Listen free for 30 days

Apropos of Nothing

Narrated by: Woody Allen
Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

The long-awaited, enormously entertaining memoir by one of the great artists of our time.

In this candid and often hilarious memoir, the celebrated director, comedian, writer, and actor offers a comprehensive, personal look at his tumultuous life. Beginning with his Brooklyn childhood and his stint as a writer for the Sid Caesar variety show in the early days of television, working alongside comedy greats, Allen tells of his difficult early days doing standup before he achieved recognition and success. With his unique storytelling pizzazz, he recounts his departure into moviemaking, with such slapstick comedies as Take the Money and Run, and revisits his entire 60-year-long and enormously productive career as a writer and director, from his classics Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Hannah and Her Sisters to his most recent films, including Midnight in Paris. Along the way, he discusses his marriages, his romances, and his famous friendships, his jazz playing, and his books and plays. We learn about his demons, his mistakes, his successes, and those he loved, worked with, and learned from in equal measure.

This is a hugely entertaining, deeply honest, rich and brilliant self-portrait of a celebrated artist who is ranked among the greatest filmmakers of our time.

©2020 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. (P)2020 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
What members say
Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    139
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    125
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

His Master's Voice

The gold here is that Woody narrates his own text, so you're having it read to you as it is meant to be read and you're getting the treat of the Woodman's Brooklyn brogue throughout.

Where you fall on the various controversies surrounding Woody is up to you, of course - I admire the guy and I know what I want to believe, and certainly he puts forward a compelling argument in his defence. If nothing else then you would certainly be persuaded to be on the opposite side of the road when Mia Farrow's walking down it!

Beyond that is the enormous body of work, the seemingly endless string of movies that may only be drying up now as a consequence of the #MeToo fallout. Woody talks at good length about his experiences of breaking into the business and covers most of his pictures at some depth. There's an endearing bewilderment at his own success, a modesty that cascades into the traditional self-depreciating humour that peppers the book. Woody's a funny man, and there were various moments listening to this when I was fortunate for the lockdown as I could laugh openly without any sense of worry over doing so in public.

Best of all, like his films Woody doesn't outstay his welcome. There's the potential for a 40-hour listen, given the length of his career, the sheer number of anecdotes, the length of time he could spend listing his grievances... Instead it's not even a third of that running time. His gift for brevity extends to the autobiography he's presenting here, not before time and no doubt long awaited. It's a breezy and essential piece of work.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Life and times of a comedy genius

Woody Allen narrates this superb memoir in his trademark self-deprecating style, and it’s highly addictive. Dropped by his first publisher, it was always going to be hugely controversial. And there’s no doubt that, for many, Allen, now something of a pariah in the US movie industry, is beyond the pale. An allegation of child abuse that he believed had been comprehensively rubbished returned to haunt him as the Me Too movement gained momentum. As a result, he’s struggling to make films. It doesn’t bother him; he ends the book saying: ‘Rather than live on in the hearts and minds of my fans, I prefer to live on in my apartment.’ I didn’t quite buy his argument that he’s completely unfazed by bad reviews. But he’s a one-off, and his genius is beyond dispute. This is a very funny book, full of memorable lines. The description of his Brooklyn childhood and dissolute, gambling father, is well done. Allen says if he’d been brought up by just his father he’d have ended up with a ‘rap sheet longer than the Torah’. Large sections are, of course, dominated by discussion of Mia Farrow. Allen recalls going to see the body of Miles Davis with Mia - an early date that he jokes should’ve set alarm bells going for her about the future of their relationship. He goes into forensic detail about why the abuse claims against him are bogus. He makes a persuasive case. And he’s entitled to his say. You don’t need to have a definitive answer to enjoy this book. It’s a fascinating listen and a must for all fans.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Anyone who believes in free speech should buy this

I've given this 5 stars all around even though I haven't listened to it yet!
The reason?
The biased bigoted so-called liberal establishment have sought to silence Woody Allen because of Mia Farrow's vitriolic campaign of hatred of Mr Allen and the hysterical anti-white-male woke media.
There was a well-documented court case which concluded that Mr Allen had done nothing illegal.
It is irrelevant whether his actions were morally dubious or not by some people's standards.
We have a right to hear his story in his own words and it is a shameful disgrace that his publisher dropped his book, not because it was bad, or because there was no market for it, but because a self-appointed group of self-righteous haters applied pressure and the publishers, cowards that they are, gave in.

For me, growing up, Woody Allen's films were a delight. Almost all intelligent comedy movies made in the last 35 years have been massively influenced by Mr Allens films.

And, frankly, you don't have to like an artist to appreciate and enjoy their work.

But, no artist of note should be silenced just because the woke media have declared them persona non grata.

I expect I will enjoy this - but, even if it doesn't count amongst his best works, I won't regret buying it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

woody is a legend

amazing trip through life with mostly good and great,a credit to hard thoughtful inspiring work

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful to hear the great Woody Allen

I highly recommend you listen to the very funny, self deprecating, long suffering and brilliant writer tell his difficult yet still amusing story. I pretty much guarantee that what you think you know about him or have been led to believe is wrong.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not funny

As a cinema buff that liked few of Mr Allen's movies, I knew better than expect good humor in this book. I was more after the experience of a person who has lived a long and interesting life. When I realized it was going to focus mostly on his take on the accusations against him, I could live with that - after all, it's what he has been referenced with for the past 30 years. But, I had expected a mature thought on the sick madness of what he and his partner had turned their children's lives into. Nada. He's as flippant about it as the whole media circus is.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My Review of Apropos of Nothing - autobiography of Woody Allen


How do you treat anything about Woody Allen these days - his films, books and this autobiography? Has the scandal meant that you will always look at him and his work with disdain ?

Let me begin by saying his autobiography is very very funny (the second very is not a typo but used to give special emphasis). Every line will make you laugh. You forget about the scandal but know it will appear later and the laughter will stop.

After much hilarity, the book reaches the serious part. Woody's response to Mia & the claims of abuse is strong & there are counter-claims against Mia which (if true) are just as damning. The big difficulty is, who is telling the truth? Either way, we are observing mutually assured destruction, the term given to the consequences of a nuclear war between the superpowers. Whatever happened and Woody issues a very strong denial here, the welfare of the children (now grown up) must be of paramount importance. Of course, we all take the easy route by saying their is no smoke without fire but there are two sides to the story and Woody has his supporters who believe in his innocence. Although marrying his ex-girlfriend appears weird to most people, the way Woody explains it, it all appears wholesome and loving and to prove this they have been married over 20 years and adopted children of their own; the adoptions were granted by the authorities. For somebody who is always judgemental, in this case, I cannot reach a judgement, nor do I want to. Quite frankly, if guilty as accused he must be condemned. If innocent, he has been treated appallingly unfairly. The evidence does not prove one way or the other.

The autobiography is one of two halves: the hilarious part and the serious part. The contrast makes the book even more compelling. Most of the humour is self-deprecating but Woody really doesn’t think too much of his stand-up comedy, films, books, jazz playing etc - you would think he is just like you and me instead of one of the finest comedians and film-makers the entertainment industry has ever seen.

An unusual guy but very funny and his film output ranks amongst the best. The film industry would have a big hole in it without him. Can we draw a conclusion about Woody’s character ? I don’t think we can, other than the fact that he is a very funny man and made some wonderful films which entertain.

There are many hilarious moments in the book but the Roman Polanski anecdote tops them all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Woody Allen to his best! I loved it. He's an American genius. It's good for any film student.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny, touching, wise.

Come to defy the guilt by accusation zealots, stay to enjoy the best comic writer of his generation e.g. "it was the worst day of my life, and it was still early."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant. A truly original comedian and writer.

Woody Allen has lived an incredible life. I’m usually bored after the first few chapters of a biography, never mind an auto’. But this was more incredible than a film: the people he’s known, his hard work and talent... it can get a little sugary when he’s pouring on the superlatives discussing yet another star’s talent, but that’s almost inevitable when you’ve worked with the people he has.
And as you’d expect if you’re reading this, it’s very funny in places, and never less than amusing.
His psychological resilience, given what I believe is a witch-hunt initiated by Mia Farrow, is nothing short of superhuman. And for anyone reading this who thinks he’s guilty, just ask yourself two questions: What makes you so sure about Farrow? And what if he is innocent? Think of the hell he’s endured. He’s never been charged, let alone convicted.
He’s not a perfect human being, but he’s not the monster he’s often made out to be.
He’s simply one of the all-time great writers and comedians. And, at his best, a wonderful director.
So I’ve taken a side. Your turn.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ronald R. Kubiak
  • Ronald R. Kubiak
  • 19-04-20

Totally Woody

I just love this book and his performance. It is great to hear his voice. This book is a history of his films of his life and of entertainment. It’s unfortunate that he’s gotten so much bad press. He is an American treasure.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Doggy Bird
  • Doggy Bird
  • 28-04-20

Excellent Performance

I really like Woody Allen. I like his movies, his books, his performances and I love hearing him read this book. I will not say like others do that I find his side of the story convincing and it's up to you to decide. I don't think truth is a choice. I believe him and I don't believe her. I doubt that people who believe her are going to buy and enjoy this book so I assume you must at least be interested in his side of the story to want to know about the book. He does a great job of reading it as he does narrating some of his movies and he has always to me had a funny literary voice. I started reading his stories in the New Yorker many years ago and I still see that brilliant humor in his writing all these years later. I am sorry for all of us that don't get to see the movies he was making when the second evolution of this twisted sort of "AFFAIRE DREYFUS" broke and that we will never see the movies that Amazon cancelled. I am sorrier for the children whose lives were deeply twisted by the evilness of Farrow's spite. I was deeply sorry to hear that Allen's publishers caved into Mia Farrow and Ronan Farrow's ongoing war against Woody Allen. The scandal is that they continue to bully their way into the news with a travesty in which neither Woody Allen's actual wife of maybe 25 years is treated as an 'irrelevant woman' while Mia - whose anger at being spurned knows no bounds of decency - continues to poison her remaining 'children' while two of her 'adopted' children have stories of their own continually ignored for the sensationalism of the one child whose claims have been twice investigated and twice dismissed. What's wrong with this picture?

Anyway - so pleased that Woody Allen narrated the book himself and so pleased it was published after all. Highly recommended - it made staying at home and riding my bike instead of walking out in nature like a normal person a good deal more enjoyable than otherwise possible and now I don't know what to read next. It was unique.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-04-20

I did not want it to end

Love this book. Woody Allen telling his own story was a treat to hear. From his truly humble beginnings to the pinnacle of fame and ridicule, this memoir is a cut above the rest because of Allen's wit, honesty, candor and insight. Superb.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Walter Westphal
  • Walter Westphal
  • 26-04-20

Masterpiece

Wonderfully written. If you are artistically inspired by his movies, this is a priceless gem.
It’s a shame many will read it for the controversies, which is a painful account that should put light on a lot of issues reflecting our cultural insanity.
As a starting artist, I’m grateful for the opportunity to pick inside the career of a great one.
A privilege to listen to.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for G. Mitchell
  • G. Mitchell
  • 23-04-20

Thoroughly Enjoyable

I'm so glad I stumbled across and listened to this audiobook. It's wonderful to hear Mr Allen telling his own story, in his own words and voice. The humor is pure Woody, the stories, reflections and insights are wonderful to here, and there's not a dull moment. I appreciated the detailed accounting of his life, including the Mia saga, which made me sad that our society is so quick to vilify, even disregarding the findings and assertions of multiple investigations, just to appear 'woke'.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ellen
  • Ellen
  • 21-04-20

Excellent

Fantastic book. Unfortunately, the people who need to read it the most probably won't read it. No matter. They don't deserve it. Never thought I'd see the day when so called liberals would have a religious fervor for their false beliefs, regardless of the evidence right in front of their collective nose, but here we are. I think as long as we cling to such willful ignorance, we're going to continue to get exactly what we deserve (Trump). Lies beget lies. BTW, there is p l e n t y in this book more interesting than Mia Farrow's meshugas.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steve
  • Steve
  • 26-04-20

Very entertaining and a very credible repudiation of the allegations against him

For fans a great read.
For anyone denouncing him, an important version of events to listen to. I was convinced of his innocence.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for George
  • George
  • 21-04-20

A Wonderful Listen

This book really showcases Allen's ability as a writer and performer. I listen to it as I go on walks and never once am I bored. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested, but especially to writers, filmakers, and comedians.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R
  • R
  • 20-04-20

As a comedic writer...

I found this a wonderful resource an insight into developing as a writer and particularly, as a comedic writer.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nancy
  • Nancy
  • 26-04-20

A Lovely Book

I enjoyed listening to Woody Allen read his book. It was interesting to hear about how he started out in the business. His praise for the actors and actresses who worked on his movies was sweet.

3 people found this helpful