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Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man

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Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science-fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.

Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.

As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

278 pages, Hardcover

First published February 2, 2016

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About the author

William Shatner

124 books733 followers
William Shatner is the author of nine Star Trek novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Ashes of Eden and The Return. He is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Get a Life! and I'm Working on That. In addition to his role as Captain James T. Kirk, he stars as Denny Crane in the hit television series from David E. Kelley, Boston Legal -- a role for which he has won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 992 reviews
Profile Image for B Schrodinger.
305 reviews659 followers
June 19, 2016
I don't think there has been a relationship between two actors that hs had more speculation than these two: Shatner and Nimoy. And so I was sceptical in buying this book. This is one man's side to the story and, as you can probably guess, I'm much more a Spock than a Kirk person. Kirk and Shatner are the alpha males who see the world differently from us and usually have a very ego-centric view of the world.

And all those rumours of their feuds can't all be lies?

Well, I was surprised a little. Shatner was candid about his own failings and there is a self-awareness in the writing. Of course it could all be a show, another ploy to cash in, but it really didn't feel like it. He did explain the troubles they had throughout the years, but he also talked extensively on their 'sibling' relationship. It was one born on competitiveness as young actors, and it never quite lost that competitiveness from Shatner's side.

Shatner states early on that he had trouble making friends as a youngster, and he has had trouble making long term friends in adulthood. It is very truthful. And I read it feeling a certain sadness that while Shatner was saying how much he loved Nimoy and respected him and even classed him as his best friend, reading between the lines I don't think that relationship was reciprocal. Sure, I think they had a great friendship at a point and Nimoy respected Shatner in a certain way, but it seems that Shatner was the loner and the outsider much more than Leonard.

It was a heartfelt and surprisingly candid read for a rainy afternoon.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,466 reviews9,621 followers
December 6, 2016

If you love Leonard Nimoy, and who wouldn't? You should read his book I Am Spock because this is a wonderful book written by Leonard himself. That being said, lets get to the review of this book.


The book starts out with the death scene in Wrath of Khan.



When Kirk realizes what has happened, he runs down to the engine room. Spock is barely alive. The two men, who have fought together throughout the universe, are separated by a clear plate of glass wall. In his last moments, Spock tells Kirk, "Don't grieve, Admiral. . . it is logical. The needs of the man. . . outweigh . . ."
"--the needs of the few," Kirk finishes.
"Or the one," Spock adds, then places the palm of his hand, open with Vulcan salute, on the glass. On the other side, Kirk lays his hand on the wall, their hands seemingly touching. A final good-bye. With his dying breath, Spock tells Kirk, "I have been . . . and always shall be . . . your friend. Live long . . . and proster."

I have to say when I first saw this movie I thought I was going to die. I have loved Spock for a million years. And to this day, I still cry at that scene.

The book goes on to tell of Shatner and Leonard's time on the set of Star Trek, the good times and the bad times. The arguments, the secrets they told each other about their lives, family, addictions.




There is a sweet letter that Shatner wrote to Leonard that was in the book as well. He doesn't know if he ever read it, he likes to hope so. No one ever knows.

Besides the arguments and some depressing stuff there were some funny times they had and some tricks they pulled on each other. I liked this one in particular.


I had been on the track team in school. I was pretty fast, especially for an actor. Leonard was less athletic than I was, and although he had long legs, he did not move nearly as fast. Perhaps those ears caught the wind and held him back. But the result was that I got my lunch every day, and sometimes Leonard did not. But Leonard was a very resourceful man; he figured things out. One day, lunch was called, and I dashed outside and started running--and seconds later Leonard came speeding past me on a bicycle, leaving me far behind. When I got to the commissary, he was already being served--and my memory is that he looked at me triumphantly. He later described it as "the logical thing to do." But it was a victory that would not be allowed to stand.



Overall I liked the book and it brought a few more tears as I loved Leonard Nimoy so very much.

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,345 reviews4,864 followers
March 24, 2023

This book, written shortly after Leonard Nimoy's death, is a tribute to the actor by his long-time friend William Shatner. The two men had similar backgrounds, both being born in 1931 and raised in Orthodox Jewish immigrant families. Shatner grew up in Montreal and Nimoy in Boston, and they shared a similar upbringing and work ethic - knowing they needed 'the next job, the next paycheck' to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. Even as a kid Leonard took every job he could find: selling newspapers, working in his cousin's card shop, shining shoes, setting up chairs for the Boston Pops....anything to make a few bucks.

Young Leonard Nimoy


Young William Shatner

Both Shatner and Nimoy started acting as eight-year-olds: Shatner in the Dorothy Davis School for actors and Nimoy in a small theater in the Boston settlement house where he lived. In 1949 Nimoy chose to forego college and travel to Hollywood to become an actor, a decision that left his parents bereft - "An actor? It's not a profession for a nice Jewish boy." Shatner went to McGill University for a few years, but quit and headed for New York to further his ambitions.

Leonard Nimoy with his mother

Both Shatner and Nimoy took numerous parts - small and large - to learn their craft, and the book contains details about their various roles in theater, television, and movies. As a young man Nimoy even acted in Yiddish Theater. I understand Yiddish and would have loved to see this. LOL

Leonard Nimoy had a variety of roles


William Shatner had a variety of roles

Early in his career Leonard was often cast as the bad guy, a crook or a gangster. He also played a boxer, a football player, and a Martian zombie - which was good preparation for Star Trek. In 1953 Leonard joined the Army Reserve, where he worked as a military entertainment specialist during his two year enlistment.

By the 1950's both Shatner and Nimoy had married and started families, which made it even more imperative to hustle up as many jobs as possible - since temporary acting gigs didn't pay much. Leonard improved his craft with acting lessons while working continuously, and in time became an acting coach himself. Shatner didn't take acting classes, but instead "learned by doing."

Leonard Nimoy's family


William Shatner's family

Of course Star Trek was a big break for both thespians. When Gene Roddenberry was developing Star Trek in the 1960s, he pictured Spock - who was originally supposed to be half-human, half-Martian - as a 'tall, lean, Lincoln-ish character who was highly intellectual, conveyed a sense of serenity, and had an internal struggle.' Later, Spock was changed to half-human, half-Vulcan.

Star Trek was a big break for Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner

In contrast to Leonard's dark, brooding Spock, Shatner's Captain Kirk was a blonde, hazel-eyed firecracker who was always running, jumping, fighting the villains, and getting the girls. Roddenberry filmed two Star Trek pilots, and the second one - starring Kirk, Spock, and the iconic crew - was picked up. The rest is history!

The character of Spock became an immediate sensation and Shatner admits he was jealous (at first) when Nimoy received the most fan mail and media attention. Still, there wasn't too much room for complaint because the entire show benefitted from Spock's popularity. Spock's two famous trademark moves - the Vulcan neck pinch and the Vulcan salute - were created by Nimoy himself. The neck pinch was first used in lieu of bonking someone in the head (which would not be Spock-like behavior); and the Vulcan salute was adapted from a gesture used in Orthodox Jewish religious ceremonies. Of course the salute, known all around the world, is accompanied by the phrase: "Live Long and Prosper" (LLAP).

Vulcan neck pinch

Vulcan salute

While filming Star Trek - which first aired from 1966 til 1969 - Nimoy became a functioning alcoholic. He started drinking heavily during the second or third season, perhaps in part because of tension between himself and the studio - which was controlling and cheap; and because the work left little time for his family - which resulted in estrangement from his wife and children. In any case, Nimoy's drinking continued for decades. It wasn't until Leonard's second wife convinced him to talk to someone from Alcoholics Anonymous in 1989 that he finally stopped drinking.

Leonard Nimoy and his second wife Susan Bay

When the original series ended, Nimoy - wanting to demonstrate that he was more than just Spock - went on to do many other jobs. He starred in the television series Mission: Impossible; toured in plays like Fiddler on the Roof and The Man in the Glass Booth; appeared in musicals such as Oliver, Camelot, and My Fair Lady; made the film 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'; and more. Nimoy also wrote and starred in the play Vincent - based on the story of Vincent Van Gogh - and this was one of his proudest achievements. Besides all that Nimoy became a director, a professional photographer, a poet, an author, a singer, and a public speaker.

Leonard Nimoy in 'Mission Impossible'

Leonard Nimoy in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers'

Leonard Nimoy in 'Vincent'

Shatner also continued his very successful career, but I'll skip that here.

In addition to his professional achievements, Leonard became an activist. He participated in Dr. Martin Luther King's Poor People Campaign; emceed local telethons for charities like United Cerebral Palsy and the March of Dimes; and got involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement. Shatner and Nimoy sometimes appeared at events together, to support each other's favorite causes.

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner made charity appearances together

Though Shatner and Nimoy did many other things, Star Trek was far from finished. Conventions popped up around the country, and were important money-makers for the cast and crew. Because Shatner and Nimoy got top billing at these gatherings they were able to make demands: Shatner insisted on hot tea and Leonard demanded a pint of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream in his dressing room (yum). The conventions led to spin-off series and movies.....and a lifetime of involvement for Shatner and Nimoy. (If you're interested, Shatner's books, Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories provide comprehensive overviews.)

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner appeared at Star Trek conventions

Over the years Shatner and Nimoy became more than professional colleagues.....they became close friends. The two actors enjoyed talking and joking together, and were notorious for playing practical jokes on each other. They also helped each other through difficult times, including their divorces; career concerns; the accidental drowning of Shatner's third wife - who was an alcoholic; and family difficulties. For many years Leonard was estranged from his son Adam, who drank and took drugs. Father and son reconciled - and worked together - before Leonard's death.

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner were friends as well as colleagues

Nimoy was a heavy smoker for decades, and this caught up with him in later life. In 2014 Leonard was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). His voice became raspy, he developed breathing problems, and he eventually relied on an oxygen tank to aerate his lungs. When Leonard died from COPD in 2015, millions of people mourned him.

Shatner and Nimoy had a falling out a few years before Leonard died, for reasons that are unclear. However, Shatner notes: "I think about Leonard. I miss him. I can close my eyes and see him, young and handsome, tall and taciturn. I hear his voice in all its richness, infused with endless curiosity; and the sounds of his unhappiness as well as his laughter. LLAP my friend, my dear dear friend."

I echo that sentiment. Wherever you are, Leonard Nimoy, LLAP.

This book provides a quick summary of the lives of both Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. I'm a big Star Trek fan and I enjoyed learning a bit about the lives of these two fine actors - who helped make the phenomenon such a huge success.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Steve Whitaker.
41 reviews2 followers
February 18, 2016
So look, ignore the star rating. There was no way I wasn't going to read this book, and if you're a Star Trek fan who also loves Leonard Nimoy, I'm guessing you'll read it, too - regardless of reviews.

What a convoluted sentence that was.

Here's the thing: it's a book by William Shatner. It actually reads like a book *dictated* by William Shatner, which I suspect it is. So, you're gonna get your fair share of Shatner in the book - there are lots of stories that make sure you know Bill was involved in them, but not quite to the point of self-servitude.

Somebody described this book as his "love letter" to Leonard Nimoy. That's probably fair, but this also reads a little bit like a confessional - maybe as close to an apology as Shatner is capable of for being such a - well, Shatner - all those years. The stories about Nimoy are good, and I hadn't heard a lot of them before. He sounds like the remarkable man I've always suspected him to be, and hearing them made me sad that he's gone, all over again.

It's worth a read. Look past the Shatner and find the Nimoy, and you'll likely appreciate it.
Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,416 followers
June 19, 2017
I have been, and always shall be, your friend. ~Spock, The Wrath of Khan

Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most...human. ~Capt. Kirk, The Wrath of Khan
I'm betting the vast majority of readers/listeners finding their way to this book will have been lifelong Trekkies, having come of age watching Star Trek in syndication, waiting with keen anticipation as each motion picture installment was released in the franchise, discovering new things to love about the Trek verse as it expanded/exploded to include The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

This isn't me. I'm coming to Trek shockingly late -- 50 years after the 1966 premiere of the original series starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. For me the paint isn't even dry. It started only last summer with the release of Star Trek: Beyond. I decided I would go see it, but I didn't want to do that until I had watched the first two movies in JJ Abrams reboot (keeping in mind I had never seen an episode of Star Trek -- ANY Star Trek -- in my life, nor any of the movies). As someone who had been raised and steeped in the horror tradition, A LOT of sci-fi nerdy stuff passed me by altogether (yes, including Star Wars). I wasn't interested, and for a long time, I really didn't think any of it was being made for me anyway. None of it felt like my "tribe" so to speak, or anything I was able or willing to relate to.

Fast forward to August 2016. I watch the Abrams movies and LOVE them -- especially Beyond which is my favourite of the three. I loved these movies so much, and fell in love with Pine's and Quinto's portrayals of Kirk and Spock so completely, it triggered an almost immediate overwhelming desire to go back and watch the entire run of the original Star Trek -- yes, even season 3, all of it -- which as any Trekkie reading this knows is an exercise in endurance, patience and frustration at the sharp decline in quality the series would take in its final year.

But it was worth it -- after seeing a new generation of young actors tackle these iconic characters so successfully, I had to go back to the beginning and experience the Shatner/Nimoy dynamic that launched a franchise so big and so far reaching it was still finding people and captivating them five decades later. I needed to see with my own eyes, feel with my own heart, what was so special about this low-budget sci-fi television show from the 60s that would make millions of people from all over the world into lifelong Trekkies.

I came to this project with a lot of skepticism, certain after all these many decades there was no way the show would have the ability to resonate with me now or hold my interest. Too much time had passed. It would seem too old-fashioned, cheap and silly. And for sure, watching those first few episodes I giggled at some of the ridiculous cheesy "special effects", the poorly choreographed fight sequences where no attempt was made to hide the stunt double, and Shatner's chewing up the scenery every chance he got.

But these elements became part of the show's vintage charm for me, and more than that, superficial characteristics of a show that would go on to convince me of its imaginative and thought-provoking storytelling wrapped up in a contagious adventure of the week style. I was hooked. More than that, like millions before me, I was falling in love with Mr. Spock -- the forever logical, keenly observant and emotionally controlled First Officer of Starfleet's USS Enterprise -- a role I can't believe anyone else could have brought to life so vividly or memorably as Leonard Nimoy.

As I made my way through the original TV series (with the help and guidance from a bona fide Trek nerd who shall remain unnamed), I would also begin watching the films. The deeper into the Trek verse I went, the more deeply attached I became to the characters, and began to fully appreciate the unique on-screen chemistry shared between Shatner and Nimoy. The best actors act -- they are paid to feel things they are not really feeling -- but that nebulous, indefinable chemistry cannot be bought and sold, faked or forced. What Shatner and Nimoy share on the screen as Kirk and Spock is something special and precious to behold. It would shape and inform a unique, sometimes difficult and contentious, friendship that would last half a century.

Listening to Shatner read aloud his remembrances of his friendship with such a charismatic, multi-talented, deeply loved man, I came to the conclusion that Shatner is being sincere here. You can hear the respect and unchecked admiration for the man Nimoy was, and the blinding love Shatner held for him (even when his narcissistic tendencies would bring up feelings of competition and jealousy and even resentment). It's sweet, and at times terribly sad. You can detect a note of loneliness in Shatner's words as he confesses to his lack of any lasting friendships with anyone, save for Nimoy who Fate had fused the two men together on this remarkable journey of a lifetime. But even Nimoy -- after decades of sharing his world with Shatner -- would suddenly (and inexplicably from Shatner's viewpoint) end their relationship and cut off all direct contact.

Shatner doesn't go into too much detail regarding the men's epic falling out. He's playing dumb and seems honestly baffled and hurt why Nimoy would cut him out of his life around the time Shatner was making the documentary The Captains in 2011. Obviously, whether Shatner wants to confront his role in the falling out or not, the saddest part of all of this is that these two men brought together, and held together, by extraordinary circumstances, would not have each other as one faced a terminal illness and death. When Nimoy finally did pass away in February 2015, Shatner chose to appear at a charity fundraiser for the Red Cross and would not make it to Nimoy's funeral, a fact I'm sure some Trekkies will never forgive him for.

I choose to be a little more forgiving and understanding. I feel Shatner's grief and sense of loss are genuine and keenly, sharply experienced. While there is a lot of information presented here that is re-hashing material previously published elsewhere, there is also a new-found humility as Shatner tries to work through some of his feelings of inadequacy, and never quite measuring up to the depth and breadth of talent and integrity that was Leonard Nimoy. It really is a love letter in a lot of important ways, as Shatner attempts to make sense of the wonder of it all and his and Nimoy's place in it as he faces his own inevitable mortality.

I can only hope when it's Shatner's turn to shuffle off this mortal coil, there is some kind of afterlife waiting for all of us, and that he and Nimoy find each other there and find a way back to forgiveness and the special friendship they once shared.

I'm going to end this review by recommending the recent documentary For the Love of Spock. This isn't just mandatory viewing for Trek fans, but is also a poignant and comprehensive look at the life of a remarkable man and the resonating influence of an iconic figure who has come to mean so much to so many. LLAP friends.

Profile Image for Char.
1,635 reviews1,487 followers
October 4, 2016
When I saw this audio book available immediately through my library, I jumped at the chance to listen to William Shatner talk about his relationship with Leonard Nimoy. I wasn't disappointed.

There really wasn't a lot of NEW information here, but it was still a pleasurable listen. As a listener, I needed to remind myself that Mr. Shatner was telling things from his point of view, and as such, the story would not be totally objective. He did admit to a few things: a bit of jealousy on his part when, at first, Leonard was more popular than he was. Also, he admitted to being a jerk one time when Leonard had a photographer there in make up while they were shooting TOS.

It was interesting to learn that they both had problems with alcohol and nicotine. They were both raised in the Jewish faith and they both defied their fathers in their choice of careers.

The rest I will let you discover on your own, because I think any fan of Star Trek will NEED to read this, just as I did. I recommend the audio because there are far worse things than letting Captain Kirk relate the story to you himself.

Recommended for fans of Star Trek; just remember that this is not an objective biography, and it's as much about William Shatner as it is Leonard Nimoy.
Profile Image for Anna Nelson.
10 reviews57 followers
August 9, 2016
Very insightful. A bit of a drag towards the middle when they discuss a lot of insignificant details about how they laughed together in limos or flew to conventions together in planes . Overall I think William Shatner did an excellent description of their fifty year friendship. Star Trek forever!!
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,862 reviews369 followers
February 21, 2017
I am a dyed-in-the-wool Star Trek fan—I started watching the original series while in my tweens. It was “must see” after school TV (even though the show was cancelled by this point & I was watching re-runs). Mr. Spock was my absolute favourite character and I was happy to see him popping up in later incarnations of Star Trek, especially the new series of movies. So I was saddened by Leonard Nimoy’s death in 2015. I appreciate that he did many other roles, by it is Spock that I will remember him for.

In January, I was able to see his son’s documentary For the Love of Spock while flying to Johannesburg. I enjoyed seeing Nimoy & Spock from his son’s perspective, even the difficult parts of that relationship. Naturally, when I got home, it seemed appropriate to read William Shatner’s memoir concerning Leonard Nimoy as well.

I was pleasantly surprised at how honest Shatner seemed to be in this memoir. I think that it takes courage to admit that you don’t have many friends, that you don’t know how to make or maintain friendships, and that you screw up friendships & don’t know why. His co-writer, David Fisher, lets Shatner’s voice shine through and I felt some empathy for a man who may have career success, but seems like a lonely old guy.

Mind you, this book is replete with Shatner’s two favourite words, “I” and “me.” While nominally about Leonard, the memoir reveals far more about Shatner than it does about Nimoy. Shatner can’t be an easy man to befriend—he doesn’t seem to fully understand concepts like teasing, for example. He tries to participate, but more like a person following a ritual than like someone who truly understands what’s going on and as a result, he often misses the mark.

Although his egoism is obvious, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Shatner at the book’s end, when it seems that he and Nimoy were estranged. Shatner quite honestly couldn’t understand why and seemed honestly distressed by the situation. Despite their rift, he has written an honest and moving account of their 50 year association and has tried to give a fair portrayal of their relationship.

If you too are a Star Trek devotee, you will probably enjoy this memoir. Others may not find it quite as interesting.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,028 followers
November 26, 2016
I found out a lot I hadn't known about Nimoy & Shatner, so it was interesting. I've always liked Star Trek since I watched the original as it came out on our new B&W TV. (Yes, color sets were available, but they were expensive. We moved up from a 13" to a 24" about the time the first episodes aired.) This was one of the few shows we watched religiously & it was thrilling. Since then, I've watched both actors in other shows & endeavors whenever I knew about them. Apparently I missed a lot of Nimoy's, though. I listened to one of his records, my wife had it when we got married. I wasn't impressed, but was intrigued by the back story of it & 3 others as told by Shatner.

This is told through the lens of Shatner's memory which isn't particularly accurate. It hasn't been too long since I listened to Up Till Now, his autobiography, & there were a couple of discrepancies. Not a huge deal, but between them, his narcissism, & his obvious fondness for Nimoy, I wouldn't hold this up as a strictly factual account. That's not always a bad thing. Shatner omitted all references to the hard feelings some of the original cast had for himself (specifically Doohan) & made them seem like a more cohesive unit than he did in his autobiography. So, this was a rosy look at his friendship with Nimoy.

Shatner doesn't pull a lot of punches, though. He's quite frank about how they got off to a rough start &, unfortunately, ended that way, too. He admits he was envious of the fan mail Nimoy got, especially during the first season of Star Trek, but then they became friends as they faced off against the executives. Shatner says he doesn't know why Nimoy broke off all communication with him about 5 years before he died, but he regrets it. Apparently no one else is talking about it either.

The book starts out with a bit too much Shatner & while he's never absent, it does wind up mostly being about Nimoy. He told a lot of great stories that really fleshed out Nimoy, the man. He made a lot of sense out of the whole "I am not Spock" & "I am Spock" dichotomy. I suppose Nimoy did too, but I never bothered to listen. I think Nimoy was probably a very admirable man in a lot of ways, but I find Shatner more fun - from a distance. He narrated this very well & spun a great story about a really interesting man. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Jen - The Tolkien Gal.
458 reviews4,420 followers
April 7, 2018
Many people will tell you they were the biggest fans of Star Trek back in the 60s-80s when it was possible to go to conventions with your Enterprise badge and fake ears plastered over your own. My story is a little different. I fell in love with Star Trek in the summer of 2012, obsessively watching and rewatching the show while pretending to do my math homework in high school. I idolized Spock and wanted to be Bones – I laughed at Chekov and crushed on Kirk. The intricacies of many of the moral questions and science fiction concepts enamoured me and fueled my love of space and beyond.

Suffice to say, this book was a nerdgasm for me. I found out about the origins of the mind-meld, Vulcan neck pinch and how Martin Luther King shaped Star Trek. More importantly, I learned a little more about life.

Leonard: The Conscience of Star Trek
This is not only a story of Leonard Nimoy but also of William Shatner and their complex but beautiful friendship. However, it is also the story of two men born into lower middle class Jewish families during the Great Depression. It is the story of the struggling actor, the addict and the father. This is not just the story of an American icon but the story of a man’s life that may not be too dissimilar from any of our own.

Image result for star trek behind the scenes

Two Men: I Have and Always Shall Be, Your Friend
I think that very much like his character, Leonard was often seen for his wisdom and clinical assessments of situations instead of for his humanness. Leonard struggles with his acting career, alcoholism and a failed marriage but also triumphs in his role as Spock, as a director, in his second marriage and his wide array of interests as well as his ability to speak fluent Yiddish. The little anecdotes that Bill Shatner gives us the pleasure of reading (such as Leonard paying a psychiatrist to speak Yiddish to him and not to see him as a counsellor, or how he was involved in the hippie culture) really enhance the story. I also appreciate immensely that Shatner knew he was often jealous, arrogant and sassy towards his friend and others around him. Both men took years before they became close friends because, I suspect, that they were both polarizing forces of nature.

Image result for leonard nimoy funny pictures

Sad Truths and Happy Endings
Addiction, type-casting, familial isolation and divorces often seem to come skipping hand-in-hand to actors’ doors. I think it’s how actors like Leonard and Bill overcame these challenges that makes them all the more relatable and funny. The transcendental nature of these men’s relationship, especially as they grew older, wrinklier and had more of a fuck-the-world attitude, brought tears to my eyes. Unfortunately a fight between the two men broke out before Leonard died, and Bill never saw him again. However, Bill likes to think that Leonard read the letter of apology he sent before then.

Image result for star trek behind the scenes

The Fun Bits: There’s a black Woman on TV and she’s no maid!
I’ve decided to add some of my favourite anecdotes for all of you to understand the complexities of Mr Nimoy:

A little girl with a black father and white mother wrote to Leonard (addressing Spock), stating how she related to his multiracial background. The little girl explained that she was thrown with insults like “half-breed” and worse. Leonard wrote back to her and explained that she should not let the prejudice aimed at her hold her back, but rather use it as a tool to help discover herself and overcome it.

Leonard took photographs of people who wanted to be something but never had the chance. One such picture was of a woman who had had no childhood growing up – he took a picture of her in a dinosaur hoodie.

After an almost 20-year period of silence between Leonard and his son (who was overshadowed by the fame of Spock), they reunited and developed a close bond before Leonard died.
Star Trek was one of the only shows that MLK and his wife allowed their children to watch because it promoted diversity and equality. (His daughter was so taken aback when she saw it for the first time she shouted “Ma! There’s a black woman on TV and she’s no maid!”)

Leonard Nimoy sang “Bilbo Baggins” – a really, really ridiculous song about Bilbo and his adventures in the Hobbit. And I think it’s my favourite thing ever:

Image result for leonard nimoy funy pictures
A little personal side note: I find it really funny how Star Trek was never banned in South Africa (my aunt was a big fan in the late 70s). It featured a Russian during the Cold War and a black woman during Apartheid and this somehow slipped through the net of then-strict censorship. It featured an interracial kiss when our country’s law prohibited interracial relations. Just enjoy the irony.
Image result for spock's death scene

Edit: Review to come this weekend since I need time as it will be comprehensive.

For now, enjoy my highly illogical tears at their adorableness.

Image result for william shatner leonard nimoy laughing
Profile Image for Scott Williams.
617 reviews9 followers
February 13, 2016
The good folks at St. Martin's Press sent me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

William Shatner has written a whole series of memoirs, most of them with a focus on his Star Trek experiences. I have to be honest and say that I didn't really enjoy most of them. I often felt overwhelmed by the voice of the Shatner Persona and I frequently felt an attempt by Shatner to distance himself from Star Trek and the fans that have given him the lifestyle he has. This book is different.

Here, I sense a maturity and honesty that was lacking in most of Shatner's other memoirs. There was some of this in Up Till Now but in Leonard, I have the sense that William Shatner is becoming more comfortable with himself and his role in Star Trek fandom and I'm tempted to say that some of this was a result of the example set by Leonard Nimoy. In the other books, I sensed an almost desperate need for the writer to be entertaining but here, he is actually just sharing from his heart.

The book begins with Shatner setting up the parallels between his own life and Leonard Nimoy's. They were of an age, both from Jewish families that escaped Europe and both became fascinated with acting in childhood. He goes on to discuss how they met and worked on Star Trek and how their friendship grew, not while the show was on the air, but in the 70s when they began to attend conventions together. It seems logical to me that they would grow closer through this experience. No one but those few people who were involved in the show could possibly comprehend the Star Trek phenomenon and even those people sometimes took decades to really understand and come to terms with it.

This book is a love letter to Leonard Nimoy. Shatner outlines Nimoy's career and describes the pleasure that Nimoy found in poetry and photography. He discusses Nimoy's family life, struggles with alcoholism and the results of smoking and he talks about what he learned from Nimoy. Shatner shares memories and quotations from other actors who worked with Nimoy (mostly Steve Guttenberg and John DeLancie) and also from Leonard's son, Adam Nimoy. Those who haven't read either of Leonard Nimoy's memoirs will discover new things about the man in this book.

It has been nearly a year since Leonard Nimoy left us and during that time I have been unable to watch any Star Trek with Nimoy in it. His death continues to have a huge impact on me but I think I've now had enough time that I can go back and enjoy the work he left in the world.

William Shatner's Leonard is a portrait of the artist who had millions of friends across the globe. It is the story of two men who lived through an unprecedented cultural phenomenon and who found friendship in the process. Like most people who encountered him, William Shatner is a better person for having had Leonard Nimoy in his life and this book is well worth reading. Trekkies will note a few small errors in Shatner's memory but they don't detract from the overall experience. I felt a sense of closure about the loss of Leonard Nimoy when I came to the end of this book and I think other Trekkies will appreciate the truths Shatner reveals about himself in this memoir.
Profile Image for Joanne.
187 reviews11 followers
April 4, 2020
I have been a Trekkie for years. I watched the show growing up. Watched most of the new versions of it too. I do wish the new ones would not be on pay networks.

I had been thinking of reading this biography of Leonard Nemoy for a while. Finally, I picked it up on my library's free Ovedrive app. I learned a lot of interesting things about both Will Shatner and Leonard Nemoy. The most interesting part to me was the beginning. I liked learning about how the two of them got their start in show business. I also enjoyed learning about their different acting style.

I had this as an mp3 audio book. It is narrated by Will Shatner himself. For the most part, he is a good narrator. In some places, I think he reads too fast and the book feels rushed.
Profile Image for Jessie.
18 reviews1 follower
February 23, 2016
I....I don't even know where to start. As a long-time fan of both Star Trek and Leonard Nimoy in particular, I was curious to read Shatner's perspective on his (supposedly) dear friend. Having finished this book hours ago, I'm still left with a bad taste in my mouth. The order and progression of the book seemed haphazard, more like a typed copy of an interview between Shatner and writer David Fisher. Most of the stories relayed by Shatner were essentially the same ones covered by Nimoy himself in his autobiography, making this a fairly repetitive read. Few were new stories, though that isn't necessarily surprising given the extensive amount of coverage and interviews with these two men over the last few decades. What was difficult for me to accept, however, was the rather self-absorbed and at times egotistical tone that pervaded each chapter. It seemed as if Shatner took great pains to detail how any potential conflicts between himself and Nimoy were entirely misunderstandings on Nimoy's part. From the first fight they had on the set of Star Trek to the last disagreement (supposedly unknown to Shatner) that caused Nimoy to stop speaking to him, there seemed to be little self-reflection or perceptive insight on Shatner's part for the role he played in such conflicts. The longer I read, the more uncomfortable and awkward I began to feel. Perhaps this is unfair of me, but for me the book seemed nothing but 275 pages of a self-indulgent narcissist who was more focused on getting the last word on past arguments than it was about honoring his friend. Do I think that Shatner genuinely cared for and loved Nimoy as he professes? Absolutely. There were certainly moments where Shatner's love for Nimoy was clear and authentic. I'm just not convinced he loved him enough to honor him in writing the way a friend deserves. The book came across as something written for Shatner's own needs rather than out of appreciation for his long-time friendship with the man he lost just a year ago. Ultimately, this made the book a stellar disappointment for me.
Profile Image for Troy Blackford.
Author 23 books2,499 followers
March 30, 2016
I approached this with caution. Shatner definitely has an opportunistic, self-serving streak in him. I respect the man, but that respect is tempered by my awareness of his almost comically intense buffoonery. However, I wanted to know what he had to say about Leonard Nimoy, and it cannot be denied that the two men knew each other for the titular five decade span. However... Shatnery, let's say, that Shatner is, he is still the only person who could have written about his friendship with Nimoy.

If you go in accepting that Shatner is as Shatner does, you will not be disappointed. While he does succumb (repeatedly) to the desire to talk about himself a great deal, this fact is balanced by the fact that he does factor in to a lot of these stories. One actual problem I had with this book is that a lot of it consists of simple recounting of information Leonard Nimoy himself shares in his memoir 'I Am Spock.' I have not yet read 'I Am Not Spock,' but there might be more information there that is repeated in this one. Still, there were not egregious amounts of this duplicated information, but its presence did irk me.

So, in short, this book has flaws that anyone interested enough in these two men to want to read a book by one written about his relationship with the other will doubtless already be knowledgeable enough to suspect. Shatner is and always shall be Shatner. But, frankly, his Shatnerness is part of his charm and hearing him talk about his dear, departed friend, the remarkable Leonard Nimoy, is a treat. Recommended only for people who care about these two, but for those people, it should not be missed.
Profile Image for Sean Peters.
662 reviews121 followers
January 3, 2019
Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science-fiction television series called Star Trek, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.

Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.

As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

A great read, light, honest, interesting. A good friend telling all the facts on one of his best friends, I am a film buff, and I found the book very informative, sometimes it saddens you how actors are used by studios, producers.

How they often work so hard for their next job, how they have to fight to make it to the top, with a little luck as well. Also the sometimes sad life behind the scenes, in their private lives.

Light and easy to read, flew through this book so easily.

Four stars
Profile Image for Maryam.
697 reviews112 followers
January 24, 2018
Read for “Read Harder Challenge Task #12: A celebrity memoir “. I’m a huge fan of Star Trek series and more specifically Spock character so when I saw this task the first book came to my mind was I Am Spock but unfortunately my library doesn't have an audio version of it and I’m bad with reading memoirs so I settled for this book.

Shatner Nimoy

As truly most of reviewers have commented, Shatner’s ego is huge on display in this book. He likes Nemoy, that’s clear, but he loves himself and I think still jelous of the fact that Spock was always more popular than Kirk. He valued their friendship and mentions it so many times in the book but still he blames Nemoy a lot and he speaks of his own mistakes like they were small or natural. I still like to think of this book as an apology for so many mistreats he gave Nemoy.


I liked how the book shaped. It starts with their both backgrounds as immigrant Jews and struggles they, mainly Nemoy had to face to start their acting carrier. It’s really enlightening how Start Trek started and many failures they had and how much of Spock character comes actually from Nemoy and how much later Nemoy actually become more like Spock in time.

This book provides a good view into the lives of both Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner and if you are a Star Trek fan and like me don’t know much about these real people this a good book to start.
Profile Image for Wendy.
398 reviews56 followers
February 10, 2017
No, I don't actually like crying, it just happens....

This is basically a love letter to Leonard Nimoy in extended form, by means of retelling his life and career. That's all well and good, and nothing about it made me annoyed or angry, but there are a few things you should know before you dive in:
1) If you've read either of Leonard Nimoy's autobiographies, particularly his second one, then a lot of this will be information you've read before. The repetition can lead to skimming a bit, and slight boredom.
2) Despite the subtitle, there are very, very few reminisces about memories of their friendship from William Shatner. He does explain this at the end of the book--that after a lifetime, it's all sort of blended together until they're not so much memories as general warm feelings--but I could have done with that note at the beginning of the book, because as it was, I spent the whole time waiting for something that wasn't going to happen.

Still, this is a good book, with a clear love and respect for Leonard Nimoy, and I don't think any of his fans should miss out on adding it to their collections. It's a quick, easy read as well, so even if you don't think you'll like it, it won't hurt you to try it out.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
645 reviews57 followers
January 19, 2021
Absolutely stunning. I've read and enjoyed a few books by William Shatner, but none of them comes near to approaching the power and beauty of this elegy. Shatner comes off as very down to earth: a charming mix of strength and humility underscores every part of this homage. This book shows how Nimoy's talent, work ethic, and quiet dignity helped shape his career and his life. It doesn't paint a rosy picture of everything. Nimoy struggled with cigarettes and alcohol, and he had a complicated relationship with his family. Shatner, for his part, wasn't always as gracious as perhaps he should have been. I have read books by people who love themselves so much they can't admit to doing wrong, or who put their friends on pedestals, but that isn't Shatner's style. No, this rings much truer, and consequently, it's far more poignant. I recommend it for everyone, not just Star Trek fans. It might be of special interest to photographers or to people interested in Jewish heritage. I don't know what else to say except to read this book. It's part memoir, part tribute, and all heart. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,903 reviews20 followers
September 12, 2016
If you are expecting a book about Leonard Nimoy, this is not that. But if you read the subtitle, that sums this book up in a nutshell. This is basically a book about how the friendship of Leonard intersected into the life of William Shatner.

William Shatner is one of those people you just have to accept and love as is. He is funny and kind, but it is usually always about him. I'm a fan of Shatner and I'm also a Star Trek fan. I did learn a little about Leonard in this book. The things we know and love about Spock, were not even written into the script. Most iconic things about that character were of Leonard's own making.

This was entertaining and sweet, especially at the end when Shatner is summing up his long friendship with Nimoy.
Profile Image for FM.
513 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2016
I am a fan of Leonard Nimoy so I was curious to read this book by William Shatner. I didn't have very high expectations for it so I wasn't disappointed per se. I was more disappointed that it was what I expected, if that makes sense. Shatner is not known as a writer, and I imagine his coauthor did much of the work there. I do wish that the book had been more carefully edited so that it was less repetitive and better structured.

My main question as I read was: What is the purpose of this book? Was it truly to honor his friend and fellow actor? Or was it to give Shatner another chance to talk about himself? Or to give his side of the story since Nimoy is now gone and can't argue?

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but there were times in this book where Shatner claimed to not remember saying something, or made an excuse for some incident by saying he had been kidding or that "maybe it came out more strongly than I meant" that comes off as insincerity (or maybe senility). He really can't remember that he said something insulting or out of jealousy or anger? I have a hard time believing that.

The one that did it for me, though, was at the very end of this book. All throughout the book, Shatner has been saying how close he and Nimoy were, that he thought of Leonard as his "best friend" and that they were joined at the hip and so forth. Then just a few pages from the end is this:

"One of my greatest regrets is that Leonard and I were not as close as we had been during those last few years of his life. There was a small incident; I was making a film about the many captains of the Enterprise, and Leonard did not want to appear in it. I thought he was kidding; it was such a small thing. Just the next of so many projects we'd done together. But then a cameraman filmed him speaking at a convention without his permission, and he got angry. Essentially, he stopped speaking to me. It made no sense, and I reached out to him several times to try to heal this problem but I never got a response." (p. 268).

The utter disingenuousness of this sentence: "But then a cameraman filmed him speaking at a convention without his permission, and he got angry" is pretty breathtaking. Notice how this is written in passive voice, so it's not clear WHO did the filming (who was this cameraman and why was he filming) and WHY the filming was done. But in this context, it appears as though the making of Shatner's film must be related to the unauthorized filming--otherwise, why mention it here? So Shatner tried to get unauthorized film of his "closest friend" for a movie his friend didn't want to participate in? I'd get angry too. Note also the fact that Shatner mentions it was a "small" thing twice. Is he trying to make it look as though Nimoy was a jerk because he just didn't want to do this "small thing" even though Shatner knew that Nimoy didn't want to be in the movie? Small for whom? And when was the "last few years of his life" that Shatner mentions--how many years HAD it been since he had been in touch with his "best friend"? It seems pretty clear to me that Shatner knows exactly why Nimoy stopped talking to him and why there was a rift.

That last chapter really colored the entire book for me. Before that section I just thought it was a not-very-well-written puff piece or a way for Shatner to insert himself into Nimoy's life story (again). Then I got to the end of the book and just rolled my eyes. The feigned innocence was too much for me and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

So read the book if you don't know much about Nimoy's life (although you can find most of the details elsewhere) and if you can stomach the wide-eyed "who me?" of the author.
Profile Image for Vicki.
2,205 reviews85 followers
April 5, 2019
This is definitely a book I would never have picked up to read except I was looking for "Leonard's" in a book. So when I saw this written by William Shatner, I had to give it a try, especially since it was the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Biography/History. I am sure if I were a Star Trek fan that I might've connected better with this book. I have never cared for Star Trek (sorry!)

It was interesting to read about their time on the set of Star Trek, but I'm sure I'd have LOVED those parts if I were a fan! What I did love about the book is to read about how much William and Leonard Nimoy's friendship meant to them and how much Leonard meant to William. In the book there is a letter that William wrote to Leonard, but sadly he doesn't know if he ever read it before he died. It made me cry and I'm sure die-hard fans would be emotional reading it.

I do hope that those who love Star Trek, biographies, William Shatner and/or Leonard Nimoy will read this one. I don't know that my rating would reflect what fans think of this book but likely not.
Profile Image for Eric.
369 reviews54 followers
February 7, 2017
I grew up watching the original Star Trek series on TV and later the full length movies. I wouldn't classify myself as a "Trekkie" even though I have been a fan over the years and remain so today. When I heard that Leonard Nimoy passed away in 2015, I realized I didn't know anything about the man. I saw Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man and decided to read the book.

Leonard is also a book about William Shatner as much as Leonard Nimoy. The book progresses roughly in chronological order but jumps around a bit which causes some overlaps and repetition. In describing their life together, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the actual reality of Nimoy and what is presented through the lens in which Shatner shares his story.

One tidbit of triva is that Shatner and Nimoy were born within days of each other in March, 1931. Shatner describes a bit of background and moves into their early careers in acting. As lamented by many actor types, getting into acting can be a difficult task. Nimoy worked for 17 years as a part-time character actor before landing the role of Mr. Spock in the TV series Star Trek. Star Trek was Nimoy's first regular acting job. Shatner and Nimoy didn't get along well in the beginning. Star Trek was eventually canceled from TV but the popularity of the show did not wane. This was a phenomenon that the studio and the actors themselves did not quite understand. Usually, when a TV show gets canceled, everybody starts looking for a new job and the TV show is forgotten. This was not the case with Star Trek. Nimoy was worried about being type-cast and that he would have a hard time finding work. In the end, Mr. Spock and Star Trek was essentially Nimoy's (and Shatner's) pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Shatner goes on to describe his and Nimoy's struggles with family while working long hours as actors. The acting business was not conducive to family lives for the two men. This led to broken marriages for both men. In Nimoy's case, he also had to struggle with alcoholism which didn't improve his situation any. They also became airplane pilots. I got the sense there was a good deal of competition between Shatner and Nimoy.

I had hard time with Shatner's writing in different parts of the book. I could tell that Shatner made recordings of his memories and those recordings were transcribed into text. So as pointed out earlier, there is some overlap. Other areas, that relied solely on Shatner's memory are a little more muddled. Ultimately, Shatner achieves his goal in recounting the life of Leonard Nimoy and his relationship with the man. Nimoy was a truly complex and driven man throughout his life until the very end. He was dedicated to the arts, refining his craft and learning a new one. I didn't realize that Nimoy was an accomplished photographer.

In spite of some unevenness in the writing, Leonard is a fascinating read about two interesting men. As Leonard Nimoy would close his correspondence....LLAP (Live Long and Prosper).
Profile Image for J.P. Willson.
Author 4 books56 followers
February 21, 2017
I really need to let this sink in for a little while.....
I have to admit, when I purchased this book I did think I was buying a biography, quite obviously I was wrong. Although it is about the life of Leonard Nimoy, yes, it is about a friendship between two remarkable men. Being a "trekkie" myself, yet not to the extent of most, no where near the extent of most! I have got to say I always loved Mr. Spock, oddly though he wasn't my favorite character. For me that was "Scotty". Anyway, this is an engaging read about a long standing friendship between two men from rather meager beginnings that did not always get along, yet is that not what friendship is all about? If only we all could be blessed with this kind of relationship in our lives. It gave me a new outlook on some of the relationships I have with friends today and how it is I shall continue with these in a different light perhaps. To not let the idiocies that happen in our lives ruin beautiful friendships, to cherish these while we can, because really, we never know.
This gave me a brand new appreciation of the value of letting those we care about know exactly how we feel about them before it's too late. Life is short, friends of this calibre are hard to come by in this ugly world. Cherish them.
A wonderful read and highly recommended.
Profile Image for Gilda Felt.
574 reviews7 followers
March 8, 2016
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this book at first. For someone who’s been a Star Trek fan from the beginning, I didn’t think there could be much written that I didn’t already know. And that turned out to be basically the case, though there were a few stories I hadn’t heard before. What was new, was Shatner showing a more human side. Whether out of a sense of vulnerability, or his upbringing, or whatever, he’s inclined to too light a touch when it comes to how he feels. Here, he’s finally allowed his emotions to show.

Shatner has gotten a lot of bad press; how much of it is deserved, I can’t say. But I can say that, especially after reading this book, I think that his feelings for Nimoy were true and deep. And that alone made the book well worth the price of admission.
Profile Image for W. Whalin.
Author 45 books384 followers
April 28, 2016
In this audio book, William Shatner tells the remarkable story of his life and the life of his friend from Star Trek Leonard Nimoy. While their ages were similar and they crossed paths as actors several times. It was through three years of Star Trek that they formed their lasting friendship.

Both Shatner and Nimoy chose to be actors and working actors playing a variety of roles. This book provides a vivid illustration of tenacity, persistence and commitment to the craft of acting through the stories about their experiences. I heard the entire book cover to cover and enjoyed the stories and insights. I recommend it.
Profile Image for DivaDiane.
948 reviews90 followers
February 7, 2017
Actually more like 3.5 - 4 stars.

This is a very heartfelt book and shows us just as much of Bill Shatner as of Leonard Nimoy even though it is ostensibly about him. It reads a bit like a rambling reminiscence in which there is neither beginning nor end, but is lovely nonetheless In fact I could imagine it's a wonderful audio book. There were plenty of things that I learned about both of them, that I hadn't known before.

It is quite heartbreaking to hear Shatner speak of the silence that he got from Nimoy the last few years of his life and that he never did find out why their friendship broke down.
Profile Image for nettebuecherkiste.
513 reviews126 followers
June 8, 2016
Am 27. Februar 2015 verstarb die wohl größte Science-Fiction-Ikone aller Zeiten: Leonard Nimoy. Mit „Spock“ hat er einen einmaligen Charakter geschaffen, der nicht nur der Held aller Nerds, sondern eine echte Symbolfigur und der größte Sympathieträger des Star Trek-Franchise. Obwohl zuletzt ein Missverständnis zwischen ihnen stand, verband ihn mit seinem Schauspielerkollegen William Shatner eine langjährige Freundschaft, die ebenso innig war wie die zwischen Spock und Captain Kirk. Der Verlust seines Freundes veranlasste William Shatner, dieses Buch über ihn zu verfassen.

Shatner und Nimoy hatten einen ähnlichen Hintergrund: Beide sind Kinder osteuropäisch-jüdischer Einwanderer. Shatner schildert beider Jugend und Werdegang parallel, von der Kindheit in Montreal bzw. Boston, frühen Bühnenerfahrungen, die Schauspielerausbildung, das erste Aufeinandertreffen und die gemeinsame Zeit bei Star Trek, die Jahre danach, die Familienkrisen, die beide prägten, die weitere schauspielerische Arbeit bis zum Tod Nimoys im vergangenen Jahr. Den Schwerpunkt legt Shatner auf die schauspielerische Tätigkeit, das Talent und die Professionalität Nimoys, er geht jedoch natürlich auch auf das Privatleben der beiden Männer, die gescheiterten Ehen, die Alkoholsucht, das schlechte Verhältnis Nimoys zu seinem Sohn Adam und die Aussöhnung der beiden ein. Fans werden sich besonders über einige schöne Anekdoten aus der Zeit der ursprünglichen Star Trek-Serie freuen, die mich sehr zum Schmunzeln gebracht haben. Auch Weggefährten wie der Schauspieler Steve Guttenberg kommen indirekt zu Wort. Der Gesamteindruck, den das Buch hinterlässt, ist von tief empfundener Freundschaft, aufrichtiger Bewunderung und Respekt Shatners für Nimoy geprägt und macht Shatner sehr sympathisch.

Das Hörbuch betreffend muss ich anmerken, dass Shatner für dieses Medium nicht ganz perfekt ist. Er nuschelt und leiert ein wenig, liest eher herunter. Ich musste häufiger als normal zurückspulen, um Passagen erneut zu hören. Insbesondere wenn es um Nimoys Krankheit und seinen Tod geht, legt Shatner jedoch natürlich mehr Gefühl in seine Stimme. Wer nicht ganz so geübt im Hören englischer Hörbücher ist, sollte lieber zur Printausgabe greifen.

Das Buch ist selbstverständlich eine Empfehlung für alle Star Trek-, Nimoy- und Shatner-Fans. Außerdem ist es interessant für diejenigen, die sich für den Werdegang eines Schauspielers in der Mitte des vergangenen Jahrhunderts interessieren.
Profile Image for Lyn *GLITTER VIKING*.
345 reviews99 followers
February 12, 2016

"HR: You write about the fact that Leonard stopped speaking with you at the end of his life, but your only guess as to why has to do with his refusal to participate in a movie you were making. Do you have any idea why he wouldn't appear in it?

WS: I don't know."

Because you, Shatner are a dick. There. I said it.

He fucking RIPS one of the greatest men that lived apart in this interview, so I can't even imagine stomaching this book. It only took a year for his fucking jealously to bubble to the surface. No one is safe from Shatner's bitter jealousy. Do you see any of the cast sticking next to this man? Do you see any of them hanging around him? No. Everyone who worked with him can't stand him. Takei can't stand his guts. And that man use to be close with Trump. Any women who worked with him would rather leap off a cliff than to do it again. Nimoy stopped talking to you because he honestly tried, and you failed him over and over, you asshole! He didn't want the last years of his life spend with a fucking toad-ass senior toddler who can't fucking get his life together.

This book is going to be yet another page-filled whine fest on how Shatner was robbed of his glory, just as he did on his book of Star Trek Movie Memories, when he tried to defend Star Trek. That movie, along with his life, is a fucking mess, because Shatner wanted it to be all about him. And no one wants it to be all about him. He wants to deliver something that no one wants.

How fucking DARE you profit off of this man's death. I will not shed one damn tear when your hateful ass is in the ground, Shatner. Not one.

Fuck you.
Fuck. You. William. Shatner.
Profile Image for Alvaro Zinos-Amaro.
Author 63 books54 followers
February 29, 2016
I read this as part of my literary celebration of 50 years of Trek.

On the whole, this is a rather touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy. Some reviewers have commented on Shatner's ego, and that's handsomely on display, it's true. When Shatner praises Nimoy, which he does often and intensely, there's at times an almost backhanded nature to the compliments. He also dwells on Nimoy's failures in a way that he doesn't on his own, particularly as relates to their friendship, and this is troubling and saddening--they ended up estranged at the time of Nimoy's death. Other times his remorse and introspection seem more thoughtful. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

Many of the stories and anecdotes in this conversational book will be familiar to Trekkers, though they were mostly new to me. I recently watched the Mind Meld documentary (recommended), and a lot of Nimoy's quotes were sourced from that.

But despite these elements, it seems silly to castigate Shatner for the type of man he is, or to assess this book in terms of what it isn't. Here's what it is: as heartfelt a statement as is possible for William Shatner to make on his relationship with Leonard Nimoy, ups and downs included, and I'd rather have that than no statement at all.

At times Shatner may inadvertently reveal himself to be less likable and charming than it seems he would like to be, but that's useful for us to see too. Despite the sting of hubris--Shatner must have the last word with this book, and his hurt at how things ended between them must be center stage--this book contains plenty of warmth and a certain spirit of Menschkeit, no doubt due to the vivid evocation of Nimoy the man.

We're travelling through Shatner's hall of mirrors, yes, but Nimoy's bright light is caught in the reflections, and it shines a long way.

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