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

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  6,212 Ratings  ·  700 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
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Published September 13th 2005 by Random House Audio (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
Jul 19, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, memoir
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
AJ LeBlanc
Jul 20, 2010 AJ LeBlanc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 30, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really lovely to read. Above all, it confirmed my notion of Alan Alda as a kind man and I loved getting to know him a little better amid his strange and fascinating life stories. Recommended for fans and for those interested in acting, show business, mental illness, family dynamics and even physics.
Nov 22, 2014 George rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks

“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
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
Nancy Rossman
Jul 27, 2012 Nancy Rossman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys this actor
I've always loved Alan Alda as an actor. This book makes be love the man he is just as much. On film his sincerety humanity shine through. The book also shows his insecurities, joys, and integrity. He had a pretty tough and unusual childhood. His experiences teach him many lessons. His mother is mentally ill, and his father is a good man but always on the road performing. Alda learns that he loves to makes people laugh and especially loves improvisation. He loves books and learning. He learns th ...more
Sep 27, 2015 Micahb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this four stars instead of five as it seemed to be somewhat disjointed. At times it seems the book is going in chronological order pursuant to Mr. Alda's life and then suddenly you jump back or forward in time.

as to the content, this is not a tell-all book or an exploration into Mr. Alda's fantastic life. rather, this is a compilation of stories that have lead Mr. Alda to come to certain realizations about life and why we do what we do. that is not to say it is a self-help book, either.
May 01, 2009 J.M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, nonfiction
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.
Nick Guzan
Mar 26, 2016 Nick Guzan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alan Alda is pretty witty, smart, and introspective and this just reassured me that I'd enjoy a conversation with him in real life as well!
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
Jun 02, 2015 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no great connection to Alan Alda, just a vague sense of really liking the guy and enjoying what he's been in so I thought I'd pick this up for some laughs. Whoa, he's has had a tremendous, and bizarre, amount of life experience! Who knew!? This was a very interesting look at his life, from his early years waiting in the wings of his parents' burlesque troupe, to really having his dog stuffed, to his mother's mental illness (possibly schizophrenia, but back then that just wasn't talked abo ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 children in grown up bodies. His mother was mentally unstable and grew increasingly worse as she aged. His dad was a somewhat famous, handsome actor but he was never paid well so Alda grew up on the edge of broke and remains pretty humble even when he gai ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 28, 2016 Joyce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Alan Alda. I loved him as Hawkeye in M*A*S*H and I've admired him for his activism for issues that were important to me. He's always seemed to be a kind and compassionate person, and I like that about him, too. This book explained a lot. It was fascinating to learn about his dysfunctional childhood, and to realize that he overcame what could have scarred him for life. I'm amazed he is as normal as he is, considering his less than normal upbringing. This book followed his slow t ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Jaret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting look into the life of Alan Alda. He was very candid about his relationship with his parents and his mother's mental illness. He was also very candid about his acting experiences (both stage and screen). The stories were blunt and had elements of humor. My main problem is that the audio version was supposed to have been narrated by Alda himself, but it was narrated by another reader, Mark Kashman. This was disappointing because Alda has a nuance to his voice that enhances ...more
Jun 24, 2017 Kallia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful, intelligent, and humorous look at a thoughtful, intelligent, and humorous man.

In one of my earlier updates I mentioned how nice it was that Alda didn't make himself out to be someone who had never made a mistake. And that observation stayed true to the end. Ultimately, this wasn't the biography of a famous actor who was brilliant from birth, but the path taken by someone who is intent to learn what makes the world tick.

From his attempts to figure out what makes an actor a good acto
Apr 08, 2017 Linnea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Per another reviewer's suggestion, I listened to the audio of this book rather than reading it. (Does it still count toward my reading challenge? Whatever, I'm counting it.) I'd never listened to an audiobook before, but once I learned how to make my million-thoughts-a-second brain all but shut off and listen, I loved it. Alda's writing is humorous and, of course, his delivery is perfect. Hearing the man responsible for making me fall in love with Hawkeye Pierce tell his story made me admire him ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Sammis
Oct 27, 2007 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released
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
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
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.

Stephen Reid
Dec 28, 2013 Stephen Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 27, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 02, 2011 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 31, 2008 Krissy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Never Have Your Dog Stuffed 1 5 Feb 07, 2013 07:50PM  
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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.” 48 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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