Woody Allen: A Biography

( 2 )

Overview

When it first appeared in 1991, Eric Lax's splendid biography, written with nineteen years of access to Woody Allen, was universally hailed as the definitive portrait of a film genius. The next year, as Allen's long relationship with Mia Farrow disintegrated amid scandal, a new phase of his life and work began. For this edition, Lax has written a chapter on the breakup and the personal and professional changes that followed. He chronicles Allen’s next eight films, from Shadows and Fog to Small Time Crooks, and ...

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Overview

When it first appeared in 1991, Eric Lax's splendid biography, written with nineteen years of access to Woody Allen, was universally hailed as the definitive portrait of a film genius. The next year, as Allen's long relationship with Mia Farrow disintegrated amid scandal, a new phase of his life and work began. For this edition, Lax has written a chapter on the breakup and the personal and professional changes that followed. He chronicles Allen’s next eight films, from Shadows and Fog to Small Time Crooks, and again offers Woody's candid opinions of his art and himself. Published to coincide with Allen's sixty-fifth birthday, this updated biography will continue to be "required reading for Woodyphiles" (Kansas City Star).

To research this intimate and insightful biography--a national bestseller in hardcover--Eric Lax spent four years by the side of one of our most private and contradictory celebrities. Woody Allen takes readers behind the scenes of Allen's most famous films and presents his candid opinions of his work, his influences, and his personal relationships. 16 pages of photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A feast for fans, this biography--a 10-week PW bestseller in cloth--leans heavily on Allen's own comments. Photos. Author tour. July
Library Journal
After years of following Allen, Lax ( On Being Funny: Woody Allen and Comedy , LJ 5/15/75) offers a definitive biography of the multi-talented phenomenon. He delineates Allen's history, emphasizing the development of his creative personality while tracing his adolescent interest in magic (which later developed into an obsession with the ``magic'' of cinema). He shows how the artist disciplined himself to become one of the most respected minds in comedy, and one of America's top film directors. He lists comprehensive source references to show where Allen modeled a particular sensibility from, and includes interesting quips from the sources. Recommended for popular as well as serious film and comedy collections. BOMC alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/90.-- Mike Tierno, New York
School Library Journal
YA-- At age 16, Allan Konigsberg's jokes began to appear in the columns of noted New York newspaper writers, and Woody Allen was born. The one-liners grew into jokes for radio personalities, sketches for TV performers, routines for comics, and material for his own stand-up comedy appearances. His major work now is film, in which he is in complete artistic control. Lax's liking and admiration for his subject comes across well, and YAs interested in Allen's life and career will find a wealth of well-documented information, quotes, and excerpts from scripts. The five major sections of this funny and fascinating work are not for browsing, but should be read as units. A drawback for YAs is the poor index, which hinders quick searching for facts. --Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306809859
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 472
  • Sales rank: 737,573
  • Product dimensions: 1.05 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Lax's books include the award-winning Life and Death on 10 West and Bogart (with A. M. Sperber). He lives in Beverly Hills.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 1, 2011

    A Telling Biography

    The book Woody Allen by Eric Lax is a biography about, somewhat obviously, the film director and actor Woody Allen. It chronicles the man¿s extended and distinguished career as a comedic legend, from his humble beginnings in New York to 1991 when the book was published. An additional chapter has been added with the latest history of Woody Allen added. Eric Lax provides a complete and in depth look at the life of Woody Allen, and of anyone he should be the one to write his biography, considering he has been with Allen for 19 years constantly. His insight into his life in wonderfully interesting, and the tone is cheerful and humorous. There are also many facts about Woody Allen I was not familiar with such as his proficiency on the jazz clarinet. Many a good laugh can be found in this biography, as it should be considering it is about a hilarious comedian. Lax could have written more after 1991, but it is understandable because that is the publishing date. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know a little more about Mr. Allen, and anyone who also needs a laugh. Whether it is one of those, or both, this book is for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2008

    One of the best biographies out there

    As a fan of Mr. Allen of course i wanted to read about his background. This book gives you that and more. It is written in such a way that you feel like you're actually sitting down in a theather watching a woody allen movie. It's funny and realistic and worth rereading every year - as i do.

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