Friday, January 2, 2015

Without FeathersWithout Feathers by Woody Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have recently read and reviewed here "Side Effects" by Woody Allen - perhaps the funniest book I have read in my entire life. Allen's "Without Feathers" is also very funny, but it is far from the greatness of his other work. The humor feels belabored. Let me quote: "On March 16, 1882, Mr. J.C. Dubbs awoke in the middle of the night and saw his brother Amos who had been dead for fourteen years, sitting at the foot of his bed flicking chickens. Dubbs asked his brother what he was doing there, and his brother said not to worry, he was dead and was only in town for the weekend. Dubbs asked his brother what it was like in "the other world", and his brother said it was not unlike Cleveland. He said he had returned to give Dubbs a message, which was that a dark-blue suit and Argyle socks are a big mistake."

Coming from a less talented writer than Woody Allen this would be hilarious, yet coming from Allen it is humor of inferior quality. There are two long plays in the collection, "Death (A Play)" and "God (A Play)", which I had trouble with following, despite some hilarious passages. The best pieces are two short stories, "The Whore of Mensa" and really funny "If the Impressionists Had Been Dentists".

If the author were some unknown, just beginning his or her career, I would assign three and a half of maybe even four stars. For Woody Allen, though, the rating is just

Two and a half stars.

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