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Never Have Your Dog Stuffed Paperback – 1 Feb 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; 2nd Impression edition (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099493764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099493761
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'I couldn't put it down and I couldn't stop laughing'" (Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe)

"'Alda dips and weaves through his life story with bracing unpredictability, dwelling with wry humour on the ups and downs.'" (Mail on Sunday)

"Alda's account is affecting and amusing ... An infinitely more profound and stimulating study than the standard luvvie's autobiography" (Spectator)

"'[An] entertaining autobiography tempered with humility and a depth rarely found in celebrity memoirs'" (Publishers Weekly)

"'An entertaining and profound read with a strong sense of the ridiculous'" (Ireland on Sunday)

Book Description

'Honest, touching and very funny - like Mr Alda himself' David Mamet, author of Glengarry Glen Ross

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book was so easy to read, and so enjoyable, i was rather upset that it was so short.
This book doesn't deal with any one topic about Alan Alda's life. It deals with both his career and his personal life, yet he never delves TOO deeply into either, yet he integrates them with a mastery i have never read before. I assume it's because, unlike a lot of actors, acting WAS a part of his private life, and so much more than just a career.
It's amazing how he writes; he can describe an amusing moment in life then turn to something more morose, yet, with the exception of his mother's last days, the humour, though cynical and sarcastic, is always there.
The only minor problem i can see is that he never really kept any track of time in the book. I constantly found myself wondering what year were we in? How old was he now?
Other than that, this is a brilliant book written by an amazing man.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're looking for the standard show-biz autobiography you'll be disappointed. If you're looking for the life-journey of a curious mind who settled for acting, you're in for a treat. This is a 'what I learned and how I learned it' full of gems; worth the price simply for his definition of listening - only if you're prepared to change as a result of what you've heard can you call it listening (he puts it better) - and there's more, much more.
Being UK-based, I didn't know that he'd presented a show based on interviews etc. with scientists, but it all made sense; who else could play Richard Feynman? This book is far more profound than those written by people who hail from more 'serious' professions; reflective, searching, pattern-seeking, independent, honourable ... of course I'd love the blow-by-blow account of what it was like to create MASH, and maybe we'll get that some time, but this is a treat of a different and remarkably nourishing order.
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Format: Paperback
It's easy to remember and locate ... I'm not a fan of movie star autobiographies unless I'm really hooked on them, and the best actors are not the best writers - it's usually those who have shot to fame after a lot of complex life experience who have something meaningful to convey. Alda fits the bill in this book which is not so much an autobiography but a long conversation - with some distinctive themes and experiences - no tedious story of my life stuff. You'll find out more facts about Alda on the inner flaps of the book about the author.

The book itself begins with the immortal words "I was six before my mother decided to stab my father (paraphrased)". There is a lot of humour and the book dwells a great deal on childhood - here the dog comes in and represents a mantra about not getting stuck - why cling when you should say goodbye?

There aren't too many dates or numbers or addresses or people he's met - hardworking Alda has exceptionally for an actor - remained faithfully wedded to his wife the whole way through and is now a grandfather.

The highlight of the book is how Alda comes to terms with the Romanic church and realises to grow up. There is also a lot about acting - becoming Hecuba after Hamlet. I suppose that this book conveys that well known adage - if you want to be rich/successful - find what interests you - and fruits may follow. He talks about his mother's schizophrenia with compassion, and his relationship with his father. The first half of this book buzzes with life and heartache - acting is not a reccommended career.

So Alan found Mash or Mash found him which lead to a career blossoming in writing and presenting.

A very easy, light hearted read with lots of cheerful lessons - perhaps a little too cheerful.
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Format: Paperback
A charming book by a thoroughly charmimg and delightful man. The first part, detailing his difficult relationship with his mother and his much warmer association with his father (Robert Alda, already a star of film and theatre) and his recollections of theatrical folk is particularly fascinating. He does rather dwell on the methodology and motivation of acting in the second half and M*A*S*H is dealt with somewhat cursorily, but overall he appears a thoroughly principled, loving and devoted (if a little angst-ridden!) family man, successfully balancing his life and work in a notoriously fickle profession. Recommended.
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By J. E. Parry VINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always had a soft spot for Mr Alda, ever since his days as Hawkeye on MASH. It was good to read his book and find out how hard he's worked following his dream. How he made several really bad decisions regarding his work but learnt from them all. You see his humour and softness come through the page. There are no sex scenes or tales of women left helpless in his wake. Instead we have an ordinary family man doing his best to care for them and follow a hard and demanding career.

This is not a "laugh every page" book, as described by one reviewer on the back, but a very thoughtful and gentle look at his life. He never talks ill of his fellow actors. He shows us the bad side of his upbringing and his relationships with his parents.

He also passes on good advice on acting and life. Indeed Never Have Your Dog Stuffed are truly words to live by for all.
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