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Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself Hardcover – September 4, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
After actor Alda (Never Have Your Dog Stuffed) recovered from a nearly fatal intestinal obstruction, he decided to live as if he'd been given a second life. To make his new life as meaningful as possible, he wanted to remember those rare moments when a special stillness had come over him, the kind that hits you when you hear something that goes to the core of who you think you are. These were moments when he'd had some understanding about the meaning of his life, his reason for living—the central questions that Alda grapples with, as he looks back over his life. While poking good-natured fun at some of his earlier rhetoric (the ravings of a naïve Hollywood liberal) he shares highlights of the various commencement speeches and keynote addresses he's given to future doctors and physicists, or even to the odd group of Jefferson scholars. He phrases it differently for each audience, but the message is consistent: It's not what you do in life, but how you do it. Notice everything. Always be open to new ideas, new experiences. 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. (Sept.)
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About the Author
Alan Alda is the author of Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. He is the winner of numerous awards, including six Emmys and six Golden Globes, and has been nominated for an Academy Award. He played Hawkeye Pierce for eleven years on the television series M*A*S*H, has acted in, written, and directed many feature films, and has appeared often on Broadway. His avid interest in science has led to his hosting PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years. He is married to the children’s book author and photographer Arlene Alda. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
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The thoughts and ruminations in this book did catch my interest and make me think too. They pointed me in unexpected directions. They made me reflect on my own history, my own beliefs, the way to look at my own past, present and future. Alan Alda's company was congenial while I absorbed the wisdom he shared. I think I'd like him even more if I met him now that I know him better.
Alan is also very passionate about his acting career, and much of the book is also about how he views acting as an art form, and his thoughts on the deeper meanings in the relationships between actors and their audiences. I have very little interest in the philosophy of acting, so these portions of the book were not very interesting to me and I found myself getting bored and skipping paragraphs or pages from time to time. If I had even the slightest interest in acting or theater, this book would have been very good.
If you have interest in acting, then you will probably like this book, but if not then I suggest finding something else to read. I still like Alan Alda, but I think I'll stick to just watching him on the Scientific American Frontiers show.
Most recent customer reviews
In great condition better than I thought it would be. Thank you !