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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: Alan Alda Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780739322789
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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 Kris A | 2/18/2014

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dogdaysinaz | 2/15/2014

    " I borrowed this audiobook from the library and felt like I struggled to start and finish every CD. It seemed like it was supposed to be a funny story about his life but it wasn't funny and was hard to stay connected. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 2/15/2014

    " I fully expected this book to be hilarious, but I guess that's where TV really messes with you. He is not Hawkeye Pierce, and I should have realized that before I started the book. It was a total surprise to learn about Alan Alda's life. The stories he relates appear candid, appropriately sober, and very interesting. His childhood in particular was far from typical. I didn't love the book, but I would recommend reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb Deshler | 2/12/2014

    " Interesting and entertaining autobiography, read by the author (audiobook). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Mishap | 2/7/2014

    " I don't know why I picked this up as usually I could care less about celebrity crap, but this was actually pretty interesting. Perhaps my love of MASH made me. Anyway, we get a lively memoir here. From travleing with his parents on the vaudeville circuit to the struggles to become an actor to MASH and beyond. I liked the inclusion of his involvement in various political campaigns--for the Equal Rights Amendment, for example. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Graceann | 2/3/2014

    " Alan Alda tells about his life in an episodic, folksy way. I wish there were a bit more "meat" to this book, but what was there was certainly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Birdie | 1/27/2014

    " I adore Alan Alda, and Hawkeye Pierce is definitely my favorite fictional character of all time. Having said that, Alda is a very nice, older guy now and I think that makes his writing a little boring and PC. I LOVE LOVE LOVE him, but I don't think writing is his strong suit. Sorry AA. Hawkeye for life if it helps ;) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jannice | 1/23/2014

    " An interesting and quick read. Alda gives us a look into his early days around vaudeville and burlesque, then eventually shows us how those days made him the person he grew to be. I was glad this was not a 'tell all' book, I'm so disgusted with seeing that kind of 'crap' on tv. I wouldn't call this a funny book but it does have it's humorous moments. If you are a fan of Alda's, you will want to read this one! Never Have Your Dog Stuffed And Other Things I've Learned "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn Burke | 1/21/2014

    " Good read -- I started it in an airport lounge and finished it the same day. It was a compelling read. I love biographies -- they are among my favourite genres. His upbringing was pretty screwed-up, and while he did not pull out a pity card about it. I have always thought of him as a smart man, and this book confirmed it. I was also impressed that in a world of disposable relationships, he remains married to his first true love. Read it if you want some insight into an interesting man we think we know as an actor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marlene | 1/17/2014

    " Alan Alda has a great sense of humor. This book offers a look into Alan Alda and shares things you probably neither knew nor suspected. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magda | 1/3/2014

    " Light. Fluffy. Adorable and full of hijinks. Oh, Hawkeye. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lena | 12/23/2013

    " I like Alan Alda. Chad is a huge M*A*S*H fan and has gotten me into the show. Alda seems like an interesting guy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brownie55 | 12/20/2013

    " Having been a MASH fan, I had a special interest in finding something out about Alan Alda's life story, especially since I know his dad was in show business too. I enjoyed the book despite some of the disturbing details of his childhood. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 sal | 12/6/2013

    " Alan Alda has such a funny tone that no matter what he writes about (his rough childhood, his parent's divorce, his father's death), he has wonderful vinettes that make it interesting and fun to read. I think that's why M*A*S*H was so popular in the first place--it put a good spin on a rough topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 11/14/2013

    " Listening to Alan Alda narrate his own words was a tremendous pleasure. He has lead a very interesting life and I am so glad he shared it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 10/23/2013

    " I have never laughed so hard that I had to stop reading, until I read this book. Alan Alda is hilarious, and also very raw with his emotions and experiences. I cannot wait to finish his second book, "Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 lin | 10/15/2013

    " Entertaining, couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 9/1/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rowena | 3/29/2013

    " If you love the guy, you'll love the book. A short, funny, easily read series of stories from his life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 12/17/2012

    " A quirky look at a great comedian "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie Matoren | 12/11/2012

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lora | 11/10/2012

    " Terrific person with an fascinating life. However, this book didn't translate into a good read for me personally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 6/9/2012

    " Certainly not what I expected, but an enjoyable read none the less. I was surprised about much of Alan's life experiences. I think I even tried to get my husband to read this one, which doenst happen very often! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 2/7/2012

    " Fun and easy book about Alan's life. Interesting look at his childhood, famous dad, and crazy mother. Easy to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geri | 12/17/2011

    " Great book! I had no idea that Alan Alda had such a difficult childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Horse N. | 11/13/2011

    " Loved it. Easy to read. Gives you a view to someone you thought you always knew (well, I *did*), but you didn't. But then it turns out that he wasn't too different than you'd always thought, so maybe you *did* know him all along. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Garrett | 9/25/2011

    " I thought it was a cookbook. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne | 8/24/2011

    " This was excellent. The only thing that could have improved the audio version would have been narration by Mr. Alda himself. "

  • 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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