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Extended Audio Sample Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things Ive Learned Audiobook, by Alan Alda Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,171 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Alda Narrator: Marc Cashman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9781415928530
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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 six,” begins Alda’s irresistible story. The son of a popular actor and a loving but mentally ill mother, he spent his early childhood backstage in the erotic and comic world of burlesque and went on, after early struggles, to achieve extraordinary success in his profession.

Yet Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is not a memoir of show-business ups and downs. It is a moving and funny story of a boy growing into a man who then realizes he has only just begun to grow.

It is the story of turning points in Alda’s life, events that would make him what he is–if only he could survive them.

From the moment as a boy when his dead dog is returned from the taxidermist’s shop with a hideous expression on his face, and he learns that death can’t be undone, to the decades-long effort to find compassion for the mother he lived with but never knew, to his acceptance of his father, both personally and professionally, Alda learns the hard way that change, uncertainty, and transformation are what life is made of, and true happiness is found in embracing them.

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, filled with curiosity about nature, good humor, and honesty, is the crowning achievement of an actor, author, and director, but surprisingly, it is the story of a life more filled with turbulence and laughter than any Alda has ever played on the stage or screen.



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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carole | 2/16/2014

    " Loved it! I purchased this on my Kindle for a fun vacation read. I'm glad I own this book because as soon as I finished it, I was ready to read it again! It had me from the first sentence! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis | 2/16/2014

    " The first of two books by Alan Alda. Most people ask me, why I've read both autobiographies by Alda? Well, when I was just a boy my Dad watched what were the re-runs of the show MASH and I would sit and watch it with him. I was under the impression at the time the show was a serious medical drama but then I learned what sarcasm was. So, I read this book in a way to reconnect with my Dad; it turns out in the process Alda is a really interesting guy. The book is not only hilarious it also has the down to earth practical advice everyone is searching to give in a memoir like this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandra | 2/11/2014

    " Very disappointed in his book. Was not impressed. Guess I expected him to be as he was in Mash. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claire | 1/25/2014

    " I liked it. This book helped me correctly answer a question at trivia last night. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ariel Celeste | 1/15/2014

    " I have a ridiculous relationship with Alan Alda. I have been in love with Hawkeye since I was ten; Groucho Marx reincarnate as a modern, cutie (ugh, i know) with political commentary. *sigh* I have done my best to see everything he has made since, from bad movies to his scientific american work and even his knew series Human Spark. I have read and seen enough to know that he is smart, curious, and a big fat nerd. His autobiography was funny, poignant, silly and gave a nice picture of his life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Dinger | 1/9/2014

    " I grew up a fan of Alan Alda's on Mash. As I got older, I hated the films he directed, but loved his turns as a villian. He was a surprise in a dreadful film called Cries at Midngiht (I think that was the title) and especially in Crimes and Misdeameanors, a film he stole from it's director Woody Allen. In both of those films, it was his character's pompositys that Alda punctured with obvious relish. In this book, that pomposity is on display, but also here is that same relish. It is no surprise to anyone why Alda is still a force in making great films and writing, because he does have a very original wit as well as a willingness to take on any subject, even his own cherished beliefs and make comic hash out of them. This book wasn't perfect, few autobiographies are, but it still very readable because of Alda's personality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronda | 1/6/2014

    " This was an enjoyable read! Alan Alda can tell a story better than most anyone! The way the book is written is as if he is sitting across from you telling the story of his life. He is able to insert humor to make the difficult parts of his life seem more bearable. I walked away from this feeling as though I had just spend the afternoon talking with an old friend about parts of his life I never knew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 1/3/2014

    " This one is better than the second round of memoirs. This one has a lot more stories with what can be learned from those stories. And the stories are not about movie sets and famous people; they are growing up stories and what Alda learned from them. A great read for anyone who loves Alan Alda and anyone who wants to pick up a few pointers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Limejuize | 12/29/2013

    " Excellent book and an interesting insight into the life of Alan Alda. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ziggy | 12/25/2013

    " What an interesting life he's led! Alda takes the reader through some of his most memorable and self-shaping moments. Interesting & entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arlette | 12/8/2013

    " i have a little crush on alan alda. i can't really quite explain it, but there you have it. the guy is smart, a fantastic actor, and has a great way of seeing the world. this was a nice little memoir to read while nursing my daughter during her first weeks of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janderson | 12/5/2013

    " I listened to the audio book of this and it was laugh-out-loud funny, but disappointing that it was not read by the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Annas | 11/15/2013

    " I always loved Alan Alda on MASH. This book made me laugh out loud so many times I lost count. His real life reads like a novel--a weird, funny, eccentric, fascinating novel. You can practically hear his voice telling you the stories of his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 10/3/2013

    " The only thing that would make this the book better is if it had been read by Alan Alda himself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 9/16/2013

    " This book is a real hoot! Very funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 9/5/2013

    " I liked this book a lot. Wonderful memoir of a very funny and honest guy. Enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nadine | 6/4/2013

    " Not a bad read. He had an interesting upbringing. I could relate somewhat with having to deal with a mother with a mental illness although my mother was not quite as bad it seems. I think he had a very supportive wife! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joy | 1/4/2013

    " What a fun read. Parts of this were laugh-out-loud funny. Also, what a delight to discover that Alda is the great person I hoped he would be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 12/15/2012

    " Alan Alda was my 1st crush. What can I say? I enjoy his memoirs. It's cool to have had the chance to get behind the scenes. He could describe a fart in detail and I would 4-star it. <3 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 8/2/2012

    " Humorous and full of wisdom. I love Alan Alda. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsie | 7/24/2012

    " An interesting and humorous memoir of a very talented and inspirational actor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie | 3/18/2012

    " I'm not sure how someone as seemingly solid and normal as Alan Alda ever emerged from the childhood he describes, but apparently he did. It is an interesting story. And I would have to agree with the title. Not a good idea. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phoena | 3/10/2012

    " I didn't find it terribly interesting, especially the first half of the book. He's not the best storyteller and there wasn't much in the book about his time on MASH. I wouldn't recommend reading this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 1/6/2012

    " I enjoyed this book. It gave an inside view to Alan Alda's life. He has always been one of my favorite actors and now authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kris A | 10/21/2011

    " One of the only books that I openly laughed out loud. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Johanne | 10/9/2011

    " Not bad, amusing in parts. I read this because MASH was one of those landmark programmes when I was growing up "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie Turner | 10/6/2011

    " Interesting read and pretty funny. Alan Alda was very thoughtful about his career through out it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janell | 8/26/2011

    " I enjoyed Alan's writing style. His easy prose flowed from the page, as though I were hearing him speak. The book provided interesting insights about vaudeville, his childhood, and life outside of M*A*S*H. His acting career is about more than just playing "Hawkeye Pierce". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 6/15/2011

    " A decent read - especially if you like M*A*S*H - but I expected better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace | 5/27/2011

    " Loved it! A great read whether you are an actor or not. Couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 InfoShaman | 5/11/2011

    " While there are several amusing anecdotes, this book read like one of those "as told to" celebrity biographies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jolene | 5/11/2011

    " I love Alan Alda. I learned a number of things about him and enjoyed his humour as always. A good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 4/24/2011

    " Started out strong, but lost momentum for me in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 4/21/2011

    " Amusing memoir by Alan Alda. Since I was not a "MASH" fan, I more enjoyed his stories of growing up with a father who worked at a strip club (and later became a big-time Hollywood actor). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Line | 3/21/2011

    " You can just hear him in your head, telling you his story, when u read it.
    It's very good and very funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 3/6/2011

    " Funny, entertaining auto bio. by award winning actor and writer. Took a while to read but I liked it a lot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 3/5/2011

    " Who knew- the early part of Alan Alda's childhood was spent in a traveling burlesque show! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 3/5/2011

    " Moving and funny. Alda is full of curiosity and always questioning his world. A complex man who doesn't take himself too seriously. The kind of person I'd like to invite to dinner and get to know better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 2/18/2011

    " I enjoyed the early years most. Found out a lot about him I did not know. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rica | 2/9/2011

    " So wonderfully casually written that it felt just like sitting down by the fireplace with a pot of tea, talking through the night. The most humble, heartfelt autobiography I've ever read. "

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About the Author
Author Alan Alda

Alan Alda is an American actor, director, screenwriter, and author. A six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, he is best known for his starring roles as Hawkeye Pierce in the television series M*A*S*H, Arnold Vinick in The West Wing, and his supporting role in the 2004 film The Aviator, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

About the Narrator

Marc Cashman is a four-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for audiobook narration. His voice has also been heard locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally on radio, television, film, documentaries, radio plays, and video games.