A memoir by Alan Alda.
Lately I’ve been floundering around, looking for something new and interesting to read. I heard an interview with Alan Alda on NPR a few months back. He talked about his book, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. It sounded like something I’d enjoy, so I picked up a copy.
The book was interesting, full of stories from his childhood and his attempts to get started as an actor. His mother was mentally ill and her illness worsened as she aged. His father, Robert Alda, was an actor with humble beginnings in Vaudeville. Alda discusses his relationships with his parents throughout the book.
In reading the book, I learned that M*A*S*H was Alda’s big acting break. Although he’d appeared in a number of theater productions all over the country and a few movies, none of them had given him the boost that he needed to become a well-established actor. M*A*S*H did that for him. It also apparently helped him hone his acting skills so he could perform better and portray his characters more realistically.
If I had to rate the book on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, I’d give the book a 3. While it was interesting, it wasn’t the “couldn’t put it down” kind of book I really like to read. In fact, I read it over the course of a few weeks, with 20 or so pages a night before going to sleep.
But if you like to read about actors and other celebrities and have an interest in Alda or his M*A*S*H character, pick up a copy and give it a try. You’re likely to enjoy it more than I did.