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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    102
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    84
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    47
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Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    138
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    61
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    50
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    20
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    16

Story

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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    85
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    75
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    35
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janicke
  • Onnens, Switzerland
  • 11-27-12

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jessica
  • Merrimack, NH, United States
  • 09-24-12

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • sea cliff, NY, United States
  • 06-11-12

Mother Daughter Story told Creatively

If you could sum up Then Again in three words, what would they be?

Apt Title for Engaging Relationship Story

What did you like best about this story?

How she told the story - it was interwoven with her and her mother's thoughts and told in a conversational manner-- rambling yet organized coherent thoughts - not chronological - a unique biography of her mother and herself and how these two lives intertwined - quite meaningful and sensitve - a substantive work.

What does Diane Keaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The book is personal so adding Keaton's voice underlines that uniqueness - The story is however universal in that it shows how a mother and daughter relationship contributes to both persons' identities. The reader or listener can relate to the feelings that the story evokes about mothers and daughters.

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

Then Again

Any additional comments?

The title is perfect.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Confusing

I found this audiobook just a little confusing as it jumped back and forth between the author's life and the memoirs of her mother. While both were interesting, it was not always easy to discern who's life I was listening to. I frequently had to go back and listen to a section again to be sure whose part of the story I was listening to. This one perhaps would be better as an ebook where you can actually read rather than listen to. However, both stories were interesting. I particularly admire Diane Keaton for her attitude to her looks and for making the amazing decision to adopt a child at the age of 50 then another at 55. Being 55 myself, I cannot imagine taking on motherhood for the first time at this age. A very interesting person. Hopefully others will find the audio book less confusing than I did.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love Diane? Listen Up!

What did you love best about Then Again?

A quirky lady and trained actress telling you her story with frankness and humor.

Any additional comments?

Nothing beats a writer who reads his/her own words skillfully

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

It's as if Diane was sitting across from you.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Diane's story is simple, loving and you realize that she is just like any other woman. Great listening.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

So boring

Would you try another book from Diane Keaton and/or Diane Keaton?

never

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

no

Any additional comments?

On a long drive across the country we decided to not listen to anything rather than one more minute of this.