Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen

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“I am greatly relieved that the universe is finally explainable. I was beginning to think it was me.”–Woody Allen

Here, in his first collection since his three hilarious classics Getting Even, Without Feathers, and Side Effects, Woody Allen has managed to write a book that not only answers the most profound questions of human existence but is the perfect size to place under any short table leg to prevent wobbling.

“I awoke Friday, and because the universe is expanding it took me longer than usual to find my robe,” he explains in a piece on physics called “Strung Out.” In other flights of inspirational sanity we are introduced to a cast of characters only Allen could imagine: Jasper Nutmeat, Flanders Mealworm, and the independent film mogul E. Coli Biggs, just to name a few. Whether he is writing about art, sex, food, or crime (“Pugh has been a policeman as far back as he can remember. His father was a notorious bank robber, and the only way Pugh could get to spend time with him was to apprehend him”) he is explosively funny.

In “This Nib for Hire,” a Hollywood bigwig comes across an author’s book in a little country store and describes it in a way that aptly captures this magnificent volume: “Actually,” the producer says, “I’d never seen a book remaindered in the kindling section before.”

From the Hardcover edition.

About Woody Allen

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Woody Allen's prolific career as a comic, writer, and filmmaker has now spanned more than five decades. He writes frequently for The New Yorker and is the author of Without Feathers, Getting Even, and Side Effects, among other books.From the Hardcover edition.
Published June 12, 2007 by Random House. 178 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mere Anarchy

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Jun 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Mere Anarchy

The Guardian

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Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen Ebury Press £12.99, pp163 As a film-maker, Woody Allen just about hangs on to his status as the arch-comic spirit of his age, despite a welter of poor films.

Jul 22 2007 | Read Full Review of Mere Anarchy

Publishers Weekly

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when, in a piece making fun of the New York Times science page, ""Strung Out,"" Allen notes that ""to a man standing on the shore, time passes quicker than to a man on a boat - especially if the man on the boat is with his wife""-we groan.

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AV Club

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When Allen alternates this sort of high-flown vocabulary-quiz nonsense with Mad magazine-worthy character names (Moe Bottomfeeder, Hal Roachpaste, Flanders Mealworm) and sudden reversals into lowbrow slang, the abrupt effect is like a slapstick collision with a brick wall: funny, but still sort o...

Jul 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Mere Anarchy

Entertainment Weekly

In Mere Anarchy, his first humor compendium in 27 years, Woody Allen still loves to mix highbrow touches (a theater producer develops a musical based on the life of Alma Mahler) with absurdist shtick (''I must go.

Jun 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Mere Anarchy

USA Today

Fans of Woody Allen's movies may remember his 1984 comedy Broadway Danny Rose and the scenes at the Carnegie Deli, where the pastrami sandwiches are as thick as the New York accents and attitudes.The Carnegie has a lot in common with Mere Anarchy, Allen's first collection of stories in 25 years.

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As a filmmaker he knows it's all in the angle of the camera, which, for him, is usually subjective: Everyslob going down for the third time.

Aug 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Mere Anarchy


Well, what was it doing in his wallet?” It’s easy in such moments to hear the echoes of all the comic writers who have built their careers upon the light-as-air touch of Allen: Ian Frazier and Andy Borowitz, not to mention Steve Martin and the terrifically funny George Saunders.

Aug 30 2007 | Read Full Review of Mere Anarchy

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