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Then Again | [Diane Keaton]

Then Again

“Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.” So begins Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always thinking Dorothy Hall.
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Publisher's Summary

“Mom loved adages, quotes, slogans. There were always little reminders pasted on the kitchen wall. For example, the word THINK. I found THINK thumbtacked on a bulletin board in her darkroom. I saw it Scotch-taped on a pencil box she’d collaged. I even found a pamphlet titled THINK on her bedside table. Mom liked to THINK.”

So begins Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself. In it you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always thinking Dorothy Hall. To write about herself, Diane realized she had to write about her mother, too, and how their bond came to define both their lives. And so, in a remarkable act of creation, Diane not only reveals herself to us, she also lets us meet in intimate detail her mother. Throughout her life, Dorothy kept eighty-five journals - literally thousands of pages - in which she wrote about her marriage, her children, and, most probingly, about herself. Dorothy also recorded memorable stories about Diane’s grandparents. Diane has sorted through all these pages to paint an unflinching portrait of her mother - a woman restless with intellectual and creative energy struggling to find an outlet for her talents - as well as her entire family, recounting a story that spans four generations and nearly a hundred years.

More than just the autobiography of a legendary actress, Then Again is a book about a very American family with very American dreams. Diane will remind you of yourself, and her bonds with her family will remind you of your own relationships with those you love the most.

From the Hardcover edition.

Diane Keaton has starred in some of the most memorable movies of the past forty years, including the Godfather trilogy, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Reds, Baby Boom, The First Wives Club, and Something’s Gotta Give. Her many awards include the Golden Globe and the Academy Award. Keaton lives with her daughter and son in Los Angeles.

©2011 Diane Keaton (P)2011 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (241 )
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3.9 (214 )
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  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-06-11
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-06-11 Member Since 2001

    Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.

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    "Wow-what a disappointment! Very boring."

    Although some of the most mundane human stories have been transformed into works of art, this assuredly isn't one of them. Woody Allen was able to take Diane Keaton's life and struggles and turn them into a universal love story that touched us all. But Diane Keaton's story told by Diane is unbearable to the point of tears. She has a lovely voice, you want to hear what she has to say, but most of it sounds like those letters you get from family members at Christmas who can't be bothered to send more than 1 letter so they send it to 800 people. She reads from her mother's journals. I have nothing against journals. One of my favorite audiobooks is Nella Last's Diaries, the diaries of a anonymous WWII wife in Great Britain.It was so great to hear about the difficulties she faced during WWII and how she dealt with them. But listening to the very personal and private life of Diane Keaton and her sisters and brother and parents and grandparents in their most intimate details WAS EXCRUCIATING AND BORING FOR ME. Diane has a good voice which is how I managed to get to CHapter 10 without giving up. But not another word, it's too awful . Not even her relationships with interesting people are interesting to hear about. She's still trying to be cutesy at almost 70. It's a bit much. Her acting is a pleasure because she is able to connect with people, but her writing connects only with her navel. This is the wildly mis-edited fantasy project of an overindulged grown up confused over what she wants to be when she grows up.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen 05-08-14
    Maureen 05-08-14

    Mom of one 27 year old, PhD in Rhetoric, Retired AF Captain, Avid Kayaker, Hiker, Biker, Sailor, & Dog Lover

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    "How beautiful...."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to get to know this extraordinary woman, her gentle world view, and the love she has for her family. I enjoyed this as much as I did the memoirs of Penny Marshal and Carol Burnett. All three women inspire me with their honesty, humor and kindness.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was so inspired and touched by this book that I teared up at the end of most of the chapters. It is simply poetic. That's the best way to put it. And at the last chapter, I hugged my little dachshund and wept like a baby. It was just so well said and read with such heartfelt sincerity. If I could, I would thank Ms. Keaton personally. Read this book everyone. It is outstanding.


    Have you listened to any of Diane Keaton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I just downloaded "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" and can't wait to listen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! I played hooky a bit so that I could continue listening. In fact, I'll do so again very soon. The reason I wanted to continue is that Ms. Keaton reminded and taught me the importance of loving my family with acceptance and compassion. Not preachy in any way whatsoever, just a good example of how to embrace all of one's family with both realism and gratitude.....


    Any additional comments?

    Buy Duke a surfboard. Purchase this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candis Tucson, AZ, United States 03-13-13
    Candis Tucson, AZ, United States 03-13-13
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    "Honest & Insightful"
    Would you listen to Then Again again? Why?

    Yes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's so down to earth and true to life. Probably wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much if Diane Keaton herself wasn't narrating.


    Which character – as performed by Diane Keaton – was your favorite?

    Herself


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Couldn't wait to get back to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    2kittiesmom 02-18-13
    2kittiesmom 02-18-13
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    "Oh no, not Again!"

    This was a disappointing book for me in many ways. Unfortunately it was also fairly lacking in highlights or even low low points, making its most outstanding feature being like a featureless landscape, a one note sonata that can pretty much be summed up with the opening Hi, my name is Diane, I love Woody Allen, to, Bye, my name is Diane, isn't Woody the best?! PS, I never was a WA fan, it could have been a prejudicial reaction on my part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maine Mermaid Blue Hill, Maine 11-30-12
    Maine Mermaid Blue Hill, Maine 11-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Should be titled Diane Keaton's Family"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not for film buffs! Not enough attention to her film career or professional experiences. She is fixated on the death of her parents. File under death, dying, hospice.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Diane Keaton’s life?

    Insiders view of filmakers and filmmaking; professional anecdotes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janicke Onnens, Switzerland 11-27-12
    Janicke Onnens, Switzerland 11-27-12 Member Since 2012
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    "not the best audio production"
    Where does Then Again rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    hard to say. I'm wondering whether the skipping back and forth between the mother's diary entries, letters and notes as well as letters and notes from former lovers and friends - not to mention from Keaton herself - and Keaton's present account, was made harder to follow without any layout hints. maybe different background sounds or something could have been added to help the listener?... or maybe it was just that some bits just weren't all that captivating?


    What about Diane Keaton’s performance did you like?

    very honest and touching


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lover of Fine Things The Crown of Maine 11-19-12
    Lover of Fine Things The Crown of Maine 11-19-12 Member Since 2012

    Reads and yarns, chocolate and naps!

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    "Quirky, like the author!"
    What did you love best about Then Again?

    I liked Diane Keaton's reading of her memoir. It was more personable than just reading her words.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Then Again?

    Keaton weaves her memories together with journal entries from her mother, so the stories are told from multiple perspectives. It adds a quirky layer to this memoir.


    What about Diane Keaton’s performance did you like?

    Keaton's performance is outstanding.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Keaton talks about her children and what life is like, I was particularly moved.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid 11-11-12
    Ingrid 11-11-12
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    "Just awful"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not possible. The author shows virtually no insight, no growth, or maturity coming from her experience. She merely rambles on, lingering far too long on her mother's illness and death,


    Has Then Again turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I love biographies and autobiographies.--I'm just turned off by poorly written ones. From John Adams and Abigail Adams to Steve Jobs, biographies can be entertaining and enlightening.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Diane Keaton?

    Keaton was passable as narrator. At times though, she would have an insincere little laugh that left me feeling uncomfortable.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I've enjoyed Keaton on-screen in many roles. It is true she oftern plays the same "Annie Hall" type character--which you hear often in the book. Unfortunately, she did not seem to know who she was--and thus she failed at how to play herself. Her lack of insight left me disappointed.


    Any additional comments?

    Not recommended reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Merrimack, NH, United States 09-24-12
    Jessica Merrimack, NH, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "There's more than one reason to like Diane Keaton"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Definitely.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Then Again?

    The continuous reminder to 'Think'. I felt it was such a profound word and simple statement for a woman suffering from Alzheimer disease, during and before the disease started talking affect.


    What about Diane Keaton’s performance did you like?

    Her voice is always soothing but I think her realism really gets to me in this performance. Letting people know... it doesn't matter who you are... the things we all deal with in life are alike, though never the same.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Then Again... I might mirror my Mother but during her struggles, I found my own way to reflect in what has made me who I am... more a part of her than I realized and much a stronger self.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Columbus, OH, United States 08-04-12
    Natalie Columbus, OH, United States 08-04-12 Member Since 2011

    I like mysteries, classics, and good non-fiction. Much of my audible listening takes place when I am working out and sweaty, so I like good plot-driven thrillers.

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    "Some profound insights for the introspective."
    If you could sum up Then Again in three words, what would they be?

    Mothers and Daughters


    What other book might you compare Then Again to and why?

    I'm not certain--this book seems "sui generis". It is NOT a celebrity memoir (although there are some aspects of it that might seem so). Perhaps I would call it a non-fictional, trimmed-down contemporary version of a book like "Buddenbrooks" or "The Forsythe Saga".


    What about Diane Keaton’s performance did you like?

    She seemed very natural and off-the-cuff. Reading her own words, her reactions were sometimes very personal. I like the fact that the book is only roughly chronological.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of her mother's death.


    Any additional comments?

    The double meaning of the title provides a "vade mecum" into the essence of the book: it's primarily a meditation on living in the shadow of death; on living with parents with all of their caprices; of acknowledging the inescapable, ineluctable pull of family life, of the fact that 1946 can be as fresh, compelling, and memorable as yesterday afternoon was.

    But I don't think that any thinking, feeling person need have any similarities to Keaton to appreciate her thoughts on the loss of parents. Keaton's mother left journals, photos, and other documents of her own life which Keaton is able to use as a launching pad for her own memories and perceptions.

    I liked the entire book, but interestingly found the family dynamics in Keaton's life more absorbing than the discussion of film and other actors.

    I really hope that Keaton writes some more--perhaps more about aging, or reflections on "still life", or on adult sibling relationships, or the art of bringing up children in this bewildering time.

    I notice that quite a few reviews are negative and I suspect that they come from people who lack either introspection or experience, or who would have preferred more gossip. I did not find any longeurs or moments of tedium in "Then Again" at all. I would not want anyone to be put off from a deeply rewarding reflection because of some negative responses. I give Keaton's work 5 stars unreservedly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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