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Then Again Hardcover – November 15, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the  Month, November 2011: Yes, she dated Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, and Al Pacino, and yes, she appeared in The Godfather and Annie Hall. But this is much more than a mere celebrity tell-all. Then Again is sharply written, insightful, and often poignant, a story of family and friendship, and above all an ode to Keaton's complicated, adage-wielding mother, who harbored her own dreams of a bigger life. Woven throughout the book are excerpts from the dozens of journals Keaton's mother, Dorothy Hall, kept over the years. (She died in 2008.) If you’re a Diane Keaton fan, you’ll adore her even more after reading this memoir. If you have no idea who Diane Keaton is, it’s still a compelling story on its own--heartfelt, funny, and memorable. --Neal Thompson

Review

“For anyone looking to join one woman’s—albeit a famous woman’s—touching and funny journey into the vortex that is the parent-child relationship, Then Again features an especially honest tour guide.”—USA Today
 
“[A] rich and ruminative autobiographical journey.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
 
“Although peek-behind-the-curtain moments are delicious—Woody Allen! Warren Beatty! Jack Nicholson! . . . this is a [memoir] about a mother and a daughter, with insights and confessions and lessons to which all readers can relate.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Both heartbreaking and joyful, [Then Again] covers the gamut of life experiences facing all women.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“A poem about women living in one another’s not uncomplicated memories. . . . Part of what makes Diane Keaton’s memoir, Then Again, truly amazing is that she does away with the star’s ‘me’ and replaces it with a daughter’s ‘I.’ ”—Hilton Als, The New Yorker
 
“This book feels like Diane Keaton. Which means it’s lovable.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“As warm, funny, and self-deprecating as Keaton’s onscreen persona—[Then Again] traces a profound dramatic arc: that of a young woman coming into her own as an artist, and of a daughter becoming a mother.”—Vogue
 
Then Again reads like the diary of an ordinary woman who suddenly became a movie star, who doesn’t quite believe any of it happened, but it did.”—Los Angeles Times

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400068789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400068784
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Diane Keaton's double memoir-- of both her mother and her-- is precisely what I expected from the woman we see in movies, get a glimpse of on television and read about: she is completely unpretentious, honest, warm and, although she describes herself as becoming famous "for being an inarticulate woman," quite fluent here. Ms. Keaton's mother Dorothy Deanne Keaton Hall married the man of her dreams Jack Hall, raised four children, went back to school at 40, created collages, became a photographer, kept voluminous journals and -- sadly--died of the horrific disease of Alzheimer's. His daughter adroitly and lovingly juxtaposes her mother's letters and journal entries with similar events from her own life since this book is as much about her mother as it is about her.

Anyone familiar with Dianne Keaton knows that she won a Best Actress Oscar for playing Annie Hall in the film by the same name and that she was involved with three film legends: Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino. (She recounts a touching scene when Beatty accompanies her on a plane from L. A. to New York-- she has a dreadful fear of flying-- gets her safely to her destination and then catches a flight back to California.) This memoir, however, is remarkably thin on her successes and the men in her life. Ms. Keaton concentrates rather on her mother but also her father, brother and two sisters and her two children she adopted in midlife. In a word, this book is about family.

In a touching letter to her daughter Dexter Ms. Keaton admonishes her to "stay human, sweetie, stay human." In similar words to her son Duke-- surely he will someday read this fine memoir-- she explains the signifigance of his having two mothers. "One had the wherewithal to know she couldn't raise you given her set of circumstances. . .
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127 of 150 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
'Then Again' (2011) is a poignant but often frustrating 'collage' of a memoir by cultural icon Diane Keaton. The book's best feature is that Keaton writes in her own inimitable voice; there are no ghost writers present here, though ghosts of other kinds abound.

'Then Again' is a work of memory and feeling; it conceals more than it reveals, and hard facts are few.

Its most striking quality may be the depth of Keaton's self-depreciation. At 65 years of age, an Academy Award-winning actress (nominated for Best Actress four times over four decades, winning once), an accomplished director of film and television, a highly stylized comedian, an author of multiple books on photography and painting, and a vital presence in American cinema and culture, it is surprising how little self-esteem, and how much active self-loathing, Keaton has for herself.

Not only does the author seem burdened with regrets, which she freely acknowledges and makes a point to underscore, but she consistently magnifies the relatively inconsequential while ignoring her many actual achievements: she discusses a late 1970s Vogue cover which was cancelled because Keaton insisted that the editors use a black and white Irving Penn photograph, but she doesn't mention her 1987 Vanity Fair cover at all.

About the first two Godfather movies (1972, 1974), both of which are acknowledged American film classics, Keaton's most prominent memory is that makeup artist Dick Smith saddled her with an unbecoming "10-pound blond wig," as if her performances and other contributions were little more than wallpaper or window-dressing.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By V. Bolling on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book in a few days. It spoke to me on so many levels as a woman, a mother and a daughter. I love how she highlighted her mother's life in journaling as well as her own. As Oprah would say I had an "Aha" moment when I read about her mom feeling "washed up" at 54 with all of her children grown. Diane's childlike reaction to her mom feeling this way made me cry. At 53 I've felt some of her mom's feelings and I think Diane's reaction could be like what my children would say to me. I needed to read this book. Diane validates motherhood in her writing. In fact, she validates living this life and dying and all the goodbyes in between. Our time here matters. Everyone could benefit from this gently, beautifully written work.
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Format: Hardcover
Close your eyes and picture Diane Keaton.

I bet you see her as she was in "Annie Hall."

Man's clothes. Floppy hat. "La-de-da."

Please return to reality.

"Annie Hall" was 1977 --- 34 years ago.

Diane Keaton is now 66 years old --- for an actress, that might as well be 100.

Indeed, her her latest role is as a spokesperson for Chico's.

The memoirs of a Senior Citizen who was a Movie Star --- it reminds me of what Jean Cocteau said about the movies: You're watching "death at work." In Keaton's case, that means we'll be hearing about actors who are also aged-out. Like her lovers --- Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, Al Pacino --- who were her co-stars in such long-ago classics as "Annie Hall" and "Reds" and "The Godfather."

The brilliance of "Then Again" is that Keaton doesn't ignore these men and those movies. They are the reason we know her, and she's grateful and tender and respectful of them. Also, honest. She didn't want to love Beatty, she wanted to be him. She pushed Pacino to marry her, though she knew he never would. As for Woody Allen, she finds him quite the hunk --- and those glasses are totally hot.

But her career is not center stage in these pages. She has urgent personal business to explore here, deeper in her past. Go further back, to her California childhood, to her parents and, mostly, her mother, Dorothy Hall. "Mom continues to be the most important, influential person in my life," she writes, three years after her mother's death.

Dorothy Hall. Mother of four. Wife. Amateur --- it's too easy to say "frustrated" or "thwarted" --- artist. Who entered the Mrs. America contest and was crowned Mrs. Los Angeles. Who died of Alzheimer's.
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