Woody Allen’s book ‘Apropos of Nothing’ gets less than sterling reviews

Woody Allen’s autobiography — subject of acceptance and then rejection by Hatchette publishing house — did indeed find a publisher.

(See the previous post: Whither Woody Allen, his family, his publisher, his reputation, etc.)

Maybe having your book rejected by a publisher is not such a bad thing after all. Allen’s autobiography, Apropo of Nothing, has received scathing reviews since it’s recent publication.

Monica Hesse, in the Washington Post, wrote:

The original controversy over the book’s publication had to do with Dylan Farrow’s longstanding accusation that Allen, her adoptive father, had molested her in 1992. “We stand in solidarity with [Dylan Farrow] and survivors of sexual assault,” read the out-of-office messages of Hachette employees participating in the walkout. The allegations were investigated at the time; Allen has denied them, and he was never charged.

Fortunately, you do not need to reinvestigate these charges to have feelings about this book: Both guilty and innocent people can be boring, vindictive and self-indulgent.

You need only ask yourself: Do you like 400-page books in which wealthy 84-year-old Oscar-winning directors, who successfully navigated New York and Hollywood for half a century with unlimited creative control, who shaped mass pop culture into their own worldview, now portray themselves as innocent naifs who just can’t catch a break? Source: Woody Allen’s book ‘Apropos of Nothing’ is at least a familiar kind of bad – The Washington Post

And here is part of what Dwight Garner said in the New York Times review:

Like many of our fathers and grandfathers, Allen is a 20th-century man in a 21st-century world. His friends should have warned him that “Apropos of Nothing” is incredibly, unbelievably tone deaf on the subject of women.

***

Nearly every time a woman is mentioned, there’s a gratuitous pronouncement on her looks. Early on, he chases “delectable bohemian little kumquats” in New York City. While in London filming “Casino Royale” (1967), a James Bond spoof, he writes, “one could stroll on the Kings Road and pick up the most adorable birds in their miniskirts.” Birds? I kept waiting for him to sail to Australia to scoop up a basket of “Sheilas.” Woody Allen’s New Memoir Is Sometimes Funny — and Tone Deaf and Banal

Woody Allen has repeatedly said of late that he has reached a point in life where he doesn’t care what other people think. That a good thing.

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Jim Stovall, (JPROF.com) a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self-publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker, and beekeeper -- among other things. Subscribe to his weekly newsletter at http://www.jprof.com .
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