Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen: The glib quips seem badly out of place

An unreconstructed attitude to women is evident and queasy questions go unanswered

US writer, actor and film director Woody Allen. Photograph: Evening Standard/Getty Images

US writer, actor and film director Woody Allen. Photograph: Evening Standard/Getty Images

Many readers will be grateful that Woody Allen’s memoir has arrived in a time of face masks and latex gloves. So toxic is the volume that some may be tempted to rinse it in chloroxylenol before placing on a lectern 2m distant.

The surrounding furore hardly needs to be reiterated. It is more than a quarter of a century since the film-maker was accused of sexually molesting his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow. The story ebbed and flowed until, in the wake of the #MeToo scandal, it swelled into an unavoidable tsunami. Hachette, Allen’s original publisher, adopted a strategy guaranteed to annoy everyone: first agreeing to run the volume, then dropping out at the last moment.

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