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

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  725 ratings  ·  107 reviews
The most popular standup comic in the U.S." --"Time"

Whether he's breathing life into Walter, an old curmudgeon; Peanut, an over-caffeinated purple maniac; or Achmed, a screaming, skeletal, dead terrorist, comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is the straight man to some of the wildest, funniest partners in show business.

"All By My Selves" is the story of one pretty ordina
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ebook, 368 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by New American Library (first published November 3rd 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,233)
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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
Kim Dixon
I just got done reading this book for a second time last night. First off, let me say that over the past 5-6 months, I have become a HUGE Jeff Dunham fan. My uncle made me watch one of his stand up shows on Comedy Central around October of last year. Within 5 minutes, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. Jeff has quickly become one of, if not, my favorite comedians. I love everything he's done. His dvds have helped me get through the worst point of my life so far.
As for the book, it's o
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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
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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
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Dylan elliott
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dylan Elliott
I thought All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, and Me by Jeff Dunham was pretty funny and heartwarming in other parts.Especially when he had to build his own dummies from scratch with only a few materials that he had with him.
The theme of the book is about him and how he got famous by becoming a ventriloquist and the many hardships he’d have to come to face along with raising a family and being an only father while trying to help his career take off. The style he give off in the beginning o
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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
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
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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
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Kym Collar
Genre: Memoir
A "Hollywood " memoir. Names are dropped, but only in a positive way. I "read" it in audiobook, narrated by Mr. Dunham. Despite his being a stage performer, his reading was relatively flat. The book was not bad, but not spectacular either. His story is interesting, and there's lots of detail about how he conceived all his characters.
Tonya
To keep it simple: if you are a fan of Jeff's then his autobiography is a great read. I learned quite a bit about the comedian but I also found it intriguing where he found and created each of his characters/dummies and to realize that his struggles have been very real. His story is also proof that dreams do come true...with hard, diligent work!
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
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Lori Bauer
You HAVE to listen to this in audio! I'm so glad I did because Jeff reads it himself and I think it makes it funnier at times. I found it much more interesting that way. I love when the authors for auto-biographies read their own books. It gives something extra to it.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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Mickey Reed
Mar 28, 2011 Mickey Reed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cindy Fashingbauer
I found the audio version of this book on Spotify and decided to listen to it. It was very funny and didn't seem like it took almost 9 hours to get through. Jeff Dunham reads the book from start to finish with the help of Walter, Peanut, Achmed and all the other characters from his shows. I can't imagine that reading the book myself would have been as funny.
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
Kimberley Koz
Dunham's story of his life up to 2010 is as entertaining as he is on stage.
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