach."
"For if there is God, then tell me, Uncle, why is there poverty and baldness?"

Two stars.

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