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Getting Even Mass Market Paperback – August 12, 1978


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Getting Even + Without Feathers + Side Effects
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Vintage Books ed edition (August 12, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394726405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394726403
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

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Customer Reviews

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It's one of the funniest books I've ever read.
David G. Dillingham
I generally like to read 1-2 essays a day, but with each one, I wanted more.
Thor Vader
You're sure to find another that will make you laugh out loud.
theboombody

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nothing can compare to this book and also Side Effects and Without Feathers, by Allen. Dave Barry is funny (although not as funny in recent years). Douglas Adams is hilarious, but he writes novels. These "nonfiction" pieces and short stories by Woody Allen are the funniest things ever written. And if you're concerned because you don't like Woody's whining style in his stand-up and movies, be assured you can't do that in prose. They are two distinct styles and you probably wouldn't even know it was Woody if not for his name on the cover. Read at least one of Woody's three books -- or at least one story from one of these books. Make that one page. If you don't love it, you can put it back on the shelf and at least know you didn't let something fantastic slip by unread.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By F. Orion Pozo on October 18, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Getting Even is one of three early collections of Woody Allen's short humorous articles. The others are Without Feathers and Side Effects. Many of the pieces in Getting Even appeared in magazines, mostly The New Yorker, but also Playboy, and Evergreen Review. While others first appeared in this anthology. In total, there are 17 articles in the collection. Considering that they were written over 35 years ago, there are some references that do not come across well today. Yet as a group they are still quite funny.

<u>The Metterling Lists</u> is a piece of satirical literary criticism of <u>The Collected Laundry Lists of Hans Metterling Vol. 1</u>, a supposedly scholarly work of 437 pages that analyzes the first six laundry lists. Fortunately Mr. Allen only takes seven pages to mock this fictional piece of scholarship.

<u>A Look At Organized Crime</u> provides a very brief history of organized crime in America including the murder of Kid Lipsky by Albert (The Logical Positivist) Corillo who locked Lipsky in a closet and "sucked all the air out through a straw." It also provides a description of a Mafia initiation ceremony and ends with some tips on fighting mobsters.

<u>The Schmeed Memoirs</u> are represented as the recollections of Hitler's barber. Yet they can't be taken too seriously because he claims he didn't know Hitler was a Nazi and thought he worked for the phone company. There is a funny where Hitler fears that Chruchill will grow sideburns before he can. It is humorous to view World War II from the perspective of Hitler's hair.

<u>My Philosophy</u> consists of the Critique of Pure Dread, the Eschatological Dialectics As a Means of Coping with Shingles, and The Cosmos on Five Dollars a Day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on January 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this is like participating in Allen's creative process since many of the short sketches here are reminiscent of scenes from Allen's earlier films. Very funny stuff that had me laughing out loud. However it's best to read this and imagine Woody Allen's voice is telling the stories, it makes them even funnier. Not all of the sketches work as well as others but when he's on the sketches are hysterical. A very short collection of Woody Allen shorts.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Stone on June 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For someone with no exposure to Woody's prose, this was a revelation. What a smart writer he is! He manages to find a unique voice, and with this voice he beats his own obsessions to a pulp, until they stand up and say 'Uncle'.
Woody gets even with literary biographies, crime, philosophy (and philosophy and more philosophy), death, religion, intellectualism, political revolutions, psychology, and of course, mimes.
My favourite piece is the last one: 'Mr. Big'. It's a brilliant Raymond Chandler parody, where the blonde bombshell who comes into the private eye's life is not looking for a missing husband, but proof of the existence of God! Ingenious! There's one passage where the detective deduces that since Socrates killed himself, Jesus was murdered, and Neitzche went crazy, then there is someone out there and He doesn't want to be found.
Woody tends to fall back on absurdity for his humour a tad too often (at one point, someone's forehead falls off), and if the collection was any longer it would have gotten tedious. But it's just long enough. Bite sized and tasty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. McOuat on June 20, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Getting Even" is a compilation of exceptional short stories that chronicle Woody Allen's transition from variety show writer to stand-up comedian. He ended 50s as one of the horses in an amazing stable of writers on "Your Show of Shows" that included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, and Carl Reiner. Showcasing his patented wry humor, the stories in "Getting Even" have the post-vaudevillian variety show feel to them. He lampoons intellectual, philosophical and psychological traditions and especially enjoys exploiting the old Jewish stereotypes. Each story is fast paced and peppered with one-liners and guarantees at least one good chuckle. An entertaining book that is rife with painfully accurate insights into the absurdities of our everyday life.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bjorn Clasen on January 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even for people who do not like Woody Allen's movies, his satiric books must give a great laugh!
This man is so intelligent that he allows himself to un-taboo'ize just about everything. He makes fun of religion without being blasphemic, about stereotypes without being prejudicial, and so on.
This is the most sophisticated fun any American has ever come up with!
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