Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson 2006

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Never Have Your Dog Stuffed and Other Things I've Learned
by Alan Alda
Random House
ISBN 1-4000-6409-0
Published September 2005 - Hardcover - 227 pages - $24.95

Alan Alda is one of my favorite actors so I was delighted to be able to read his book.  He's so eloquent and humorous and I was keen to see if this was similarly conveyed in his writing.  It was.  We're taken on a personal journey from Alda as a young boy hanging out at theaters with his burlesque performer father, the things he saw and did, his foray into performing, his quirky childhood, and his mother who was a a little strange, to say the least.  There are his first movies, his writing, how he met his wife Arlene, their three daughters, and of course, M*A*S*H.  Not as much as I expected but we get a glimpse at one of television's most successful shows.  I also so enjoyed watching/listening to him narrate the science shows, anything really, as he has this wonderful gift of being able to draw you in, intellectually, yet you watch with a smile on your face because of his ability to add a little humor, and style.
In September 2005, about the 23rd, I was in Chicago and saw Mr. Alda being interviewed at the WGN Radio 720am station (street level and large glass windows) but I couldn't hear their conversation.  I now realize he was probably on a book tour for this book.  Sorry I missed what he had to say.  And, yes, they did have their dog stuffed by a taxidermist.  There's very little about his extensive film career and no gossip.  He's such a classy act.  See my review of Alda's next book, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.
Conclusion - Compelling and hard to put down.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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