Friday, August 31, 2012

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed | Alan Alder

A highly readable autobiography. I picked it up not knowing a lot about Alder other than his M+A+S+H TV series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him.

He had a very unusual upbringing and dysfunctional family. His parents were actors in theatre and Alder was brought up backstage. He recalls all the semi-clad women who doted on him and watching his parents from the side of the stage. From an early age he was included in their acts.
His mother seems to have some sort of mental health condition and his father eventually divorces her. Alder escapes to Europe and haphazardly finds his way into an acting career. It wasn't easy for him but his description of his situation and his life in general are made with a light touch, a sunny and positive perspective rather than a melancholic one.
He seems genuinely happy! He looks at the best part of everything and doesn't seem perturbed by the weird and wonderful things that have happened in his life.
There are photographs of him throughout his life and the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones  of him and his grand-kids tap dancing in his garage. He is dedicated to his family.

I was encouraged by this book and his outlook on life, it lifted my perspective and I wish I could say that to him. His book is worth reading, it will make you laugh, entertain you and help you see the best in others.

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