Review: Then Again (Audio)

Then Again (Audio)


Then Again
By Diane Keaton (read by Diane Keaton)
(Random House Audio, Compact Disc, 9780307934017, November 2011)

The Short of It:

Warm, witty and touching. Absolutely loved it.

The Rest of It:

I am a huge Diane Keaton fan. Years ago when I was in film school, I took a series of classes on Woody Allen. I adored Woody Allen and I couldn’t help but get to know Keaton’s work as well since she appeared in so many of his films. What I didn’t know, is that they sort of had a “thing” for each other. Yes, I know…it seems so obvious but it wasn’t until I listened to her memoir that I actually believed it. Of course, her years with Woody were extremely interesting to me, but what I found most interesting was her childhood. Then Again is Keaton’s memoir, but it also functions a tribute to Keaton’s mother Dorothy Hall, who suffered from, and later died of Alzheimer’s disease.

Listening to this on audio was such a treat! It’s read by Diane herself and every time I plugged into my iPod I was taken to another time and place. She talks of her childhood and the wonderful relationship she had with her mother. She also mentions her other siblings and her father, but the real focus here is her mother, Dorothy Hall who pretty much taught Diane everything she needed to know about life and more. Here was a bright, educated woman who gave up her career to raise a family. Did she regret it? According to her journal entries which are shared by Diane, not really. She loved her family and her family was everything to her. Did she make a sacrifice? Of course, but she was a positive woman who tried to make the best of things. A trait that Diane appreciated and modeled with her own children.

As wonderful as walking down Memory Lane can be, there is a darkness that emerges as well. Dorothy Hall was a woman of many talents, but constantly struggling to find her niche.  All in all, the Halls appeared to be a happy family and that was mostly due to her mother making it so. Something that Diane appreciates now, but also regrets when she realizes how lonely her mother must have been, trying to constantly re-invent herself at every turn. Diane shares in this self-doubt. Always wondering if she is good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough for anyone to want her.

In between these thoughtful moments, Diane shares stories from her career. How she met Woody, how she came to know Warren Beatty and her first impression of Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. She talks of that famous outfit from Annie Hall and how she originally turned down the part of Erica Barry in Something’s Gotta Give. Can you imagine?

This was a wonderful memoir to listen to. I loved hearing Diane tell her own story but the parts where she discusses her mom, well… those parts brought a tear to my eye. The only downside to listening to this on audio is that I probably missed out on some great family photos. That’s okay, because it was wonderfully done and anyone who enjoys her work, loves hearing about mother/daughter relationships or anyone who has lost someone to Alzheimer’s, will enjoy and find comfort in this book.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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30 Responses

  1. This book is on my radar. I love Diane!

    • The only movie she ever did that I had a hard time with, was Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Mostly because of the content, but I just didn’t like her in that role. Didn’t fit her at all. I loved her in Baby Boom and Something’s Gotta Give.

  2. I don’t usually read/listen to celebrity memoirs, but Diane narrating her own story could make me reconsider!

  3. I bought this one for my mom for Christmas…she’s a huge Diane Keaton fan as well…I like the way this one is a memoir but also a tribute to her mother…I saw Keaton on one of the talk shows and it seemed like she really meant this more as a tribute to her mother than a book about herself. I also love the fact that Keaton still has her mother’s old journals and includes excerpts from them in the book :) I hope to be able to read my mom’s copy when she’s done :)

  4. Oh I love Diane Keaton! I have loved everything she has done.
    This book looks fabulous! Thanks for the great review!

    • And it was such a treat to hear Diane reading it! She’s always so classy and funny but what I never knew was how insecure she is in real life. I listened to this one at the gym and I worked out a lot that week, just so I could hear more.

  5. This sounds great! I don’t know much about her but have liked her in the movies I’ve seen.

    • I live in So Cal and I had no idea that she grew up here. I always thought she came from the East coast. So it was interesting for her to mention neighborhoods that I’ve been to and know well.

  6. I like Diane Keaton too, but don’t know much about her. I think this would be an interesting read, and the fact that there is so much to discover about her mother and the way she was raised has me very curious. Fantastic review today, Ti. I am glad that you got the chance to listen to this one!

  7. I did know she had a thing with Woody (well, hell, who didn’t?), and my absolute favorite movie of hers OF ALL TIME is Baby Boom. She was good in the Godfathers too, but she really couldn’t compete with Al…she was just window dressing. I liked her “comeback” in Somethings Gotta Give, but since then I think she has let herself slide in her film selections (Mad Money? Because I Said So???), and her schtick is growing old. She needs another reinvention! I’d be interested in listening to this one.

    • Baby Boom was a great flick. I loved her tight, laced-up demeanor and how she eventually took control and let it all go. Plus, the baby was super cute and Spader was such a wretch!

  8. Keaton spoke at BEA last year – her speech was so moving I literally sobbed and thought I’d have to leave the room. I bought this book on release date and can’t wait to read it.

    • That’s how this book is. It’s as if she was right in front of me, telling me her story over a cup of coffee. Casual, friendly…just wonderful. There are times when she gets choked up too.

  9. This sounds wonderful. I so love Diane Keaton. I love that she’s aged gracefully without plastic surgery. Gotta see if my library has the audio.

    I love the movie “Manhattan Murder Mystery with her and Woody; it’s a favorite of mine!

  10. I really like Diane Keaton’s work so I think I’d enjoy her memoir. Now to decide whether I should read the book or listen!

    • I vote for audio. I was able to Google photos of her family and got my print fix that way. Hearing her tell her own story is priceless.

  11. Lovely Lovely review…she is such a neat quirky character…to me she was always Annie Hall…and those lovely Indie outfits!!!

    The mom part would make me cry, too.

  12. I would read this. And she’s from California? Did not know that. I would have guessed Connecticut.

  13. Absolutely loved your review of this audio. I’m adding it to my wish list for Audible!!!

  14. This is one celebrity memoir that I might actually enjoy and respect. It sounds lovely.

  15. I love memoirs, although I do tend to stay away from celebrity memoirs. However this one sounds delightful!

  16. Diane Keaton’s memoir is one of the best books I read last year. But I’ve never knew about her reading it for the audio version. That’s just lovely… and I’m sure, poignant. Even though I’ve read the book, I’d like to hear her read it herself. And you’re right about all the photos of her journals, and family records. That’s the reason why I went out and bought the book after reading from a library copy.

  17. I am a fan of Diane Keaton, I can’t believe she almost passed on the role in Something’s Gotta Give! I am going to add this to my list of books to listen to, and I like that she narrates it herself.

  18. Oh, this is one I’m definitely going to have to listen to. I’m a huge fan of hers as well. I don’t think I’ve missed any of her films and I just like her as a person as well. When you hear her speak she seems so real and genuine. I’m going to see if the library has this audio.

  19. I’m always hesitant to read celebrity memoirs. Sounds like this one is the exception to the rule – the memoir that’s more wonderful story than tell-all. I’m sure it helped you enjoy the book to know so much about Keaton going in.

  20. [...] 1.Then Again (audio) by Diane Keaton 2.Wish You Were Here by Stewart O’Nan 3.Heft by Liz Moore 4.A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving 5.The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont 6.The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 7.The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce 8.So L.A. by Bridget Hoida 9.The Dog Stars by Peter Heller 10.The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye 11. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (added at the very last minute!) [...]

  21. [...] O’Nan 4. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides 5. The Technologists by Matthew Pearl 6. Then Again (audio) by Diane Keaton 7. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates 8. Wish You Were Here by [...]

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