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Publisher's Summary

The long-awaited, enormously entertaining memoir by one of the great artists of our time.

In this candid and often hilarious memoir, the celebrated director, comedian, writer, and actor offers a comprehensive, personal look at his tumultuous life. Beginning with his Brooklyn childhood and his stint as a writer for the Sid Caesar variety show in the early days of television, working alongside comedy greats, Allen tells of his difficult early days doing standup before he achieved recognition and success. With his unique storytelling pizzazz, he recounts his departure into moviemaking, with such slapstick comedies as Take the Money and Run, and revisits his entire 60-year-long and enormously productive career as a writer and director, from his classics Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Hannah and Her Sisters to his most recent films, including Midnight in Paris. Along the way, he discusses his marriages, his romances, and his famous friendships, his jazz playing, and his books and plays. We learn about his demons, his mistakes, his successes, and those he loved, worked with, and learned from in equal measure.

This is a hugely entertaining, deeply honest, rich and brilliant self-portrait of a celebrated artist who is ranked among the greatest filmmakers of our time.

©2020 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. (P)2020 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

What listeners say about Apropos of Nothing

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  • Ronald R. Kubiak
  • 19-04-20

Totally Woody

I just love this book and his performance. It is great to hear his voice. This book is a history of his films of his life and of entertainment. It’s unfortunate that he’s gotten so much bad press. He is an American treasure.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Doggy Bird
  • 28-04-20

Excellent Performance

I really like Woody Allen. I like his movies, his books, his performances and I love hearing him read this book. I will not say like others do that I find his side of the story convincing and it's up to you to decide. I don't think truth is a choice. I believe him and I don't believe her. I doubt that people who believe her are going to buy and enjoy this book so I assume you must at least be interested in his side of the story to want to know about the book. He does a great job of reading it as he does narrating some of his movies and he has always to me had a funny literary voice. I started reading his stories in the New Yorker many years ago and I still see that brilliant humor in his writing all these years later. I am sorry for all of us that don't get to see the movies he was making when the second evolution of this twisted sort of "AFFAIRE DREYFUS" broke and that we will never see the movies that Amazon cancelled. I am sorrier for the children whose lives were deeply twisted by the evilness of Farrow's spite. I was deeply sorry to hear that Allen's publishers caved into Mia Farrow and Ronan Farrow's ongoing war against Woody Allen. The scandal is that they continue to bully their way into the news with a travesty in which neither Woody Allen's actual wife of maybe 25 years is treated as an 'irrelevant woman' while Mia - whose anger at being spurned knows no bounds of decency - continues to poison her remaining 'children' while two of her 'adopted' children have stories of their own continually ignored for the sensationalism of the one child whose claims have been twice investigated and twice dismissed. What's wrong with this picture?

Anyway - so pleased that Woody Allen narrated the book himself and so pleased it was published after all. Highly recommended - it made staying at home and riding my bike instead of walking out in nature like a normal person a good deal more enjoyable than otherwise possible and now I don't know what to read next. It was unique.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-04-20

I did not want it to end

Love this book. Woody Allen telling his own story was a treat to hear. From his truly humble beginnings to the pinnacle of fame and ridicule, this memoir is a cut above the rest because of Allen's wit, honesty, candor and insight. Superb.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Walter Westphal
  • 26-04-20

Masterpiece

Wonderfully written. If you are artistically inspired by his movies, this is a priceless gem.
It’s a shame many will read it for the controversies, which is a painful account that should put light on a lot of issues reflecting our cultural insanity.
As a starting artist, I’m grateful for the opportunity to pick inside the career of a great one.
A privilege to listen to.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 26-04-20

Very entertaining and a very credible repudiation of the allegations against him

For fans a great read.
For anyone denouncing him, an important version of events to listen to. I was convinced of his innocence.

10 people found this helpful

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  • G. Mitchell
  • 23-04-20

Thoroughly Enjoyable

I'm so glad I stumbled across and listened to this audiobook. It's wonderful to hear Mr Allen telling his own story, in his own words and voice. The humor is pure Woody, the stories, reflections and insights are wonderful to here, and there's not a dull moment. I appreciated the detailed accounting of his life, including the Mia saga, which made me sad that our society is so quick to vilify, even disregarding the findings and assertions of multiple investigations, just to appear 'woke'.

10 people found this helpful

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  • George
  • 21-04-20

A Wonderful Listen

This book really showcases Allen's ability as a writer and performer. I listen to it as I go on walks and never once am I bored. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested, but especially to writers, filmakers, and comedians.

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  • Barry_BKK
  • 17-05-20

Vindication this book was published!

This book isn’t for everyone. If you’re not a Woody Allen fan, skip it. If you’re gonna over react to an 83 year old man referring to women with quaint old expressions rarely used today, give it a miss. But if you’re a Woody Allen fan and would enjoy hearing Allen himself zoom across the arc of his life and career with humor and wit, this book is for you. I enjoyed every chapter. It also felt good supporting an author who almost had his story muzzled, for no good reason. It was also helpful to hear Allen, with his words and his voice, address the entire Dylan Farrow saga candidly. As he reminds the reader, two investigations and two courts rendered him not guilty of any crime. Yet, some misguided areas of the court of public opinion have crucified him. With accusations which have never been proven. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. But I’m left feeling angry about the vilification Allen has been subject too. As Allen himself points out it’s sadly ironic that he starred in The Front, about the McCarthy era blacklist, only to find himself the subject of a “me-too era” blacklisting, for which he’s been proved innocent. His story should be told, and this fan is pleased it finally has.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Biggest Fan
  • 17-05-20

To the Heart

Perhaps the best audiobook experience I’ve ever had. It’s a smart, honest, generous book from an honest, frustrated but hugely kind and brilliant artist - delivered like a late night phone call from your smartest and most beloved friend. It’s less that you talk for hours - more that you just listen- hoping the call will never end. I loved every minute. Allen surely addresses the issues of his accusations - and does so with both clarity and legitimate bewilderment. But it is only a part of the story he builds. For all his humility, I am, and have always been, on the side of his art. He is our Chekhov. Understanding the intent and positions of great artists and creators is the wonderful bonus of living in a culture vibrantly aware of its own art. To be so moved and so delighted in the process was a lovely bonus. It’s a great book I urge folks to listen to rather than to read. Allen’s abundant honesty and sweetness is something I suspect moves straight from the ear to the heart.

7 people found this helpful

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  • R
  • 20-04-20

As a comedic writer...

I found this a wonderful resource an insight into developing as a writer and particularly, as a comedic writer.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Graham G Grant
  • 05-05-20

Life and times of a comedy genius

Woody Allen narrates this superb memoir in his trademark self-deprecating style, and it’s highly addictive. Dropped by his first publisher, it was always going to be hugely controversial. And there’s no doubt that, for many, Allen, now something of a pariah in the US movie industry, is beyond the pale. An allegation of child abuse that he believed had been comprehensively rubbished returned to haunt him as the Me Too movement gained momentum. As a result, he’s struggling to make films. It doesn’t bother him; he ends the book saying: ‘Rather than live on in the hearts and minds of my fans, I prefer to live on in my apartment.’ I didn’t quite buy his argument that he’s completely unfazed by bad reviews. But he’s a one-off, and his genius is beyond dispute. This is a very funny book, full of memorable lines. The description of his Brooklyn childhood and dissolute, gambling father, is well done. Allen says if he’d been brought up by just his father he’d have ended up with a ‘rap sheet longer than the Torah’. Large sections are, of course, dominated by discussion of Mia Farrow. Allen recalls going to see the body of Miles Davis with Mia - an early date that he jokes should’ve set alarm bells going for her about the future of their relationship. He goes into forensic detail about why the abuse claims against him are bogus. He makes a persuasive case. And he’s entitled to his say. You don’t need to have a definitive answer to enjoy this book. It’s a fascinating listen and a must for all fans.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Baker
  • 23-04-20

His Master's Voice

The gold here is that Woody narrates his own text, so you're having it read to you as it is meant to be read and you're getting the treat of the Woodman's Brooklyn brogue throughout.

Where you fall on the various controversies surrounding Woody is up to you, of course - I admire the guy and I know what I want to believe, and certainly he puts forward a compelling argument in his defence. If nothing else then you would certainly be persuaded to be on the opposite side of the road when Mia Farrow's walking down it!

Beyond that is the enormous body of work, the seemingly endless string of movies that may only be drying up now as a consequence of the #MeToo fallout. Woody talks at good length about his experiences of breaking into the business and covers most of his pictures at some depth. There's an endearing bewilderment at his own success, a modesty that cascades into the traditional self-depreciating humour that peppers the book. Woody's a funny man, and there were various moments listening to this when I was fortunate for the lockdown as I could laugh openly without any sense of worry over doing so in public.

Best of all, like his films Woody doesn't outstay his welcome. There's the potential for a 40-hour listen, given the length of his career, the sheer number of anecdotes, the length of time he could spend listing his grievances... Instead it's not even a third of that running time. His gift for brevity extends to the autobiography he's presenting here, not before time and no doubt long awaited. It's a breezy and essential piece of work.

7 people found this helpful

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  • K E Smith
  • 19-05-20

Anyone who believes in free speech should buy this

I've given this 5 stars all around even though I haven't listened to it yet!
The reason?
The biased bigoted so-called liberal establishment have sought to silence Woody Allen because of Mia Farrow's vitriolic campaign of hatred of Mr Allen and the hysterical anti-white-male woke media.
There was a well-documented court case which concluded that Mr Allen had done nothing illegal.
It is irrelevant whether his actions were morally dubious or not by some people's standards.
We have a right to hear his story in his own words and it is a shameful disgrace that his publisher dropped his book, not because it was bad, or because there was no market for it, but because a self-appointed group of self-righteous haters applied pressure and the publishers, cowards that they are, gave in.

For me, growing up, Woody Allen's films were a delight. Almost all intelligent comedy movies made in the last 35 years have been massively influenced by Mr Allens films.

And, frankly, you don't have to like an artist to appreciate and enjoy their work.

But, no artist of note should be silenced just because the woke media have declared them persona non grata.

I expect I will enjoy this - but, even if it doesn't count amongst his best works, I won't regret buying it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. J. James
  • 30-08-20

Funny enlightening read

When I purchased this read , my husband was surprised “ why on earth do you want to listen to that convicted *********. “
Well , he wasn’t convicted of anything, and I was determined to listen . I’m so glad that I did . His life story is frank , funny , self deprecating and well read . He includes all the controversy over his relationship with Mia Farrow ( who he never married by the way ) and their children ....and guess what , I believe him . After long legal investigations he was never convicted of any wrong doing , and after listening to this book and his frankness, I wouldn’t convict him either .

3 people found this helpful

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  • r
  • 17-08-20

A Great Reminder of Why People Liked Woody Allen in First Place

I’m very pleased that I decided to listen to this. I was a bit of a lapsed Woody Allen fan, and although I haven’t really spent much time looking into the details of the allegations against him, I’m sure the whole brouhaha around him planted an unpleasant seed of suspicion and made me less inclined to want to watch one of his films. He doesn’t shirk from dealing with any of this in the book and I have to say that he makes a very good case. I believe him when he says that there is no truth at all in any of those horrific claims.
But fortunately that’s not the whole book. What I enjoyed about it most of all is that it made me laugh. I listened to a lot of it walking about outside and would laugh out loud. He is a very good and funny writer and has made some fantastic films. This is well worth a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Julia R.
  • 15-08-20

Woody Allen is innocent.

Fantastic, funny and interesting. Many crowd followers, probably me included should read this account and feel shame. I will not jump on the bandwagon in future and look more closely and believe a bit less at headlines. Really good listen. One I got over the strong New York accent and delivery, as an Englishwoman, I loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Solaire
  • 01-08-20

Telling his side of the story

I really enjoyed listening to Woody talk about his standup career, his childhood, and how he got started in movies.

A large chunk of the book is devoted to the accusations made him against him (investigated and found to be without basis), which is a shame but it's understandable he would want to tell his side of the story. This part is a compelling listen but in a different way.

His voice sounds old obviously but the wit is fully present. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kez
  • 22-07-20

A real eye opener

A well written story that made me laugh, made me sad and made me angry about the manipulation and lies of Mia Farrow and the incalculable harm she has done to her children and to Woody Allen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RICHARD CROOKES
  • 08-07-20

Wonderful to hear the great Woody Allen

I highly recommend you listen to the very funny, self deprecating, long suffering and brilliant writer tell his difficult yet still amusing story. I pretty much guarantee that what you think you know about him or have been led to believe is wrong.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr Monti
  • 01-07-20

Great book!

Woody Allen to his best! I loved it. He's an American genius. It's good for any film student.

1 person found this helpful