Side Effects by Woody Allen
Before Woody Allen set his sights on becoming the next Ingmar Bergman, he made a fleeting (but largely successful) attempt at becoming the next S.J Perelman. Side Effects, his third and final collection of humor pieces, shows his efforts. These essays appeared in The New Yorker during the late 1970s, as he showed more and more discontent with his funnyman status. Fear not, humor fans--Allen's still funny. He is less manic, however, than in his positively goofy Getting Even/Without Feathers days, and this makes Side Effects a more nuanced read. Woody picks and chooses when to flash the laughs, as in an article discussing UFOs: [I]n 1822 Goethe himself notes a strange celestial phenomenon. "En route home from the Leipzig Anxiety Festival," he wrote, "I was crossing a meadow, when I chanced to look up and saw several fiery red balls suddenly appear in the southern sky. They descended at a great rate of speed and began chasing me. I screamed that I was a genius and ... read more
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