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

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  4,850 ratings  ·  563 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 s
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 13th 2005 by Random House (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
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

“My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six.” ― Alan Alda, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned

NEVER HAVE YOUR DOG STUFFED: AND OTHER THINGS I’VE LEARNED, by Alan Alda was not quite as easy, or enjoyable, a listen as was Alda’s other memoir, THINGS I OVERHEARD WHILE TALKING TO MYSELF, perhaps, in part, because the audiobook of THING I OVERHEARD was narrated by Alan, himself, and NEVER HAVE YOUR DOG STUFFED wasn’t. And, t
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
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
Alan Alda is one of the most engaging actors I’ve seen; it was no surprise to learn that the outward twinkle is driven, in part, by an inward need to have, to control, and to please, an audience… he’s driven by other things, too, and his ability to break these factors down and present them to the reader makes this an honest and charming memoir. As sad as some parts of his personal history are, he doesn’t flinch in presenting them to the reader for mutual examination, and even laces them with hum ...more
I defy any person who might read this article to present to me another nineteen-year-old girl of today's generation who knows exactly who Alan Alda is, everything that he has done, and some of the more intimate particulars of his life. The second and third, of course, are direct results of reading this revealing, enchanting, humorous, inspiring, thoughtful autobiography, although to be fair, I have been watching reruns of MASH since I was seven years old. To me, there has always been something a ...more
I've always liked the Alan Alda I see on TV, especially in M*A*S*H, of which I have seen every episode multiple times. The Alan Alda in his first book, "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed" is much like he has always been in interviews, but with the subject matter being as sometimes sad as it is, the tone feels a lot heavier.

If you are looking for a lot of fun stories about M*A*S*H, you should look elsewhere. Obviously there are mentions because it was such a huge part of Alda's life and career, but thi
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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
Sheila Siler
The Alan Alda I Never Knew

What a life! All I knew about Alan Alfa before this was his role as Hawkeye on MASH and his stint on West Wing as the Republican candidate for president. His childhood is interesting to read about, and I am impressed at his long-lasting marriage. An interesting book.
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
Alan Alda is one of the most respected actors, not only because of his long and successful career, but also because he has escaped the taint of Hollywood scandal. After reading his autobiography you know why - he has been married to the same woman for over 50 years, and grew up around actors and never wanted to do anything other than act and entertain people. Through a series of anecdotes, Alda describes his youth with an actor father who he adored and a mother who became more and more insane ov ...more
To tell the truth, I am not all that familiar with Alan Alda's career as an actor. I know that he was on M*A*S*H* but I was too young for the series and never watched it in syndication. He's a recognizable figure but wasn't a person of interest for me. However, I love memoirs and this one was promoted in a year-end sale, so I picked it up and was not at all disappointed. Alda has lived an amazing life, growing up as a young child in the wings of vaudeville stages and the family's journey to Holl ...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
Some time ago, Alda was on some interview show where he very briefly mentioned his unusual childhood. It was enough to pique my interest, so when the library got this book in, I decided to give it a read.

Man, has this guy had an interesting life. And it's not always been "interesting" in the good way. In unconscious (until later life) competition with his famous actor father, clearly deeply impacted by his mother's mental illness, often completely removed and naive about the harsh realities of
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.
Sherri Rabinowitz
I have been a fan of Alan Alda since I was 9 years old and he was in a commercial advertising this show called MASH in a white doctors coat :) I think I have seen most of his movies and all his guest appearances. I also had the honor of seeing two plays he was in, one was Jake's Woman and the other was QED. I also saw him in person once. It was at a screening at the Writers Guild of Blackboard Jungle hosted by Jamie Farr. After the movie I ran to the bathroom then ran back and as I walked down t ...more
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.
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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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