Last month brought a very pleasant surprised encounter. A young New York based author who has read my previous reviews on Amazon approached me with his book, a recently published comprehensive study of Woody Allen’s work. The young man introduced himself as Alex Sheremet. As it turned out, he was my former fellow countryman. We come from the same town, Gomel, which means we were brushed by the same national tragedy, the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. Having spent most of his life in the US, understandably, he doesn’t dwell on his late-Soviet childhood. He has a very fresh and unique view of life and culture in New York. I invite you to check out his website.
This is my review of his book on Amazon.
Authored by an extremely brainy and precocious 20-something year old, Reel to Real is not a book to be gulped in one sitting. It's not the sort of editorial fast food that goes down easy. Many contemporary film critics and biographers have a background in arts & entertainment journalism and tailor their style to fit the readers' short attention span. I believe that the upper echelon of "lay" readership will enjoy the book, but the core audience is made up of film students and historians. Given the meaty, dense content of the book, I would like to see it in paperback format. I would also like to see stills from the actual films referenced in the text as well as candid shots from the sets. You really need images to fortify a comprehensive study of Woody Allen's work. In a perfect world, this book would be picked up and reissued by a larger publisher that specializes in illustrated biographies.