Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, by Alan Alda

Once again I found myself unenthusiastically working through a stack of books I received as gifts over the years.  Determined to finally be done with them, I picked up this memoir.

I don't generally care for biographies, much less for autobiographies.   And I particularly am not excited about actors working outside of their field:  actors testifying before Congress is so absurd as to make me physically ill, actors talking about politics or even worse, science -- yikes.

(I love actors when they act, and screen writers for their scripts, but to imagine that celebrity imparts some magical capability to provide useful advice on other than acting or writing is ridiculous.  Then again, I believe in science which apparently puts me in the minority of 21st century America.  But I digress.)

So this book:  a memoir by a famous actor -- sounded like the worst of all worlds.

I was wrong.

No, not about the absurdity of celebrity.   I was wrong about over-generalizing.   It turns out that Mr. Alda is a clear thinking fellow who found a way to write about his experiences and make it interesting. In particular, he has done a number of commencement speeches, and in excerpts from these demonstrates good writing, good speechwriting, and good advice.

So I really enjoyed this book.

Go figure.

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