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Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned | [Alan Alda]

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned

He's one of America's most recognizable and acclaimed actors: a star on Broadway, an Oscar nominee for The Aviator, and the only person to ever win Emmys for acting, writing, and directing, during his 11 years on M*A*S*H. Now Alan Alda has written a memoir as elegant, funny, and affecting as his greatest performances.
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Publisher's Summary

He's one of America's most recognizable and acclaimed actors: a star on Broadway, an Oscar nominee for The Aviator, and the only person to ever win Emmys for acting, writing, and directing, during his 11 years on M*A*S*H. Now Alan Alda has written a memoir as elegant, funny, and affecting as his greatest performances.

"My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six," begins Alda's irresistible story. The son of a popular actor and a loving but mentally ill mother, he spent his early childhood backstage in the erotic and comic world of burlesque and went on, after early struggles, to achieve extraordinary success in his profession.

Yet Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is not a memoir of show-business ups and downs. It is a moving and funny story of a boy growing into a man who then realizes he has only just begun to grow.

It is the story of turning points in Alda's life, events that would make him what he is, if only he could survive them.

From the moment as a boy when his dead dog is returned from the taxidermist's shop with a hideous expression on his face, and he learns that death can't be undone, to the decades-long effort to find compassion for the mother he lived with but never knew, to his acceptance of his father, both personally and professionally, Alda learns the hard way that change, uncertainty, and transformation are what life is made of, and true happiness is found in embracing them.

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, filled with curiosity about nature, good humor, and honesty, is the crowning achievement of an actor, author, and director, but surprisingly, it is the story of a life more filled with turbulence and laughter than any Alda has ever played on the stage or screen.

©2005 Alan Alda; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A brief but entertaining autobiography tempered with humility and a depth rarely found in celebrity memoirs." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (319 )
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Performance
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    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 01-22-11
    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 01-22-11 Member Since 2009

    70 year old grandmother of 2 teenagers. Still working in real estate appraisal field, live in OH and SC - spend time listening & traveling.

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    "Disappointed"

    Alan Alda has to be the most self-centered, cocky individual on the planet. I always liked him and thought he had to be like "Hawkeye" - funny, smart, happy go lucky, charming - but he came across as a man who was spoiled from childhood and put himself ahead of his wife and children at every turn. After listening to his book, I simply don't care for him at all. What a stretch it must have been for him to play such a nice guy on "Mash" all those years!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith 06-26-10
    Judith 06-26-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Introspective Drivel"

    Couldn't get past chapter 5. What a bunch of hooey! Maybe it's better when Alda narrates. I doubt it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Burbank, CA, USA 02-01-06
    Kathleen Burbank, CA, USA 02-01-06
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    "mildly engaging"

    Despite other listeners' negative reviews, I had some expectations of entertainment from this book. However, I found the story to be somewhat thin and repetitive, with the author a little whiny (so you had a bad childhood - get over it already and move on with your life!). I don't think a different reader (or Alan himself) could have breathed much more life into this stuffed dog.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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