I like Alan Alda, but geez, over the years he annoyed me, that constant need for Hawkeye to always be funny, always stretching for the next laugh. We stopped watching M*A*S*H because of him. However, if I happened to catch him in something where he wasn't playing the buffoon, I really liked him. A fine actor.
With that said, I am not sure what made me order this book, but I did, and it sat on my Mount TBR a very short time. Surprising as the Mount is enormous. The first third or so is interesting, his young life with a famous father and crazy mother, but nothing too dramatic, surprising for him. It was when he began talking about M*A*S*H that the book began to shine, but that didn't go on long enough as it is a short book. Yet he maintained the page-turning interest with his near-death emergency in Chile, and brought the book to a nice close. Fortunately, this paperback edition has a really interesting, pertinent-to-the-title, afterword written after the hardcover was published.
I would definitely have enjoyed reading more about his personal family life, of which there was very, very little written. Surprised again.
I recommend this book even if you aren't a huge fan of his.
Lina M. (K9Mom) reviewed Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned on
Helpful Score: 1
"Never Have Your Dog Stuffed" by Alan Alda. This is a book that I will hold on to. I adore Alan Alda as an actor and fellow human being. I have both the audio book and hard bound. I learned many new things about Alan's childhood as I ventured through the pages of his book. It covers both the good and bad times throughout Alan's life. I cried through the pain, and laughed at new adventures he faced. Over all I am glad I took the time with this book. It touched my heart. After hearing Alan's dog storyâ¦.there is no way I would have my dog stuffed. I hope this book will your heart too as you venture beyond your daily activities.
I've been a fan of Alan Alda's since the first time I saw M*A*S*H. I had no idea what a messed-up childhood, and mentally unstable mother he came from. Despite these beginnings (or perhaps because of them) Alda rose to become a celebrated actor, director, and movie script writer. Now he proves himself as a book writer as well with a smooth writing style that was easy to read aloud and made us laugh ourselves silly, despite the sometimes dark subject matter. Highly recommended.
My dad use to watch M*A*S*H when I was a kid but I would usually leave the room or pick up a book to block it out, war stuff scared me and was never my thing. Those little snippets were all I knew about Alan Alda but the title of this one called my name.
This isnt one of those gossipy tell-alls and the book barely touches on Aldas time on M*A*S*H. Its a memoir about his entire life and I found it fascinating and quietly funny. Alda grew up surrounded by performers and parents who were merely children in grown up bodies. His mother was mentally unstable and grew increasingly worse as she aged. His dad was a somewhat famous, handsome actor but he was never paid well so Alda grew up on the edge of broke and remains pretty humble even when he gains his own fame. He marries young and miraculously STAYS married to the same woman throughout all of the ups and downs of his career.
His childhood was very unconventional and learning about it was the best part of the book. He was bounced around from town to town while his father followed work wherever it led them. Because of this Alda developed some ticks that made him the prime target of bullies in the private school where he is later enrolled. He just wanted to make people laugh, thats all he knew, but the other kids thought he was off his nut. He struggled for quite some time trying to make it as an actor, taking on any oddball job he could get to help support his young family. His wife must have been incredibly supportive and Im glad they managed to hold it together. You dont hear these sorts of stories often and Im glad I took the time to listen to this one.
From whom we knew as Hawkeye on M*A*S*H, Alan Alda tells his story, and he is FAR from the character he plays. From his mentally ill mother, actor father, and his personality quirks, this is a good read.
Easy read - a loose autobiography. Book shows two truths re: entertainers - 1) they often come from a family "in the business" 2) stardom is the result of hard work - seldom is someone an "overnight success".
There is humor in the narrative, but it's not a comedy book.
This book give great insight into one of TVs best know actors. Like most people I know Alan Alda from M*A*S*H and from the PBS show Scientific American Frontiers. I knew very little about the man himself.
This book gives a good snap shot of what goes on in the mind of a great actor and how they are a real person just like everyone else.
Very enjoyable memoir of the celebrity stripe. Alan Alda is smart and self depreciating in just the right balance while relating the early experiences (having been raised in the wings of a traveling burlesque show) and relationships (with a schitzophrenic mother and movie-star father foremost amongst them) that created him as the man and the actor he is today.
While his time on M*A*S*H is covered, and he sprinkles the narrative with tidbits here and there of how the cast of that show interacted with one another, this is NOT a behind-the-scenes tell-all, a recounting of his adventures on-set, nor a reflection of how the show affected his life during and after. Rather, it is a much more comprehensive look at the journey of his life through the reflection of his own mirror.
First, last and always a performer, this memoir is Alda's most personal performance: at times funny, at other times, achingly self-aware of how unfunny his desperate need to be funny could sometimes be. But at all times, aspiring to the noble effort of telling the story of who he is and how he became that way with as much accuracy as one can possibly achieve in the telling of one's own story.
Easy to read and as entertaining as a lively conversation, this memoir stands out from most of those who'd claim to compete by being revealing in what it says and in how it chooses to say it, as well as in what it fails to say and what it says by stopping just short of saying it.
You know Alan Alda. The son of actor Robert Alda; married to author / photographer Arlene Alda. But you don't know Alan Alda, aside from the characters he has played for you. Where did he come from? How was life growing up with a famous actor from pre- World War II through the 1950's? Alda remembers... mostly.
Good and bad -- life seems to have balance. In this book Alda works hard to share both; wanting us to see the motivations behind his choices. From starting life as an infant on the traveling burlesque circuit, where his first newspaper review claims him to be a pipe smoker at age 2 -- with pictures; to Hollywood, while his father begins to work in films, and Alan comes down with Polio; to New York where his father would act on Broadway and Alan would suffer Catholic school as a teen. Life offered Alda lemons and lemonade and even lemon pie.
This book is also a chance for Alda to share honestly about his own quirks, and worries, and choices. A mother who suffered with mental illness. His discoveries about what motivated him, and what trapped him along the way toward success. In the end, it is his chance to come clean about his feelings toward each parent, how he resolved his issues, and how it made him aware of his own humanity.
While this book has plenty of humor to carry you through each chapter, the subjects are not those for children. In a short time you will come to know the things that took much of a lifetime for him to learn about himself. Enjoy the read.