The Millions: Side Effects by Woody Allen

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New and Old from Woody Allen C. Max Magee |

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Here at The Millions we've praised Woody Allen's writing over the years - Andrew discussed Without Feathers in 2005 and I did the same a year later. For fans like us, it's been a good month.While Allen's movies have been coming along unabated for Related Books:

decades, there's been less on offer for fans of Allen's writing. But this month, for the first time in 25 years, Allen has a new humor collection out. Mere Anarchy collects many of Allen's recent New Yorker pieces as well as some new material.

REVIEWS

Supplementing that slim volume is The Insanity Defense, which puts Allen's three

Without Feathers by Woody Allen: An earlier collections under one cover - Without Feathers is joined by Getting Even and Side Effects. Both new books are must haves for Allen fans. Appreciation C. Max Magee |

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When was the last time you read something from the humor section? It's probably been a while. If memory serves, that particular bookstore ghetto is filled with quickly dated political humor, books of redneck jokes, and similar diversions: Books some people might buy as gifts for non-readers, but never for themselves. Others wisely steer clear of the section altogether. As such, it's possible that people have gone through their reading lives without happening upon a book like Woody Allen's

ESSAYS

Without Feathers.Though Woody Allen, of course, remains a household name

Books to Laugh with because of his films, readers of my generation may not be aware that he is an equally accomplished humorist and his work was collected in a trio of books in the 1970s. Andrew Saikali Without Feathers was published in 1972, but 34 years later it remains hilarious.The In 2001, the New Yorker treated faithful readers to Fierce Pajamas, a comprehensive book contains an assortment of sketches, often take-offs of scholarly writings, like survey of humor culled from the 75-year history of the magazine. When I heard "Early Essays" which references Francis Bacon's Essays, in which Allen observes that about this, my well-honed cat-like reflexes snapped into action and, three years later, "The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there is no afterlife - a I bought the book. These short pieces, known as "casuals," include parodies, depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave." Allen also absurdities and flights of fancy. They showcase the wit of some of the giants in returns again and again to words and phrases that he finds funny for whatever reason, American humor - from E.B. White, through S.J. Perelman and George S. Kaufman, like "chives," "herring," "smelts," and having a hat "blocked." The book also on up to Steve Martin. And along the way, two of my favorites - Woody Allen and includes a pair of manic, absurd plays, "Death" and "God."It's hard for me to

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James Thurber.As is often the case with anthologies, I wind up seeking out more SURPRISE ME! describe how funny this book was except to say that it may be one of the funniest complete works from specific writers. In this instance I was led back to my own books I have ever read. I kept Mrs. Millions awake because I kept guffawing as I

Q R S T U V W X Y Z bookshelves, to the dusty 'A' section in the top-left corner of my wall, for my small read it. Instead of taking my word for it, though, here's a particularly funny tidbit

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