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Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  4,414 ratings  ·  526 reviews
He's one of America's most recognisable 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 s ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Arrow (first published January 1st 2005)
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When I was a kid I would sit in our playroom and watch M*A*S*H* on my black and white TV while everyone else was busy doing their thing. I remember Little House on the Prairie being on at the same time, so my sister and Mom must have been watching the Ingalls. And my Dad...well he wasn't interested in M*A*S*H*. He hated Alan Alda.

According to my Dad, Hawkeye, and Alan Alda by extension, was a bleeding heart liberal, and the only things worse than bleeding heart liberals in our house were "fags"
Bark's Book Nonsense
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 isn’t one of those gossipy tell-alls and the book barely touches on Alda’s time on M*A*S*H. It’s 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 c
A while back, mr czuk and I had a driveway moment- one of those times when what is on the radio is so interesting, you don't want to get out of the car to go inside. What was so interesting? One of our favorite NPR shows, "What do you know" with Michael Feldman was on with Alan Alda as the guest for the first segment. Alda was so great in telling stories from his childhood that I turned to mr czuk and said, "I'll have to try and find his book. It sounds great." I was gifted this copy by my frien ...more
I thought it was a cookbook.
I'm not certain what possessed me to pick this up, other than a vague childhood fondness for MASH and a general sense that Alan Alda is a thoroughly good sort. On the latter point, I was absolutely right: he manages to write with a complete lack of ego, whilst describing himself as the sort of person who craves attention and the need to perform. He also manages to write about his mother's psychosis in a way that is moving yet wholly removed from any sense of this being a 'misery memoir'. Indeed, ...more
Before reading this book I knew little about Alan Alda. Of course I was one of the millions who welcomed him into my living room each week as he portrayed Hawkeye on M.A.S.H. Later, went the lights went off and Alda went on to other things, I’d see his warm face from time to time, but never paid much attention to his career.

Our book group chose this, a bit different than most memoirs we have read before. Memoirs in themselves can be sketchy, just giving a bit of a life but not the whole picture
AJ LeBlanc
If you're going to read something by Alan Alda, get the audio version and have it read to you by Alan Alda.

I knew nothing about his life and I am so glad I picked this up. He grew up in the world of vaudeville, learning the theater from the wings. For anyone interested in acting, this is a good look of what to do and what not to do.

It's not a study of acting though, but you can't have Alan Alda's autobio without information on acting.

The most powerful moments for me involve his mother. She suffe
I've liked Alan Alda since I was a kid watching "M*A*S*H" with my parents. This look inside his life was eye-opening, to say the least, but he tackles even the roughest subjects with his trademark humor. I only wish there had been more about "M*A*S*H" in the book, though I realize the series was just a snippet of his overall life story. A must read for any fan.
Stephen Reid
I enjoyed this book immensely. Alda has an entertaining writing style, a great sense of humour and yet also an excellent capacity to address some deeper issues in life. For example, the title of the book is a cryptic way of saying that life is something that needs to be lived in the present, and the past must be allowed to be the past. To try and keep the past (stuff the dog) is not conducive to living life constructively and happily.

I also found his account of the relationship between his moth
M*A*S*H is one of my most treasured TV shows from when I was a kid, as it was one of the few that I enjoyed watching with my parents. To this day, I can turn on an episode and be endlessly entertained by the engaging stories of hilarity and hijinks, sadness and loss. It can't be surprising that my favorite character was the lovable, womanizing rascal Hawkeye Pierce. I have great respect for Alan Alda as an actor, and when I heard that he had written a few memoirs, I knew I wanted to read them.

Nancy Rossman
It is reassuring to learn that the actor that I have loved and admired is the "real" person I have always assumed he must be. Had to be. He couldn't possibly be some limp dick like so many other movie stars that we love in film but are so disgusting about their real life (think Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, and okay maybe even ... Johnny Depp).

This is quite a departure memoir, as in the remembrances that are are so revealing, poignant, the grim side of his life and living with/dying with his literally
Scott Holstad
As a longtime M*A*S*H fan, I was elated when I found this book. I grew up loving Alan Alda's character, Hawkeye, on M*A*S*H. He seemed so very cool, and the rest of the cast was awesome. So when I picked up the book, I was hoping for a lively autobiography complete with numerous M*A*S*H stories. BTW, it surprised me to see, while reading through Goodreads reviews, just how many people did NOT want that! It confirmed for me the fact that I'm a very different reader than most people. I like what m ...more
Sarah Sammis
Let me start this review off with a little disclosure. I am a complete and utter Alan Alda fangirl. My grandmother was a Robert Alda fan and I remember comparing notes with her during those few M*A*S*H episodes where the two acted together. So when I heard Alda on the radio back when Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned I've wanted the book. Mom got me a copy for last Christmas and my inner fangirl squeed with delight.

Was the book worth the wait? Yes! I tore through my cop
This was Alda's first autobiography, and I must say that I couldn't put it down. Having been raised on reruns of M*A*S*H, I bought the book as a present for my mother. A month or so later, she mailed to me insisting I read it too. She was right. The same quick wit and blunt one line observations of life that make Hawkeye so endearing make this book completely engaging. As it turns out, Alda was very much involved in the writing and direction his character took on that classic show. This book, ho ...more
Although some parts of the book were interesting, Alda reveals precious little about his life. There are very few pages dedicated to M*A*S*H, the television series for which he is known and I didn't feel like I got to know the true Alan Alda through this book. He never really reveals much about his beliefs or who he truly is, which is disappointing because he seems like an intelligent and compassionate man. He did share his frustration, sadness, and compassion for his mother's schizophrenia and ...more
This book wasn't too bad, considering that I don't really like memoirs. Mostly it's about how he learned to act and stuff. Actually, the only reason I decided to read it was because my Dad watches a lot of MASH so I thought it might be interesting, but there's really not much in there about the show at all. There's only like 10 pages and even then, it doesn't give hardly any detail. So I have to say it was a little bit boring. I did like the parts where he describes what it was like growing up w ...more
Alumine Andrew
A highly readable autobiography. I picked it up not knowing a lot about Alder other than his M+A+S+H TV series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him.

He had a very unusual upbringing and dysfunctional family. His parents were actors in theatre and Alder was brought up backstage. He recalls all the semi-clad women who doted on him and watching his parents from the side of the stage. From an early age he was included in their acts.
His mother seems to have some sort of mental health condition and
Melinda Snodgrass
I loved this book, and while it was fascinating reading about Alda's life, I also found gems of wisdom about acting that apply equally well to writing. In fact I blogged about it yesterday at

Alda writes with a breezy, humorous style and then hits you with something deeply personal and emotional.

I usually read fiction, but I'm thinking about writing a non-fiction book about my father so this is a bit of homework. If only all homework were as pleasant as this.
A refreshing biography. An accomplished actor, playwright, scriptwriter and director, Alan Alda shot to fame as Hawkeye in the popular M*A*S*H TV series that ran successfully for 11 years. For someone who rose to fame due to M*A*S*H, there is surprising little about the series. Rather, Alan Alda looks at himself in the book, in a way most autobiographies only aspire to. In a self-deprecating, witty manner, Alda narrates his life and the lessons he picked along the way, without being preachy. Wha ...more
Nov 22, 2007 Laurel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like Alan Alda
A poignant, funny, book describing Alda's life - from traveling with his parents - his father was a comic in a burlesque troup - thru his mother's mental illness, to near-death in the Andes. Written in a very modest tone, we share what Alda has learned by hearing about how much he thought he knew - and didn't. His career was much more wide-ranging than I knew - much stage work, and writing. Highly recommended.
Jun 01, 2008 Valerie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ian
Recommended to Valerie by: Chaos
I have been watching MASH reruns with my sons lately, this gives me a chance to discuss history and morality issues with them as they are hooked by this show. When I saw this book at the used book store, I decided to try it. I enjoyed the stories very much, but I think I would have liked it better as a book on tape, Alan Alda's perfect timing would have made the book flow better.
If you were(are) a M*A*S*H fan and you loved Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce, you will really enjoy this book. A quick read made better because you can hear Alda's voice reading it. Alda was raised by his mentally ill mother and handsome actor father. Times weren't always fun and games, but he relates his memoir with wit and energy. I laughed out loud throughout.
Nov 26, 2008 Joel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: actors, lovers of theater
Shelves: biography
It turns out that more than acting, Alda loves to be a writer. His autobriography is episodic, anecdotal, zooming from one crisis to the next like the film of his life that he would undoubtably like to have written. He doesn't say so, but that's the feel of the book -- a movie in waiting.
Some of the stories are laugh-out-loud funny, and overall, this memoir personifies Alda by showing his frailties and flaws alongside his self-promotion (why else does one write an autobiography?). And truly, never have your dog stuffed!
Mary M
This was a really interesting read. I was amazed by some of Alda's life - as a kid, I loved watching Hawkeye on M*A*S*H and while it's clear Alda isn't Hawkeye, I loved getting to know him through the book. There's the odd bit that I didn't like - the dog being stuffed clearly was meant to be a great metaphor but I could have done without it - I think the gravity story would have made a better focal point but he's the genius! I think my favourite part was his relationship with Arlene. From the f ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This book was a huge disappointment. I really like Alda, and I thought this would be more interesting and entertaining. A lot of it is dreadfully boring, with a few interesting parts thrown in.
Lois Tucker
I enjoyed this very much on audio CD. The reader is not Alda, but is good. I know Alan Alda from MASH, as I'm sure most people do. He was the son of a successful vaudevillian who became a successful movie actor, playing Gershwin in a movie about Rhapsody in Blue, among other roles. Alda grew up watching acting from the wings and experienced underage patronage of a boy among burlesque women. His mother was quite severely mentally ill, undiagnosed professionally, but probably paranoid schizophreni ...more
wonderful book -- was recommend by Mom -- was surprised how much I enjoyed.
Samantha Nowatzke
While the book is autobiographical it reads much like a short story collection versus an extremely detailed chronological look at the actor's life. I am an avid M*A*S*H fan so I had high hopes for the book and it did a great job of delivering. Alan Alda is just a classy guy which is incredibly refreshing. While "Old Hollywood" had plenty of its own scandals, there's just an air than many older actors and actresses have that is missing in Hollywood today. It was great learning more about Alan and ...more
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Full name: Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo
Son of actor Robert Alda
Husband of children's book author Arlene Alda

Best known from role of Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce from M*A*S*H* (TV series)
More about Alan Alda...
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“The difference between listening and pretending to listen, I discovered, is enormous. One is fluid, the other is rigid. One is alive, the other is stuffed. Eventually, I found a radical way of thinking about listening. Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When I’m willing to let them change me, something happens between us that’s more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues.” 39 likes
“During the first day, curious at having outsiders among them, a long stream of inmates came over and talked with me. Remarkably, according to what they told me, nearly every inmate in the prison didn't do it. Several thousand people had been locked up unjustly and, by an incredible coincidence, all in the same prison.

On the other hand, they knew an awful lot about how to knife somebody.”
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