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Getting Even by Woody Allen
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Getting Even (original 1971; edition 1978)

by Woody Allen

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1,08687,665 (3.83)5
Member:giovannuccia
Title:Getting Even
Authors:Woody Allen
Info:Vintage (1978), Edizione: Vintage Books ed, Mass Market Paperback, 128 pagine
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:inEN, inIT, awesome

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Getting Even by Woody Allen (1971)

1970s (42)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Fun stuff - and a quick read. I especially enjoyed the card game with the grim reaper as well as the long distance chess match. Some parts fall a bit flat but on the whole this is highly humorous and entertaining. ( )
  JohnCouke | Jan 16, 2014 |
My favorite: "Death Knocks" ( )
  tgraettinger | Dec 1, 2012 |
A few years ago, I found a copy of Woody Allen's "Getting Even" at a used bookstore, and thought it would be something funny to read. After all, the movies "The Purple Rose of Cairo", "Zelig", "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask)", and many others are considered classic movie comedies. His forays into short stories would be just as much fun.

You'd think that, wouldn't you?

I know that I'm not very good at telling a joke, but the ideas and the telling of these tales quite often fell flat. A study of someone's laundry lists? The memoirs of Hitler's barber? A class schedule for adult education classes? Most came across as a rambling series of sentences that threw ideas onto the page hoping to make something worthwhile and funny. For example, taken from the story "A Little Louder, Please":

"Also, laddies, as one whose spate of insights first placed Godot in proper perspective for the many confused playgoers who milled sluggishly in the lobby during intermission, miffed at ponying up scalper's money for argle-bargle bereft of one up-tune or a single spangled bimbo, I would have to say my rapport with the seven livelies is pretty solid. Add to this the fact that eight radios conducted simultaneously at Town Hall killed me, and that I still occasionally sit in with my own Philco, after hours, in a Harlem basement where we blow some late weather and news, and where once a laconic field hand named Jess, who had never studied in his life, played the closing Dow-Jones averages with great feeling."

I re-read that (and the entire paragraph containing it) two or three more times, without understanding what it had to do with the story. And not really getting story, either. Most felt like that to me, that no matter how many times I may read them, they left me scratching my head. And I wasn't sure if Allen were trying too hard to be funny or not trying at all.

There were a few tales in the book, however, that made this one to skim through: "Death Knocks", a one-act concerning a game of gin between Death and his next victim; "Count Dracula", a clever tale about Dracula during an eclipse; and possibly the best of the collection, "The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers", a series of scathing chess-by-mail letters between two players.

If you're a Woody Allen fan, you may enjoy this selection of tales. As for me, not so much. ( )
  ocgreg34 | Mar 31, 2010 |
Having thoroughly enjoyed his two other collections, Getting Even disappointed me. Some of the pieces have funny, even hilarious, bits in them, but this is written at a time when Woody Allen derived his humor mostly from intellectual life, and a lot of the humor just isn't funny anymore - if it ever was. Too bad. ( )
  petterw | Oct 8, 2009 |
Getting Even: If your a fan of Allen's work than you'll enjoy this book. Otherwise you may not like it. If you're not familiar with his work than I highly recommend his prose for their witty, bizzare, and humorus content.

In, "The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers," you'll find humor in the trials and tribulations of chess, via letter writing.

In, "Mr. Big," I question if the beautiful existentialist really killed God. Yeah, she probably did. (GOD that's too bad.)

awkward, funny, weird, smart, read...
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woody Allenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berberian, CathyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Episcopi, AlbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Venal & Sons has at last published the long-awaited first volume of Metterling's laundry lists (The Collected Laundry Lists of Hans Metterling, Vol. I, 437 pp., plus XXXII-page introduction; indexed; $18.75), with an erudite commentary by the noted Metterling scholar Gunther Eisenbud.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394726405, Mass Market Paperback)

After three decades of prodigious film work (and some unfortunate tabloid adventures as well), it's easy to forget that Woody Allen began his career as one heck of a great comedy writer. Getting Even, a collection of his late '60s magazine pieces, offers a look into Allen's bag of shtick, back when it was new. From the supposed memoirs of Hitler's barber: "Then, in January of 1945, a plot by several generals to shave Hitler's moustache in his sleep failed when von Stauffenberg, in the darkness of Hitler's bedroom, shaved off one of the Führer's eyebrows instead..."

Even though the idea of writing jokes about old Adolf--or addled rabbis, or Maatjes herring--isn't nearly as fresh as it used to be, Getting Even still delivers plenty of laughs. At his best, Woody can achieve a level of transcendent craziness that no other writer can match. If you're looking for a book to dip into at random, or a gift for someone who's seen Sleeper 13 times, Getting Even is a dead lock.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:56 -0400)

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