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Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

And Other Things I've Learned

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Paperback published by Random House Trade Paperbacks (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
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.



From the Hardcover edition.
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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.



From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (272 pages)
Published: September 12, 2006
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780812974409
Other books byAlan Alda
  • Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

    Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself
    Picking up where his bestselling memoir Never Have Your Dog Stuffed left off–having been saved by emergency surgery after nearly dying on a mountaintop in Chile–beloved actor and acclaimed author Alan Alda offers an insightful and funny look at some 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?) Here, Alda listens in on things he’s heard himself saying 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 uniquely hilarious meditations on questions great and small. Praise for Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself “Engagingly thoughtful and thought-provoking . . . [Alan Alda] candidly shares many stories of his life, so easily and wittily you can hear him speak as you read.” –Sydney Sun Herald “Alda is chatty, easygoing and humble, rather like a Mr. Rogers for grownups. His words of inspiration would be a perfect gift for a college grad or for anyone facing major life changes.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Smart, engaged, funny and observant.” –San Antonio Express-News

    Six Degrees of Separation

    Six Degrees of Separation
    In a Fifth Avenue apartment high above Central Park, art dealer Flanders Kittredge and his wife Ouisa are trying to interest a moneyed friend in a $2 million investment. When an unexpected young guest arrives, claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier, the plot takes some wonderfully unexpected turns. Veering effortlessly from hilarity to pathos, this dazzling play was lauded by The New York Times as transcendent, magical and a masterwork.An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Alan Alda, Pam Blair, Gabrielle Carteris, Gabriel Dell, Alastair Duncan, Melissa Greenspan, Oded Gross, Chuma Hunter-Gault, Swoosie Kurtz, Charles Levin, Daniel Passer and Danny Strauss.

    Camping With Henry & Tom

    Camping With Henry & Tom
    President Harding wants to be with his mistress. Industrialist Henry Ford wants to be President. And inventor Thomas Edison wonders how the three of them got stuck in the woods together. Inspired by an actual camping trip taken by the three men in 1921, this Off - Broadway hit is a hilarious adventure with surprising relevance to today's politics.An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Alan Alda, Lee Arenberg, David Dukes and Charles Durning.

    Savoring the Hamptons

    Savoring the Hamptons
    Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island's...
    The Hamptons possess an unmistakable and indisputable charm. The bounty of the farms and the character of each town in this string of villages have created a remarkable culinary culture among the sand dunes and lighthouses. Savoring the Hamptons is a culinary celebration of this unique region. The book is divided by season to highlight the variety of elements and characteristically rugged charm of the Hamptons. The ensemble of more than 250 recipes is accompanied by stories and photographs of local wineries, farmers, fisherman, artisans, and restaurateurs to create a Hamptons mosaic. From Starr Boggs in Westhampton Beach and Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton to Wolfer Estates in Sagaonack and Quail Hill Organic Farm in Amagansett, this is the definitive cookbook of the Hamptons. There are more than 60 stunning full-color food photographs and scenery shots throughout.

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Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six, but she must have shown signs of oddness before that.

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  • But if you have to hear some advice, if you must have advice ... whatever you do, for God's sake, don't stuff your dog. (main body)

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  • At least that's how it seems today, here in the shade of this palm tree. (afterword)

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