Kellie's Reviews > Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda
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Sep 26, 12

bookshelves: 2012-reads, autobiography-biography-memoir

One of my favorite genres is autobiographies, especially about celebrities. I always thought the TV show MASH, was a work of genius. It seemed the cast of this show was so in tune with each other that the comedic aspect was one of the best in TV history. I like Alan Alda as an actor, especially his role as Hawkeye. I am always curious about the lives of famous people. What makes them tick? What was their childhood like? What is their family like? What kind of stories can they tell us about their REAL life? Alda’s acting takes on more of an intellectual aspect than anything else. There seems to be a lot of thought behind his work, almost to the point of a science than entertainment. Even the title of the book is interesting. The thought behind it is, when his little dog died when he was a kid, they had it stuffed. The stuffed dog didn’t look anything like the real thing. So, it was like he tried to hold on to something that had changed so much that it was nothing like it was originally. Alda related this to certain points of his life. At first, the book seemed to drag a little. However, Alda always seemed to have an intellectual take on his roles, his life, his relationships. This was unique, very different from other actor writers. It was interesting and yet it did take away from the emotional aspect of someone telling you about their life. And forget it if you were looking for some dirt on the actors Alda worked with, there is nothing here. I admire that but I also admire openness and honesty. Alda is open about his feelings and life but only when it came to himself. His mother was mentally ill and he had a difficult time dealing with that. His father was a great man but Alda felt like he was in competition with him. Alda did not share much about the actors and actresses he has worked with. He confirmed my thought that MASH was successful because of the camaraderie between the actors on the set. The close bond between them definitely came across in the show. There is a lot to this book but not what I originally expected. Alda seems to be an intelligent, moral, hard working guy who takes acting more as a project than an art. He put his intelligence and brain power in his work as opposed to his emotion. Plus, he has been married once and still is. The book is a bit dull, but the man is exceptional.
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