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Publisher's Summary

On the heels of his acclaimed memoir, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, beloved actor and best-selling author Alan Alda has written Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, an insightful and funny look at some of the impossible questions he's asked himself over the years.

Picking up where his best-selling memoir left off, and having been saved by emergency surgery after nearly dying on a mountaintop in Chile, Alda finds himself not only glad to be alive but searching for a way to squeeze the most juice out of his new life. Looking for a sense of meaning that would make this extra time count, he listens in on things he's heard himself saying in private and in public at critical points in his life - from the turbulence of the 60s, to his first Broadway show, to the birth of his children, to the ache of September 11, and beyond.

Reflecting on the transitions in his life and in all our lives, he wonders if there's one thing - art, activism, family, money, fame - that could lead to a "life of meaning".

In an audiobook that is candid, wise, and as questioning as it is incisive, Alda amuses and moves us with his unique and hilarious meditations on questions great and small. Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself is another superb Alan Alda performance, as inspiring and entertaining as the man himself.

©2007 Mayflower Productions, Inc. (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly Baty
  • 05-03-08

inspiration

I enjoyed hearing the speeches and anecdotes from Alan himself. I told my son, who has ADD, to at least listen to the last 30 minutes. He listened to the entire book, and was impressed and inspired with the bits of knowledge as well. I am now looking forward to listening to the entire autobiography that awaits

10 people found this helpful

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  • Steven Lee Sawyer
  • 15-09-16

A great learning tool from a well admired man.

I have listened to this book six times. every time I learn more about myself.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica R.
  • 24-03-17

Just what I needed to hear

I love Alan Alda for MASH, but this audio book came at the perfect time in my life. I'm struggling to find meaning in my life and this book just says what I needed to hear to keep looking. Thank you, for every word.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mary V
  • 06-11-19

No, I'm not qualified. Okay, make it a book.

Alan Alda has been asked to give speeches many times simply because he is famous. He himself realizes this gives him no particular authority to stand before people who usually know more than he does about a particular subject, and talk for ten or fifteen minutes.
But over and over he accepts these speaking assignments, because he can't let so-and-so down, or some other insubstantial reason. Now he has collected these commencement addresses, eulogy’s, and talks into a book. Sounds reasonable, right?
Alda is not a bad writer, but I can't go along with all of his conclusions, nor can I ride his far left train. Otherwise enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-07-18

Love!

LOVE this guy!! ALWAYS intriguing and interesting and funny and wise!! The world needs more Alan Alda's!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mohamed Saeid Eid
  • 23-07-16

love it, highly recommend it.

I rarely do review books here. Buy this is one of the best books I have listen to in a while. A lot of insightful stories about life in general and how to go about it.
Thanks Alda

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dara Jendrey
  • 03-03-21

Life is the Meaning of Life

What a brilliant, profound, get your curiosity rebooted account of a well read gentleman's true to himself, still growing and learning life!
Deep and funny, true and provocative, there is much to be enjoyed and reflected on here. Thank you, Alan Alda!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karly N.
  • 02-09-20

Loved it

I’ve grew up watching reruns of mash and I always loved Hawkeye. I got very interested in Alan Alda because I believed in his values. I love his books and will continue to read them. I love that he is reading them. I truly love his voice and could listen to him speak for hours. (which I have)

1 person found this helpful

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  • L Shuman
  • 13-08-20

“Love your art, however poor it may be”

I grew up watching M*A*S*H with my dad and my brother and I jokingly say “everything I ever needed to learn was from M*A*S*H.” Upon listening to this book, I was completely floored by how much more charming, genuine, and optimistic Alan Alda is in real life. I’m inspired at his love for life, truth, compassion, authenticity, community, and his dedication to his art and family. This comes at a truly needed time in my life and it will make you reevaluate your life priorities.

1 person found this helpful

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  • N.J.B
  • 28-01-21

Alan Alda is a absolutely delight and a real treat

I love listening to Alda's books and hearing him talking about life and the lessons he's taken away from his journeys and time he has spent in life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeffrey
  • 08-07-10

Greast listen

Read by Alan Alda, this book allows you to get to know one of the most respected actors in the the business and a very gentle man. Fo me I can relate to him on many levels. Well written and read. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Malcolm Holford
  • 24-01-18

Good set of stories and way of looking at life.

great snapshots of an interesting man life. his reading gives more to the telling than just the words.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Knucklebones
  • 05-05-13

Inspiring if a tad exhausting

This picks up where his autobiography ('Never Have Your Dog Stuffed') leaves off in the early 2000's. This much longer work is essentially an amalgam of his personal beliefs, some life stories, and major speeches that he's given over the years. He's been an activist throughout his life and much of the message of this book is "Do what you can to improve the world". He's an articulate, well-read, enthusiastic and passionate man who has an inspiring outlook on life. To be frank, though, I'd have found it much more enjoyable if he just took a breath every now and then!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-10-18

Beautifully written and eloquently read.

Alan Alda never fails to leave the listener wanting more. His voice is like music to your ears and his life experiences resonate to provide much pondering and consideration.

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  • Sai Raiwalui
  • 10-04-16

Excellent

This is an excellent Romp through an array of speeches given by an Actor to many people, the book goves both cotext and emotion to those speeches. I enjoyed the book years ago, and that enjoyment was furthered by hearing the author read his book aloud.