He's one of America's most recognisable 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 11 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 ...
He's one of America's most recognisable 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 11 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 Alan 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 begun to grow. It is the story of turning points in his 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 in him, personally and professionally, he learns the hard way that change, uncertainty and transformation are what life is made of, and the good life is made of welcoming them. "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed", filled with curiosity about Nature, good humour 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 he's ever played on the stage or screen. Although it does list some of the famous women he has kissed Alan Alda's autobiography is no 'kiss and tell' catalogue, but a quirkily funny, sharply observed account of an eccentric family and a very dramatic life.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-10-31 While listening to Alda's colorful and often poignant recollections, it becomes clear that, in addition to being a consummate actor, he is an introspective storyteller who isn't constrained by memory. Indeed, Alda's tales are sometimes surreally vivid, particularly those from when he was a toddler. "From my earliest days, I was standing off to the side watching, trying to understand a world that fascinated me," he recalls. Alda's autobiography is equally fascinating. With a touch of wonderment in his voice, he tells of weeks spent traveling with his father's burlesque company, of time spent with his dog Rhapsody (before he was stuffed), of a lifetime spent coping with his mother's mental illness and of the highs and lows of his acting career. Though the organization of these musings can feel disjointed, Alda's intimate, dynamic narration makes one feel as if you're sitting across from a wise and entertaining friend, the kind you could listen to for hours. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 5). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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