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

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Random House, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
22 Reviews
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 eleven 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.

YetNever Have Your Dog Stuffedis 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bibliophileofalls - LibraryThing

This was an OK book. Although I've always liked Alda, I guess I like him much more as an actor than a writer. I would say it was mildly amusing but I didn't feel an motivation to continue reading. I slogged through mainly because it was a discussion book for my book club. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alsocass - LibraryThing

Periodically throughout the book I would turn back and look at the front cover in order to remind myself that I was indeed reading the autobiography of Alan Alda, who is remembered not only for being ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Alan Alda played Hawkeye Pierce for eleven years in the television series M*A*S*H and has acted in, written, and directed many feature films. He has starred often on Broadway, and his avid interest in science has led to his hosting PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 and has been nominated for thirty Emmy awards. He is married to the children’s book author/photographer Arlene Alda. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

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