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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,383 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Alda Narrator: Alan Alda Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2007 ISBN: 9780739354711
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On the heels of his acclaimed memoir, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, beloved actor and bestselling author Alan Alda has written Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, an insightful and funny look at some of the impossible questions he’s asked himself over the years: What do I value? What, exactly, is the good life? (And what does that even mean?)

Picking up where his bestselling memoir left off–having been saved by emergency surgery after nearly dying on a mountaintop in Chile–Alda finds himself not only glad to be alive but searching for a way to squeeze the most juice out of his new life. Looking for a sense of meaning that would make this extra time count, he listens in on things he’s heard himself saying in private and in public at critical points in his life–from the turbulence of the sixties, to his first Broadway show, to the birth of his children, to the ache of September 11, and beyond. Reflecting on the transitions in his life and in all our lives, he notices that “doorways are where the truth is told,” and wonders if there’s one thing–art, activism, family, money, fame–that could lead to a “life of meaning.”

In a book that is candid, wise, and as questioning as it is incisive, Alda amuses and moves us with his unique and hilarious meditations on questions great and small. Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself is another superb Alan Alda performance, as inspiring and entertaining as the man himself.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 2/9/2014

    " Alan Alda (Hawkeye Pierce) is an amazing actor and person. This book truly captures his unique humor. Also, it provides insight from a person who did things despite being afraid to do them. His story is one of great inspiration! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe O'c | 1/18/2014

    " Very Good; Alda introduces you to his ideas on the world through various talks he gave at commencements, eulogies, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 1/14/2014

    " Finally, the commencement address that I wished we'd had. "

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

    " Very enjoyable book by a very interesting man. Mr. Alda is a wonderful storyteller and certainly has some fun - and not so fun - stories to share. This was an easy read that I highly recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frankie | 12/12/2013

    " I listened to this as a audio book recently. I recommend it. It is a thoughtful and humorous book. Alan Alda talks about speeches he has given at various odd venues throughout the years (i.e. schools, in front of med students, historians interested in George Washington, etc.). He also talks some about his days with MASH, but that's not what the book'ss about...it's really about a quest to find the meaning of life. Give it try and find out for yourself. The audiobook is narrated by Alan Alda himself...I got the book as part of a free subscription on emusic.com. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 12/6/2013

    " If you like Alan Alda as an actor, this is an entertaining book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pat evert | 10/16/2013

    " Alan is funny but tries too hard to be thoughtful and philosophical as he recalls and expands on his many commencement and other speeches. It gets better towards the end- but maybe that's because it is almost the end!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phoena | 10/2/2013

    " I liked this book better than his first one, and it had some really inspiring passages, but many other passages were a little bland. In other words, I liked about half of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eileen | 9/11/2013

    " This is a fabulous book, I will be able to use parts of it for my public speaking and interpersonal relationships classes. The book on CD is read by Alan Alda. I love listening to the book narrated by the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia Shumway | 7/24/2013

    " This book is a collection of speeches he gave at college commencements and other settings. It's full of wisdom and aphorisms that assuaged all my existential angst. Get the audio version, and then you get recordings of him giving all his speeches. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Adam Johnson | 5/6/2013

    " It started off very good and the book really was quite insightful, but after a while it reeked of ego stroking and self importance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kara | 3/5/2013

    " Another sublime, wry look at life from Alan Alda. If you enjoyed his first autobiography "Never Stuff your Dog," you should absolutely pick this one up. Even if you didn't read it, I would recommend this book to anyone. There are some seriously wonderful pieces of advice in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karima | 1/6/2013

    " As a big fan of "Hawkeye" from M.A.S.H. I very much enjoyed listening to Alda read this work. This is a guy I'd love to be friends with; have over for spaghetti and meatballs and talk about our kids, politics and life in general. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nanci Robertson | 11/26/2012

    " Enjoyed this book more than Alda's earlier book, 'Never Have Your Dog Stuffed...'. It was more introspective, and the author seemed less 'on stage' when he wrote it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heidi Marleau | 10/5/2012

    " I started listening to this book in tape but it dealt too much with his younger years growing up in Burlesque and I just wasn't interested. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gretchen | 4/26/2012

    " Very, very insightful and funny....just a little long on inspirational speeches. Loved most his personal anecdotes, such as how he once stopped the Orient Express with a paper bag. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Hutto | 4/13/2012

    " Really liked this book. Got me thinking without being preachy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 2/16/2012

    " Not only did I receive one of the first copies of this book, but I also had Alan Alda sign it. It is pretty much the most awesome book I own. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J | 2/2/2012

    " generally enjoyable. nothing earth-shattering, but interesting. good ol' hawkeye... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy Furr | 9/26/2011

    " Alan Alda is a man whom, when he speaks, all should listen, and when he writes, all should read. The words of wisdom he imparts upon his readers are uplifting, funny, insightful and brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 9/23/2011

    " Very much Alan Alda, he speaks from the heart "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 9/18/2011

    " This was a very good book. He gives some nuggets of wisdom and puts life in an inspiring way. I highly recommend this book. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 5/31/2011

    " Very much Alan Alda, he speaks from the heart "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 4/22/2011

    " Good words of wisdom from a someone very enjoyable to listen to. A good lighthearted read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 1/29/2011

    " Not as good as his first book but still entertaining. He reads excerpts from various speeches and conferences he has been featured on or in. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 1/23/2011

    " Who doesn't love Alan Alda? I listened to an audio version of this book read by Alan. It was pure delight. Not only do you hear stories about his life, which is fascinating, but you hear about the philosophy of the man that makes this book great. Highly recommend. "

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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 played Hawkeye Pierce for eleven years in the television series M*A*S*H and has acted in, written, and directed many feature films. He has starred often on Broadway, and his avid interest in science has led to his hosting PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 and has been nominated for thirty Emmy awards.