Saturday, October 3, 2009

Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself, Alan Alda

Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself
Alan Alda

This is the most recent book by Alan Alda, published in 2007. It extracts portions of various speeches he's given over the years and includes commentary written later tying them together and adding perspective acquired since they were originally given.

Alda himself interests me. He's not religious, loves science, and knows his own limits and interests. In short, he looks like someone who's found a reasonable path through the chaos of life. But reading this book you discover that he's always been trying to find meaning in the world, and hasn't always been successful.

At the very end he has some words that sum up what he thinks the meaning of life is and isn't. They are deceptively simple, and close to my own take on things at this point. That doesn't mean they are something you can act upon, though, and how one reacts to them is inevitably a personal thing. Many would in fact disagree with him.

Beyond that bit at the end, though, this isn't a book I found thrilling. It wasn't bad, but I see no need to reread it in the future. Alda's an interesting person with an outlook on life somewhat similar to my own, but he would be the first to admit that he's no expert on much of anything beyond acting, directing, and writing entertainment, and maybe not even on all of those.

Reading this book to learn a bit about someone else's POV is a good thing, while reading it to find "The Answer" would be a mistake. I guess this is mildly recommended as a result.