I enjoyed this more than his movies

January 9, 2009
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Mere Anarchy, by Woody Allen (Random House, RRP $34.99):

Woody Allen is many things: playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, father, husband and — at least once — dodgy photographer. However, beyond all that, he’s also pretty funny.

I’ve actually found I enjoy his writing much more than his movies: the humour is more rounded and gentle but when it delivers, it has a sharp edge.

This is the first new humour collection from Allen for 25 years and it has been worth the wait.
In a bundle of 18 comic pieces — some of which have been reprinted from the New Yorker but nine of them have never been printed before — he offers up an intelligent, surreal and pleasantly satirical read.

I get the American sense of humour most of the time and can see the appeal in some of his on-screen stuff. However, I’ve never really found his movie work as flat-out funny as most New Yorkers and wannabe movie- buffs seem to.

Mere Anarchy, on the other hand, I loved. I sniggered my way through it, from the body double who gets kidnapped, and the pretentious novelist working on an adaptation of some low-brow comedy, to conmen selling custom-designed prayers and a nanny secretly writing a daring expose of her Manhattan employers.

At times I even snorted.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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