Adventures in Reading

Revisted Reviews: Side Effects by Woody Allen

Discovered in the humor section at Borders, I couldn’t resist one of my favorite director’s/producer’s/actor’s books. Side Effects is a collection of Allen’s short stories that read similar to skits that were too short or just not right to be put on the screen. They’re humorous, beautiful, and intelligent in the usual Allen fashion. I will admit though that as far as short story mastery goes, Allen has nothing on Cheever or Carver but for any Allen fan they’re a must read.

I love Woody Allen. I definitely border on an unhealthy adoration for the man. Every time I think I find a crack in my Woody Allen worship, such as after viewing his movie with Christina Ricci, I stumble onto something like his film Another Woman and am so blown away that I grovel in my living room. When I found out that he also has written some book collections I hot footed it out to the bookstore to investigate.

Thanks to the author Seth Lerer, I was reminded of one of my favorite stories from the collection “The Kugelmass Episode,” which I have even more admiration for after a few semesters of Spanish. Kugelmass is an unhappily married man but discovers a way to transfer in and out of the classics to have an affair with Emma Bovary of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Unfortunately, Emma briefly becomes stuck in Woody Allen’s New York City. This doesn’t phase Kugelmass and his next attempt has him accidentally trapped in a remedial Spanish book where he is chased by the irregular verb tener (to have).

I think I would retract the Cheever and Carver comment.

Allen is brilliant.

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