Woody Allen: A Biography

Woody Allen A Biography When it first appeared in 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 a

  • Title: Woody Allen: A Biography
  • Author: Eric Lax
  • ISBN: 9780306809859
  • Page: 329
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 andWhen 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.
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      Published :2020-02-21T11:00:27+00:00

    155 Comment

    • Betsy says:

      One of the best biographies I've ever read and enthralling for anyone obsessed with Woody Allen.

    • Patti says:

      This is okay if you like to read someone make out with Woody Allen for almost 400 pages.You have to do your best all through the book not to give an overshadowing "dun dun dun" whenever he mentions Sun Yi and how Woody doesn't even actually live with Mia, and doesn't really like children around him. Woody doesn't like a lot of things, actually, and Lax talks about them and gives excuses for all of them through out the book. But, he also gives some insight on how Woody rose to fame, which is also [...]

    • Patrick Justo says:

      Ok, let's not mention that this book is a complete hagiography of Woody Allen. Let's not mention that it whitewashes the whole Soon-Yi thing. Let's instead talk about how badly written this book is.There are two kinds of biographies. There are the chronological ones, which start with the subject's birth or youth, and go in a more or less straight line to the present day (or the subject's death). Then there are what I like to call "situational" biographies, which are more along the lines of essay [...]

    • David Meyer says:

      Since doesn't seem to want to individually list the different editions that Lax has produced, I should mention that the version I read was published in 1991. It's an interesting biography of Woody Allen and at an interesting snap shot of time. It's written at a point where he has become known as an incredibly successful writer, director, and actor, and is still (presumably happily) sharing his lie with Mia Farrow and her (and their) kids. Obviously, it is interesting to note the author discussi [...]

    • ColoredVinyl says:


    • Chrissy says:

      An excellent look inside the creative process and mind of one of my favorite directors. Eric Lax befriends Woody, and follows him around on the set, in the editing rooms, even to trips with Mia to Paris, and gives a rare glimpse at the often reclusive man. I love the evolution of Woody Allen and his movies. From comedic roles and projects, to his adventures into more dramatic film, they are always so smart and careful thought out. The book does a good job of showcasing the early years of Woody A [...]

    • Stephen says:

      About as intimate a portrait you could ever get about a very reclusive man. This is actually an updated version (the original was released less than a year before the whole Mia Farrow/Soon-Yi debacle unfolded) with a brief update on what had happened to Allen, personally and professionally, over the past 10 years that the book had been published, with a much greater emphasis placed on his professional life. In other words, don't expect sordid details about how Woody felt when the controversy of [...]

    • Erick says:

      A thorough and fun read for any fans of Woody Allen and/or his work. Lax's writing is witty and engaging--appropriate to the subject matter at hand. He had a lot of access to Woody and the people surrounding him, and the book is filled with Allen's quotes and language from his conversations with the author. That was perhaps my favorite part of this: Reading the book felt like the closest I'll ever get to conversing with Allen myself while strolling the streets of New York.The book does need anot [...]

    • Martin Pepe says:

      Everything you wanted to know about Woody Allen but were afraid to ask. Woody Allen is the man most responsible for my deep seeded neuroses and my love of film. This is an intimate biography of a incredibly private man. It takes you through every stage of his life. As a child falling in love with film, a man making a few dollars a joke writing for the great comedians of the 50's, as a standup to scared to go on stage, and finally his growth into one of the greatest film makers of our time. A gre [...]

    • liz says:

      This was one of the only biographies I've ever read for pleasure, not having anything to do with a school assignment. That being said, I feel like I learned a lot about the inner workings of Woody Allen, and I was instantly inspired to view more of his films with this new-found understanding. He goes in depth about where his ideas came from, and recalls vividly memories from his childhood and experiences in New York. The author does a good job of keeping it interesting, and there is a familiar t [...]

    • Rob Woodard says:

      This is a pretty awful biography. It dwells on certain less thrilling aspects of Allen's character and misses the whole point of his career. By this I mean this book comes no where close to tapping into why the man is a comic genius. To make things worse it's not even technically accurate. This is most flagrantly shown in plot descriptions of his films that are simply wrong (who knows what else Lax missed). This is a bad book. Stay away from it if you expect to learn much useful about Allen's ar [...]

    • Kate Buford says:

      Just when you think you've had enough of Woody Allen, he makes MOONLIGHT IN PARIS which, not least, introduced me to its theme song, Si Tu Vois Ma Mère, as performed by Sidney Bechet. Lax's biography, done with the cooperation of Allen, takes us back to the beginning, the childhood, the formative family and then allows us to see how all of that made the man who made the movies. A really fine job. I almost like Allen.

    • Russell Warfield says:

      Does what it says on the tin, in a very fanboyish and gushing sort of way - a very interesting, well written account of Allen. It was written and published JUST before the scandal, however - so large portions of it are laced with a dark, dramatic irony and feel a lot less relevant today. (But on the other side of the coin, neither do you have to endure the would-be drudgery of Lax trying to justify bollocks like Scoop).

    • Jan C says:

      This probably would have gotten a better rating if his scandal over wedding his adopted daughter hadn't broken in the midst of my reading this. It wouldn't have been a lot better. It was still a boring book. It was too long. I've since heard Mr. Lax do commentaries on dvds and he is very knowledgeable. It could just be that he was knowledgeable and decided he wanted to get certain information in. Just too much information.

    • Dale says:

      Before the scandal and the controversy their was a professional film artist named Woody Allen. I bought this book in 1991 because I was the biggest fan of the man from NYC. Now I remember why I was such a big fan. Eric Lax (author) does an incredible job speaking the growth of Woody Allen. It is a great outline of how films are made and how Woody made them. The creativity process of a man is well researched and written. Great book!

    • Lisa says:

      Good biography of Woody Allen up to 1991, although his life changed drastically starting the following year when he took up with Soon-Yi Previn and broke up with Soon-Yi's mother, Mia Farrow. The info regarding his films up to that time is fairly complete, although I am recycling this book since I now have one that covers Woody's life up until the last couple of years. **#101 of 120 books pledged to read/review during 2016**

    • Paolo says:

      Penso che sia difficile avere a che fare con W.Allen. Personaggio di grande estro artistico ma un po' matto. Eric Lax ha prodotto un interessante affresco della storia(artistica e non solo) di una delle star hollywoodiane più conosciute dei nostri tempi. L'unica pecca è il tono troppo celebrativo di alcuni passaggi. Consiglio questa lettura a chi non sa nulla di Allen. Credo che sia un buon inizio. Alla prossima!

    • Scott Stevens says:

      Pretty dry stuff considering it's about Woody Allen but I did only pay a dollar for the book so I guess it was worth the price also there was a U of T sticker in there from the 90's which was a bonus.

    • Terence Manleigh says:

      A perfectly adequate biography of Woody dating from the peak of his powers, and of course indispensable for fans. I believe there has since been a revised edition to cover the scandale celebre and the artistic decline, but it's all rather too depressing for me to consider.

    • Danielle says:

      Loved the first half of the book but the second half was bogged down in technical detail that's strictly for die hard fans. This book is more of a lovefest than the critical biography I was expecting.

    • Roxanne says:

      I read this because Woody Allen has always been an odd out of the box type person. I really do not hos movies too much, I never seem to get the jist of them. The book discusses his life but I wanted more info on some things.

    • Thomas Strömquist says:

      I have also read and reviewed the Swedish translation "Well written and as detailed as only someone very close to the subject can be. It's really essential to any fan of Woody's work." Being partly an interview book, it of course adds a lot to read it in original language.

    • Jenny says:

      Woody Allen gives "meaty" roles to women in most his movies, because of his many close friendships to real women in his life, including Letty his sister (8 years younger).

    • Doug Kabak says:

      Good book, but a bit fawning.

    • Kiof says:

      read the interview book instead

    • R.K. Byers says:

      goes from quick and sharp to slow and pondering.

    • Joe Faust says:

      A dated but readable bio of Allen.

    • Barry says:

      Some insights into the man but too much irrelevant detail.Purchased as a discard from the Vancouver Library

    • Thomas Strömquist says:

      Well written and as detailed as only someone very close to the subject can be. It's really essential to any fan of Woody's work.

    • Ben Schaffer says:


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