Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

Navigate the site:

Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

Advertise: Rates & stats

Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Hocking, Ian: Déjà Vu | Main | Olson, Karen E.: Sacred Cows »

Alda, Alan: Never Have Your Dog Stuffed

  

Printer-friendly page! Use print preview to see how this page will appear.

Random House © 2005, 224 pages [amazon]
5 stars

There's simply nothing wrong with this book. In prose that flows so smoothly you'll want to down the whole of it in one sitting Alan Alda, whose TV personae most of us will have admired for years, shows himself to be in real life an affable, intelligent, intellectually curious, normal, nice guy. Who can write well. He begins with one of the best first lines of a book I've ever read: "My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six, but she must have shown signs of oddness before that." And he goes on to tell the story of his life in roughly chronological order: from a dysfunctional childhood spent in the wings of the burlesque theaters in which his father worked, to his own years--many of them--as a struggling actor, to the more lucrative period of his career.

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is not what one might expect of a celebrity memoir, not only because it is so very good but also because there is, you come to realize, so very little celebrity in it.Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is not what one might expect of a celebrity memoir, not only because it is so very good but also because there is, you come to realize, so very little celebrity in it. Alda notices this himself about two-thirds of the way into the book in a prelude to his discussion of the amusing and unpleasant side effects of fame. ("This is what getting famous does to you, I thought. You wind up sending suicidal people form letters.") Alda does not here recite his stepping stones to greatness. He rather gives an honest account of his growth as an actor and a person over the years--how his intellect was challenged and changed, how he struggled to act rather than just perform. Nor does he shy away from self-criticism. There are no great faux pas to which Alda must confess, no substance abuse or extra-marital dalliances, but he does something arguably more difficult. He writes about the ambivalence he felt for his parents--his father Robert, with whom he often felt himself in competition, and his mentally ill mother. And he shows himself to have behaved badly toward his father, in particular, in small moments that apparently seared his conscience. Alda's discussions of his parents' deaths are the most poignant of the book.

Unsurprisingly, Alda is also sometimes funny in the book ("Apparently, you can offer to disembowel me, but I'll still see if I can make you laugh.") But he is nothing at all like the smooth-talking, gregarious, Groucho-esque character he played in M*A*S*H. That Alda does not share Hawkeye's personality did not surprise me. Why should he? But I was surprised that in reading Alda's memoir I almost forgot about M*A*S*H and Hawkeye Pierce completely.

Obviously this book comes very highly recommended. Buy it and enjoy it. Like me you may find yourself reading the last page very slowly in a vain attempt to keep it from ending.

Tags: , , , ,

< Tweet it! | Reblog
https://www.book-blog.com/2005/09/never_have_your.html
Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments




Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In


About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






The Sunday Salon.com



Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.