• Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

  • And Other Things I've Learned
  • By: Alan Alda
  • Narrated by: Alan Alda
  • Length: 4 hrs and 34 mins
  • Abridged
  • Release date: 09-15-05
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.3 (233 ratings)

Regular price: $19.93

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Publisher's Summary

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 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 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.
©2005 Alan Alda; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A brief but entertaining autobiography tempered with humility and a depth rarely found in celebrity memoirs." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Gretchen SLP on 11-14-15

Can't Tell It's an Abridged Version

What made the experience of listening to Never Have Your Dog Stuffed the most enjoyable?

The voice of the author, whose acting talent makes this a truly great comic performance, with lots of laugh-out-loud moments during my long commute to and from work.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author, of course, but also loved the insights into his consummate performer father, his mentally ill mother, his gently wise clarinetist wife, Arleen, his father's vaudeville buddies, his fellow MASH cast mates, and others.

Have you listened to any of Alan Alda’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but may purchase the Audible version of his Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, which I remember was not as good as this autobiography but still worth reading.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I would have, but it is not the kind of book where you wait breathlessly for the ending or must race to the finish line for the big reveal! It's more like sitting up late having a beer and talking over old times with an old friend.

Any additional comments?

Definitely buy this abridged version read by the author, NOT the unabridged version read by someone else!! I have read the unabridged version, and noticed nothing crucial left out of this abridgment!

The chapter about the author's dog, Rhapsody, may be tough for animal lovers to listen to.

The chapter about his near-death experience in Chile is unforgettable.

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9 of 11 people found this review helpful

By Lauren on 12-12-11

Worth It!

Any additional comments?

I was a little worried about getting an abridged version of this book, but after reading the other reviews I decided that having Alan Alda as the narrator was worth it. I am so glad I went with this version. I couldn't tell if it was abridged or not and I really appreciated having the words read in the author's own voice.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amazon Customer on 12-23-12


Love it, it has a lot of depth and great character. It also comes with a life lesson; you can't hold back change and take every opportunity to try new things.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Geoff on 02-08-11

Dog lovers beware

Great to hear that people we see as 'stars' have ordinary lives and problems just like the rest of us. Alan Alda's voice is a little more monotone than I was expecting from an actor but nevertheless is easy to listen to and he has a story very much worth hearing.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jane on 10-06-15

Quite an engaging man.

worth listening to. interesting to learn about Hawkeye's life. Good voice to listen to. recommended

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Melanie O'Sullivan on 11-08-17

Takes me to a happy place

A book that finds joy and meaning in life that helped me to discover myself a little more. Performed authentically and beautifully.

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