Saturday, 1 August 2009

Things I Overheard at the Taxidermist's

Earlier this year I read Alan Alda's wonderful memoir Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned, which I truly enjoyed (see my review). As I just finished the sequel Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself (see my review), I figured I would give Alda a little bit of extra exposure vis-a-vis his writing (as if he needs my meagre assistance, right?).

I've been a fan of Alda's acting for a long time. First and foremost, I grew up with M*A*S*H available on Swedish television (two channels, remember, so you did watch what was there, you know). It's a show which I incidentally only rediscovered as a grown up as recently as a few years ago (thanks to reruns). The show really presents Alda's capacity, yet it is not his only tremendous acting achievement, far from it. One needs only consider his work on the last two season of The West Wing (one of my all time favourite TV shows) or his work with Woody Allen.

Still, despite his many, many achievements, Alda runs the "risk" of forever most of all being associated with his M*A*S*H character, Captain Benjamin "Hawkeye" Pierce. Not the worst of legacies, I agree, but there is still more to Alda than just that. As these books show. I won't delve into detailed reviewing (the links on the titles will take those of you interested in that to my Goodreads reviews of the books), but I will say this; I truly hope that we haven't seen the end of Alan Alda the writer. Because he is a fine writer and one I truly hope I'll be able to read more by.

(Oh, and incidentally, I will definitely be picking up his 1981 film, The Four Seasons. I've never seen it, but from what I've read in passing about it and from what I know of Alda's writing, a film with Alda on writing, directing and acting, I just don't want to miss. Do you?)

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