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'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 ... His words of inspiration would be a perfect gift.'
Acclaimed actor and internationally bestselling author Alan Alda has written a shrewd and funny account of some impossible questions he's asked himself over the years: what do I value? What, exactly, is the good life? (And what does that even mean?)
Here, Alda listens in on things he's heard himself saying at critical points in his life - from the turbulence of the 60s, to his first Broadway show, to the birth of his children, and to the ache of September 11. He notices that 'doorways are where the truth is told', and wonders what one thing - art, activism, family, money, fame - could lead to a 'life of meaning'.
In a book that is candid, wise and as questioning as it is incisive, Alda amuses and moves us with his uniquely witty meditations on questions great and small.
Following his 11-year run on TV's M*A*S*H, Alda has continually transformed himself professionally through a diverse array of successful projects. Yet his status as America's quintessential nice guy still follows him at every turn, rendering Alda a hot ticket for college commencement addresses and other high-profile events. With his characteristic modesty and charm, Alda reflects on his public words to find introspective insights about the important questions of life. Early in the recording, his interjections of new parenthetical comments as he recites the texts of older speeches is slightly choppy. Yet when he tackles meatier questions and more sober situations, especially his role as a eulogist at the funerals for close friends Ossie Davis and Peter Jennings, Alda hits his stride by baring his soul instead of shooting from the hip. Alda's phenomenal gift as a storyteller shines through, even when the style in which he organizes his material may not perfectly suit the audio format. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, June 25).