All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, and Me
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All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, and Me

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  532 ratings  ·  91 reviews
"The most popular standup comic in the US." -Time

His YouTube videos have been viewed more than 400 million times by fans all over the world. He has played to sold-out venues across North America, Europe, South Africa and Australia. He has sold more than six million DVDs, Forbes has ranked him in their Celebrity 100 list of most powerful entertainers for two years running...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Dutton Adult (first published November 3rd 2009)
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Clockstein Lockstein
All By My Selves by Jeff Dunham is a quirky autobiography by an equally quirky man. Dunham has achieved international fame through his comedic ventriloquism act with puppets Walter, Peanut, Achmed, and more. He traces the course of that journey through this book that begins with his eighth Christmas when his parents purchased him a ventriloquist's dummy named Mortimer Snerd. Something changed in Dunham permanently that day and he began practicing how to operate the vent (that is the term used in...more
Paul Pessolano
If you don't know who Jeff Dunham is - shame on you. Jeff is probably the premier comic/ventriloquist act in the world. Jeff works with his buddies, Peanut the lovable screwball, Walter the old curmedgeon, and Achmed the dead terrorist. If you still don't know him, google his name and look at the several You Tube clips of his acts. I guarantee that you will become a fan.

Jeef's career started at an early age. At the age of 8 he was performing in front of birthday parties, Cub Scouts, and school t...more
Justin Sylvia
Originally I thought that this book would be all Peaches & Creme, starting from Jeff Dunham's younger years as a child all the way through his teenage years and then ending up with his current life as a successful...or at least in my opinion...a highly successful ventriliquist/comedian. What i totally didn't expect was what i would read towards the end where he described the kind of dark times that he went through in his life when his marriage started to crumble and ultimately breakdown into...more
Autumn (Fic Talk)
I am not one to read biographies or autobiographies. I’d rather watch the TV special. However, when Jeff published a book last year recounting his rise to comedic ventriloquist stardom, I was very tempted to buy it. Eventually, I broke down and bought the Kindle edition.

Jeff’s rise to fame was not overnight. He became fascinated with ventriloquism at a young age. Growing up in a Christian household, Jeff’s comedy act was safe for all ages and he frequently had jobs for corporations or schools. H...more
Dylan elliott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tristan Macavery
This is not a book to be read by someone in the middle of a full-blown mid-life crisis. Please don't get me wrong: Mr. Dunham has every right to crow about his success, as he has worked very hard to build his career. He's earned it, and I enjoy his shows immensely. However, I'm almost 55 (only a few years older than Mr. Dunham), between writing contracts, on unemployment, no assets of any kind, no job prospects or retirement savings, chock full of talent yet unable to parlay it into making a liv...more
Ryan
I like this book although I cannot really put a precise reason as to why I just thoroughly enjoyed it. the great anecdotes that spring forth from it and the beautiful story of success from the little boy who got a cheap ventriloquist dummy for Christmas. I just think it's a wonderful narrative. I read the story when I was about 10 or 11 and I saw a great simplicity in it and I found myself gripping for the stories on the next page. Therefore, I am frankly not interested in people reviewing this...more
FicTalk Blog
Reviewed by Autumn

I am not one to read biographies or autobiographies. I’d rather watch the TV special. However, when Jeff published a book last year recounting his rise to comedic ventriloquist stardom, I was very tempted to buy it. Eventually, I broke down and bought the Kindle edition.

Jeff’s rise to fame was not overnight. He became fascinated with ventriloquism at a young age. Growing up in a Christian household, Jeff’s comedy act was safe for all ages and he frequently had jobs for corporat...more
Maria M. Elmvang
Dec 10, 2010 Maria M. Elmvang rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: any fan of Jeff Dunham
From the very first time I even heard about this book, I was keen, but I wasn't too sure whether the book would actually be any good, or if it was just a gimmick. Especially when I saw that Jeff Dunham's characters took part in it as well. How would that even work in writing? Wouldn't it end up being too 'cute' for words? The only way that would work would be if the book came out on audiobook, narrated by Jeff Dunham himself...

... Famous last words, because of course it did. And when I discovere...more
Paz Garcia
From the middle of Jeff Dunham's elementary school years, he always knew that he wanted to be a ventriloquist. But even with high standing hopes, he probably never realized how much he would accomplish in his 42 years of ventriloquism. Though the ups and downs and disappointment, every event in time led up to the success bestowed upon him today.

Considering how talented Dunham has proved over to be over the years with every project he's set out to do, it's truly no surprise that he could write su...more
Cheryle
Enjoyed listening to Jeff and the gang interact. I'll be the first to say I listened to this book so I wonder how it was actually written. When you start hearing the other characters chime in with their own comments, I wonder if the book actually states "...and Peanut said....".

I did learn a few new things about Dunham, but most of it I already knew, probably because I'm such a fan of his. But it was also very interesting hearing more of the stories that he had already shared on stage. Sort of...more
Jesse
I am definitely a fan of Dunham's standup comedy. I enjoy biographies so I thought I would give this one a try...
Dunham continues his interjection of the puppet's opinion of his life within the written text and I think that makes a great touch. It was interesting to learn how a quiet kid found his voice through the act of puppetry. Like any artist he had to find the medium that worked for him. Along the way a young man meets several colorful players in the world of "vent" and entertainment, not...more
Corinne
I've never really picked up a biography or autobiography on purpose, but I thoroughly enjoyed the stories Jeff and his "selves" told. Starting at age 8 with a trip through a toy store, and subsequently his local public library for a book on ventriloquism, he acheived his goal. Throughout the book, Achmed, Peanut, Walter and his other dummies made an appearance and contributed to the conversation. He talks about the puppets he made, his life on the road, his heartbreaks, and some of the most hila...more
Kelly Knapp
Oct 17, 2012 Kelly Knapp rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: biography lovers.
I was highly unimpressed with this audio. Partly my own fault, I failed to notice this was his autobiography. There I was on a 6 hour trip, slid the first disc in and blah, blah, blah. I was thinking I would enjoy the comedy of peanut and Achmed; "I will kill you!" Only listened to the first half May 2012. I finally listened to the rest on another looooooong trip.

I was OK! I may be having trouble overcoming the disappointment be cause I have done great research on Ronn Lucas (whom I adore) so I...more
Courtney
I thought it was very interesting to read all about Jeff Dunham and how he got to where he is today. He is one of my favorite comedians and he is very talented. I also love how there were interjections between each of his puppets. I could hear the puppets voices in my head and it made me want to watch them It was a very funny and wonderful book.
Michael Casey
I gave this book a four because I really did enjoy reading it, and he brought his comedy and his jokes into the book to keep it funny. I learned a lot about Jeff's early life and the patience he had to keep working on his craft before he made it big. I came across this book when my parents got it for me in 8th grade, but I unfortunately I never got around to reading it. I was surprised to see how average his early life actually was. He talks about how most comedians have had pretty messed up li...more
Lisa
It started out interesting but in the end i lost interest. I loved the interplay between the writer and his dummies but it wasn't enough to carry me along to the end.
Jeff
May 24, 2012 Jeff rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of Jeff Dunham; People interested in getting into show business
I really enjoyed listening to this autobiographical Audio Book about Jeff Dunham. I've always liked his routines on TV and recently saw him live for the first time. The book provides an amazing insight into the world of show business from the perspective of a very "normal" person. It's also fun to read as Walter, Peanut, Bubba Jay, Achmed, and all the other characters from his skits chime in with their witty humor, making it as much a humorous book as it is an insightful autobiography.

I highly r...more
Erika
As a huge Jeff Dunham fan I was excited to hear that he had written an autobiography. I immediately put it on hold at my local library.

I was not disappointed. The book was filled with humor and interesting information. It starts at the beginning where he saw his first "dummy" in the toy store with his mom and progressing to the frustrating prejudice he received in the comedy community as a "vent". He briefly discusses his personal life, which I thought was appropriate since the book is about his...more
Mickey (I'm A Book Shark)
Mar 28, 2011 Mickey (I'm A Book Shark) rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Jeff Dunham fans, biography fans, vent fans
Shelves: 2011, audio
Wow. I really enjoyed this book! It was funny, touching, amusing, entertaining, and extremely informative. I learned a lot about ventriloquism - or vent, as Dunham and people in the biz call it. I also learned a lot about Dunham's life. He's worked on his talent for a very long time, he's met/worked with a lot of wonderful people and bright stars, and his personal life took some dramatic twists and turns. His background was something I was not aware of either. I just about cried when he started...more
Atlantis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim (gtkim)
I listened to this on audio, and it was read by Jeff, complete with his cast of characters.

I am giving this 5 stars due to the audio version. If I had read it in hard copy I would have probably given it 4 stars. But the audio version adds so much to this with his characters taking part in the story.

I've seen him live, and Jeff has to be one of the funniest entertainers out there today. I thoroughly enjoyed his story and find it incredible that he knew what he wanted to do at such a young age, an...more
Brian
Really funny audiobook listen for me.

Jeff Dunham is one of the (relatively) clean comedians out there today, and I've seen him and enjoyed his material. This book is an autobiography that tells the story of how he found ventriloquism at age 7 (!) and has been doing it ever since. This is more of a biography than a comedy, but it's funny at times. I enjoyed it.

It also reinforced my belief that the best audiobooks are ones written and narrated by people who speak in front of crowds or a camera fo...more
Jan
What a great story and funny too, loved how the puppets were part of the book with comments too after all who is Jeff without them? So enjoyed your show in a comedy club in Tulsa and at the Brady Theater in the late 90s to early 00's! Kept wondering when a DVD was going to come out but after reading the book I can see why it took so long. Amazing struggles to get where he is today considering just how funny Jeff is. I love Walter the best, you never know what he's gonna say...oh and I love you t...more
Dierdra Byrd
I love this stand up act so much I was so anxious to listen to this on audio book but it took me so long to get through because it was, well NOT funny! The way he read it was just so boring it felt forced in parts and the puppets were not even really funny because you, well I guess because I could not see them? I don't know but his stories were boring and the way he just told them was not at all amusing. I guess it was nice to hear his story but it just could have been told so much better.
Brandyn
I listened to this on audio book and assuming it was read pretty close to the way it was written there wasn't anything impressive about the writing. There are a few phrases that Jeff overuse - at the moment all I can remember is "Good Lord" was used frequently, but there were several others.

But Jeff has led an interesting life and I was entertained the whole time I was listening. I was on a 7 hour work road trip and seven hours in the car can be painful, but this book made it interesting.
Stefanie
Eerste keer dat ik niet echt goed weet wat te zeggen over een boek. Het is immers een biografie (verwacht geen showgehalte dus!) ...
Ik wou dit echter al een lange tijd lezen omdat ik fan ben van Jeff en zijn kereltjes. Dus als je, net als ik, Jeff wil leren kennen en hoe zijn carrière ooit startte, zeker lezen. Het ontstaan van Walter, Peanut, José, Achmed, ... wordt verteld op een interessante manier. En natuurlijk mogen ze zelf ook niet ontbreken! THEY STILL ROCK, 4 sterren!
Jeff Wombold
I like reading these non fiction books, especially when they show the human side of celebrities. This book really brings out how hard Jeff worked to perfect his dream, but also the struggles and mishaps that every human experiences. I especially like that Jeff shares the same interest in cars as I do, to the point of actually racing corvettes. I too drove a Nascar once at 143.9 mph and can relate to the thrill. I hope that everything continues well for him and his family.
Jessica
Most autobiographies and biographies tend to be rather dry and dull (at least in my opinion) and I avoid them. I found this to be very funny and easy to read. Jeff and his entourage of puppets has been making me laugh for years. I had never realized how long he had been in the business. He tells the stories like he does on stage.... With no details left out even if they make him look bad. The side comments by the puppets just add to the stories.
Drew
A funny & entertaining read, I learned more about Jeff Dunham and his rise to comic fame. I had heard in interviews that he has practiced being a ventriloquist all his life and in reading this book I learned all about those trials and tribulations from his performances as a young kid for his classmates in school assemblies to his performing in sold out arenas. Jeff is one of my all time favorite comedians and I very much enjoyed the book.
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