Audiobooks – Go Behind The Scenes With Woody Allen

Woody Allen
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Doug: Hi, I’m Doug McGrath and am here with Woody Allen, to talk about his new audio book project that he is doing for

Woody has just finished narrating his four books. “Side Effects”, “Without Feathers”, “Getting Even” and “Mere Anarchy”, which are now available at

Woody: My attention was pinion recently by something on the back pages in the New York Times magazine. Amongst the usual dumping grounds where well-heeled parents might stash their slithering issue and save for a comatose July and August where acts such trendy specialties like basketball camp, magic camp, computer camp and perhaps the most glamorous of all, film camp.

Doug: What’s the process of reading on tape or on audio like?

Woody: I can only liken it to; years ago I was assured the easiest movie job. I would have was to be the cartoon voice of an ant. And they said, ‘all you have to do is sit in the voice sound studio and just read these things and we’ll put in the mouth of the ant and you just don’t worry about it. Well, that’s what they promised me but when I went in I found it one of the hardest jobs I ever had and I never did it again.

Doug: I know that in Without Feathers there were two plays. Did you consider recording those?

Woody: No I didn’t record those plays because, I don’t like those plays.

Doug: Well, that’s a good reason!

Woody: They are not really literature of any type. For instance, there are plays that you write little play lets like Death Knocks.

Narrator: ‘Who are you?’ ‘Death’. ‘Who?’ ‘Death! Listen, can I sit down, I nearly broke my neck. Am shaking like a leaf.’ ‘Who are you?’ Death! ‘You got a glass of water?’ Death? What do you mean death? What is wrong with you? You see the black costume and a whitened face? ‘Yeah?’ ‘Is it Halloween?’ ‘No?’ ‘Then am death!”

Woody: But the plays are theatre pieces and they are not things to read.

Doug: Did you find some stories that were better on audio than they were as printed stories?

Woody: Well, not one, they were a number that just read well and they had no bearing on literary merit. There were a couple mini little things like Fabulous Tales and Mythical Beasts or something. Piece of junk that I, you know, maybe never published any place and they read very well.

Narrator: The Nerk. The nerk is a bird, two inches long that has the power of speech but keeps referring to it self in the third person such as, ‘he is a great little bird. Isn’t he?’

Doug: Do you suppose that’s because sometimes, you know, you write something and on the page the experience is as you read it to yourself but when you hear it out loud the words have a sound. An out loud sound, that’s funnier?

Woody: Yeah, this is true, and it, you know, it has nothing to do with the quality of the writing. It’s the added factor that you are now making it audible.

Doug: Anything else you’d like to say?

Woody: No. I didn’t mean I’d like to say this… but, it’s okay.

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