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I Am Not Spock

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To a watching world he is the logical, powerful, stalwart first officer of the Starship Enterprise—the adored object of millions of Star Trek fans.

For 3 years, 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, he functioned as the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, an extraterrestrial. He is not. He is Leonard Nimoy. An actor. A teacher. A writer. A father. A husband. A real flesh-and-blood human being.

Now while the phenomenal popularity of Star Trek still grows, Nimoy doffs the pointy ears and placid face and reveals himself totally—his relationship with fellow actors; the backstage frenzies; the near-cancellation of Star Trek; the lean years; the loneliness, the battles and the ultimate struggle to survive his own success!



136 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1975

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About the author

Leonard Nimoy

91 books192 followers
Jewish-American actor, film director, poet, musician and photographer.

He was best known for playing the character of Spock on Star Trek, an American television series that ran for three seasons from 1966 to 1969, in addition to several movie sequels.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 108 reviews
Profile Image for Jason.
39 reviews1 follower
May 15, 2012
I am a fan of Star Trek, in particular the original series movies. I've also had occasion to listen to Mr. Nimoy speak twice, so I was looking forward to reading this infamously titled autobiography. I wasn't disappointed, and the 'voice' in the book matched up with my expectations for the most part. Not a heavy ready, it's a pretty slim book, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I don't know that I'd recommend it to the rabid Trekkie, since it really isn't focused on the series. I'm about to start on 'I Am Spock' next, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Mr. Nimoy's writing developed from one book to the next.
Profile Image for Jeff.
219 reviews19 followers
October 23, 2022
A short memoir of an actor’s early career, I Am Not Spock is Leonard Nimoy’s first major attempt to separate himself from his Vulcan identity. Published six years after the cancellation of the original Star Trek television series and three years before production of the “The Motion Picture” began, the book gives insight into the author’s perspective and hopes between stints as the alien who Trek fans revere.

The title comes off as little more than wishful thinking at first, as the first couple of chapters make clear that Nimoy and Spock are, in fact, one and the same, though their stories and personalities differ. The dialogues that pop up throughout the book, between Nimoy and Spock, are bizarre considering the overall intention, and completely unnecessary in order to tell the desired story.

Initially, the writing is amateurish, attempting to wax philosophical while delivering three- and four-word sentences, as if written for first graders. Thankfully, it matures as the story progresses, and Nimoy’s true personality and a hint of his writing style come to light.

For Trek fans, there is some but not a fulfilling amount of revelation about the original TV series. The reader comes away with the understanding that Nimoy was much more rewarded with his time on “Mission Impossible” and even more so from his live performances on stage. The final chapters present Nimoy’s emotions and feelings, making a good contrast to the rigid, logical character served up previously.

A promising memoir that comes up quite a bit short of expectations, I Am Not Spock is historically valuable, but I suspect can be safely ignored and replaced by a reading of the author’s sequel, I Am Spock, which I’ll be reading next. The follow-up was published exactly twenty years after the first, four years after the last of the films featuring only the original TV series cast. I’m looking forward to the development of Nimoy’s writing style, and the transformation of his attitudes and opinions.
Profile Image for Thom.
1,568 reviews47 followers
February 9, 2016
Very short, very uneven. Some anecdotes, some autobiography, and some thoughts on acting are interspersed with dialogs between Nimoy and Spock. I have heard that his later book, I Am Spock, reuses some of this material but is a much better work. Hoping so.

Biggest disappointment - not a single mention of "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins".
Profile Image for Joseph.
677 reviews
June 13, 2015
Ironically, the author approaches the presentation in a manner befitting the character that he purports not to be; initially, in a logical and cogent manner that is well thought-out and written. What follows is part-master class on how the character was created by the actor, as well as through collaboration with make-up personnel, production staff, and co-stars.

Interspersed is also a part-memoir of encounters and opportunities that presented themselves as a result of his portrayal as the chief science officer of the Enterprise. These are of varying quality. The more poignant and fascinating include letters from Isaac Asimov and a meeting with Benjamin Spock. The lesser include encounters with obsessed fans and the addressing of homo-erotic fan fiction, as well as a dialogue between Nimoy and Spock.

On the whole, there is much to be gleaned from this biography, for the several decades that it covers, as well as the breadth of perspectives and experiences. It is rarely gratuitous, as the author never namedrops or pats himself on the back for the sake of itself, but rather to show a thankfulness for his inclusion or grander purpose for its eventuality. It was also neat to see how the author saw his most famous role as providing him with the many blessings and opportunities in life rather than feeling limited by it. There was much grace in the telling of his life story, as well as the manner in which he led his life.
Profile Image for Wendy.
397 reviews56 followers
November 21, 2015
I enjoyed this look into Nimoy's mind. It wasn't much more than a peek, but it encapsulated perfectly the mental state he was in at the time. How unsettled.

Also, I thought it a perfect showcase of how much it took out of him and his life and relationships to play Spock. The character basically took over his life, and this book details his struggle with that. I think reading this might it easier to understand some of the crazier and/or more rebellious decisions he's made over the years.

Nimoy is a little on the pretentious side, sometimes on the lot more pretentious side. He is very much an artiste, with all that entails. However, he's also a gentleman, and therefore mostly keeps his artistic ego in check.

Also, he's male, so he just can't help being a blockhead sometimes, hahaha.
Profile Image for Melissa.
485 reviews5 followers
March 24, 2016
I'm not sure how to categorize this book. It's not exactly a memoir. Parts of it I liked, parts of it were meh. He literally has conversations between himself and his character of Spock. I liked his discussion of his favorite Star Trek episodes, his description of the process of making it, and finding out about other projects he was involved with. It reads like a rambling journal entry full of musings and experiences in no particular order.
Profile Image for John Yelverton.
4,228 reviews36 followers
March 8, 2015
A very refreshing autobiography, that does not shy away from the fact that the only reason that anyone is picking up this book, is because they love "Star Trek". Leonard Nimoy spends several chapters giving the reader what he wants, while very quietly and unobtrusively discusses things that interest the author as well.
Profile Image for Uliamos.
39 reviews
April 22, 2022
I’ve wanted to read this book for many, many years but it was very difficult to get my hands on it. The long wait was worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nimoy manages to make to make the reader laugh several times, and the last chapter has some really interesting nuggets that I can only refer to as “food for thought”. All in all quite an insightful book into a person who most people probably only see/think of as Mr Spock, and not the actual person Leonard Nimoy.
Profile Image for Iris.
8 reviews
May 13, 2023
decent book, but I won’t be fooled. this guy was definitely Spock
Profile Image for Sean McGarvey.
6 reviews
February 12, 2023
This book was gifted to me by a dear friend and I’m so happy to have this collectible gem.
The book is a beautiful insight into the mind of Mr. Spock told by the man himself.
If you can’t find this book, I Am Spock is an acceptable substitution. A must read for all fans of Mr. Spock.
Profile Image for Saloni (earnestlyeccentric).
578 reviews38 followers
May 14, 2021
A memoir(?) about Nimoy's experiences with Star Trek and the stuff that happened after. 

Spoilers ahead.

Since this was a non-fiction book, I won't be going through the usual plot and pacing, characters and writing style.

I had very mixed feelings about this book and was tempted to DNF it after the first few chapters. I guess I was expecting more behind-the-scenes stuff related to Star Trek: The Original Series and while the beginning did touch on that, something about the writing didn't strike a chord with me. However, the more I read, the more I appreciated Leonard Nimoy and all the work he had done over his career. I wish I had gotten the chance to meet him. Or be a part of the movement that petitioned for the show to continue. Or be a part of the generation who received personal hand-written notes from him. (There was actually a lot of drama about the fanmail--Nimoy got so much that the company was unwilling to pay for any charges.) Star Trek: TOS has a really special place in my heart and Mr. Spock is definitely my favourite character from the show. 

It's amazing just how much we, as consumers, don't know about the production and development of a TV show. There were so many little tidbits that caught me off-guard. I really enjoyed reading about the making of Spock's ears. Essentially, they couldn't get the ears right and Nimoy really didn't want to go on television with shabby ears. Gene Roddenberry told him that if the next set of ears produced didn't look right, he'd write in a scene where Spock got an "ear job" which I found hilarious. 

I can't imagine Mr. Spock without those characteristic ears! 

It was also fascinating to understand where Nimoy drew inspiration from for Mr. Spock. For instance, the slightly hunched shoulders and stone face were inspired by Harry Belafonte. Nimoy wanted every one of Spock's movements to carry weight. And he was really effective at it! Whenever Mr. Spock raised an eyebrow, I KNEW shit was going down. 

Also, the Vulcan neck pinch was Nimoy's invention! I had no idea! I loved how he had tried it on William Shatner to show the director and it was all because Nimoy felt the writers had made Mr. Spock into a more Western character (they wanted him to hit someone with the butt of his phaser). Nimoy was actually really involved with the scripts and stuff. He included some of the feedback he sent to writers and I was surprised by how insightful his comments and critiques were. (Also, all of Nimoy's favourite episodes were mine too for exactly the same reasons! That was really nice to read.)

The common thread running through most (if not all) chapters was drawing a line between Leonard Nimoy and Mr. Spock. Nimoy became so enwrapped in Mr. Spock’s identity that it was hard to differentiate where he ended and Spock began. I guess it also sucks when people recognise you only as the character you played rather than the person you were. It must be tough even though it does mean you are an icon. I don't know if I'd make that trade-off: have a place in pop culture for the cost of my own identity. It doesn't seem fair. I've definitely been guilty of wanting actors to be like their characters so when Nimoy wrote about his struggles with that, I felt so bad for perpetuating that behaviour. At the end of the day, you've got to accept that those characters are fictional and the actors who played them have their own personalities and lives. 

I never thought about the toll it would take on someone to play a rather emotionless character on a show. I guess it’s a bit easier for a film because you don’t have a LOT of filming compared to TV shows…right? Nor is it necessarily long-term. It reminded me of this interview I read with Ben Platt where even after finishing the role of Evan Hansen, he had become so absorbed by the musical that he continued hunching his shoulders forward and fidgeting with his fingers. By then, it had become such a large part of his life that he could no longer separate himself from it. I think even his posture was affected or something--I can't remember fully. 

Nimoy discussed how Star Trek would, at times, get so overwhelming that he would have all this pent up emotion that would burst at random intervals. He even referenced Naked Place.

I can’t believe Nimoy's experience was SO intense! I mean, I can believe it but I just never thought about it from their POV. I guess I always thought they (the actors) would always be having the time of their lives. All the BTS from HSM:TM:TS and “Newsies” makes me think it was all fun and games but with, you know, some difficulties with the memorising and acting and stuff. I guess people really only just project their best selves on camera even if the camera isn't for the official screen. 

I've always thought Mr. Spock was the most attractive of the three (Kirk and McCoy being the other two). So, it was really surprising to read that none of the directors or writers intended it to be that way. They were surprised by how much Mr. Spock appealed to females. And that's why they wrote in Nurse Chapel--so women would feel like they were being represented on screen. 

One of my favourite parts of the book was the exchange between Leonard Nimoy and Isaac Asimov. Like, my first reaction was literally: HOLY SHIT, LEONARD NIMOY GOT TO TALK TO ISAAC ASIMOV??? AND ASIMOV IS HILARIOUS “MY DAUGHTER ASSAULTED ME WHEN I DIDN’T ASK FOR AN AUTOGRAPH."

The stuff when legends MEET!

So, I definitely think superior intelligence plays a huge role in Spock’s appeal to women. I agree with Asimov too though that his imperviousness to women is REALLY attractive. Also, Asimov’s article is a DELIGHT to read.

I was also glad that Nimoy addressed the sexism on the show. What really bothered me (and my mother) while watching TOS was how women were always wearing skimpy outfits and served as a romantic interest for Kirk. Like, yeah, Kirk was attractive but I find it really hard to believe that literally every woman in the universe wanted him that way. Come on! Nimoy agreed that they could have done a lot more to improve the show's portrayal of women. He made a good point that most of the showrunners were males. I'm sure if there had been more women on the staff, the female characters would have been better developed. Seriously, watching many of the episodes was like reading posts on r/menwritingwomen. 

Nimoy had interesting thoughts on what it meant to be an actor. He was keen on selecting acting roles that allowed him to expand his repertoire. That's why he terminated his contract with Mission: Impossible early. Though he could have made a LOT of money, Nimoy didn't like how repetitive the job felt. Now, I don't know just how true this was. After all, Nimoy did write the book and he could have twisted a few facts and feelings here and there. Let's just say it was true. I admired how adamant he was about honing his skills rather than racking in as much money as possible. 

In the vast majority of cases, the actor, Iike most artists, must work for the satisfaction of knowing that his or her work has improved with the passage of time. This knowledge won't pay the rent, but it does help feed the soul.

In my case, I had reached the point in my career where I could support my family on my income as an actor and an acting teacher.

Though Nimoy was exceptional and did have a very successful acting career, I loved what he wrote about improvement being the only metric most artists have. It's exactly how I feel about my writing. I feel like my writing career most likely won’t really take off the way Becky Albertalli or Leigh Bardugo’s did because I’m just not that talented. I'd be lying if I said this didn't bother me but I comfort myself with the fact that I'll most likely see improvement the more I write. That puts a positive spin on the unfortunate reality of the situation. 

This book was fun to read and I'm still ambivalent about the rating. There were definitely parts that dragged and I wasn't the biggest fan of the conversations between Mr. Spock and Nimoy. But it was interesting to read what things were like on the other side of Star Trek and the things that came after. 
Profile Image for Marisabel Bonet-Cruz.
Author 1 book7 followers
April 2, 2013
I first read this book in Mt. Hotham, in 2008, after searching for a copy of what was, then, an out of print book. I re-read the book on a camping trip in Narbethong in 2013, just as the new 'Star Trek' movies were touching new audiences. Zachary Quinto plays Spock now, and not Leonard Nimoy. Still, I remember the happiness with which I opened this book, my version being the one with the black cover. Reading this book, in which Nimoy would explain his ideas and opinions about the character he's spent a lifetime playing on the series 'Star Trek,' seemed fascinating to me. Specially since I'd read the other book he wrote, 'I am Spock,' and found the revelations interesting. Nimoy loves Spock, and hates Spock, and then loves him again. I just needed to own a copy.

The book was written in 1975, before 'Star Trek' resurfaced and claimed the success it now enjoys. Before I was born, and would ever dream of liking the series, before I met Spock. The fact the book is written then adds volumes to one's experience as one reads it. Nimoy goes through a lot of trouble to explain that he is much more than just Spock. This is interesting, as we discover his love of photography, the theatre, music, and philosophy. He's lived a very rich life, an obvious fact even in 1975. He is also a very learned, informed, polite, and educated man.

If you are expecting the author to dismiss Spock, or slander him, you need to find another book. Nimoy doesn't do that. He wrestles with the fact that Spock is bigger than him, and more popular. He tries to explain how it feels to become secondary to such a big character. He admits to his own sense of 'alien-ess' and 'otherness,' which served as the building blocks used to create Spock. He shares some of the amazing things he's lived -- such as when people think he can heal their friends, or that he is a real alien. But, above all, he reveals what Spock means to him. Who Spock truly is. He shares elaborate, philosophical, emotional, and fantastic ideas in relation to the character. It is here where the true magic of this book lies. We get to see how the actor sees and feels Spock, which allows us to appreciate both of them ever the more.

My only dislike of this book is inevitable. It is a book written in the 1970s, so it feels dry at certain times. It simply gives what it sets out to give, and moves along. It was the way they wrote then. Few pictures. Few whimsical moments. Few glimps of intimacy. Such were most books (and TV series and movies) in the 1970s. So, if you wish to get closer to the author and to the story of his life, pick up his later books, which were written in a time when such writing strategies were in vogue.

If you are a fan of 'Star Trek,' of Nimoy, or just curious about Spock, I recommend this book. If you are neither, I still recommend it. However, be careful: you may end up watching the series and becoming a fan. :) Enjoy!
Profile Image for John.
1,458 reviews36 followers
February 3, 2017
I AM NOT SPOCK is a decent little memoir, though, even at under 150 pages, much of it feels like rambling. Whereas William Shatner always admitted that he initially considered STAR TREK just another job and approached the character of Captain Kirk as an idealized version of himself, Nimoy went to the opposite extreme and completely lost himself in the character the way that actors like Daniel Day-Lewis and Christian Bale are said to do. Thus, the title I AM NOT SPOCK refers to a crisis of identity rather than a disavowal of the Spock character. And if you are interested in acting as a craft, you will likely appreciate Nimoy's in-depth exploration of the Spock character and his lengthy explanation of the thought processes that brought him to life. If you generally find actors to be a little too self-absorbed, then much of this book will feel like navel-gazing. Especially when, like someone suffering from multiple personality disorder, Nimoy debates his alter ego on subjects like the purpose of existence and the human need for validation. Great actors tend to think their art is more important than just about anything else in the world, and Nimoy certainly falls into that category to some extent.
Even if you are not a Star Trek fan, you might appreciate the chapters in this book that focus on other things, such as Nimoy's tenure on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, his appearance in Yul Brenner's CATLOW, his stint as the lead character in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and his genesis as a professional photographer of some note. Completely absent are any discussions on family or the alcoholism that was consuming him at the time. You know, minor things like that. But we do get complete reproductions of a series of memos between him and the studio bickering over who was responsible for paying for the pens and paper clips used to respond to his fan mail. Yay.
The fact that I AM NOT SPOCK is hopelessly dated (circa 1978) and out of print (with old beat-up copies selling on Amazon for upwards of $75) would be a real bummer were it not for the fact that the whole book was rendered pretty much irrelevant anyway due to the subsequent release of Nimoy's second autobiography, I AM SPOCK, and William Shatner's LEONARD, both of which cover most of this same material and do a better job with it. Not being rich, I listened to the audiobook version on a digitized copy of some old cassettes. The fact that Nimoy didn't read it himself definitely lessened the experience. Still, it served as a good time-killer on my daily work commute.
Profile Image for Robin.
825 reviews22 followers
March 28, 2015
It is no surprise that Leonard Nimoy became so popular in his role as Spock. From deep introspection about the role, to dialoging with the character, to sending memos to the production team about character inconsistencies in the scripts, Nimoy was totally immersed in his character. This book, published 5 years after the last Star Trek episode aired, could have been titled, “I Am Not Always Spock,” as much of it deals with Nimoy’s hand-on approach to this character, and Star Trek behind-the-scenes.

He also writes about his earlier life teaching acting, looking for studio work that lasted for more than two weeks, and growing up Jewish in an Italian Catholic Boston neighborhood. He tells about his other roles, such as the young fighter in Kid Monk Baroni, the displaced intellectual in Deathwatch, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, the mad emperor Caligula, and McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He points out that these characters, like Spock, don’t fit the “normal” mold and are to some degree alienated from society. His more straightforward roles include King Arthur in Camelot, title role in The King and I, and Sherlock Holmes.

Throughout this rather short volume, Nimoy comes off as an intelligent and thoughtful guy, a serious actor who deeply contemplates his roles, who also can be light and fun-loving. This is a book about his artistic life, his writing and photography as well as his acting. It’s about people with whom he interacts and about his own soul-searching to create art that is personally meaningful. It reflects the era in which it was written, when many Americans sought to better understand and express their identities.

Following the advice of reviewers, I read this book prior to “I Am Spock,” written 20 years later. Its poetic phrasing, fun anecdotes, and 1970s sensibility make it a nostalgic and enjoyable read. Trekkers and Trekkies of all stripes will enjoy it, especially those who watched pre-rerun Star Trek on TV before the age of digital special effects.
Profile Image for Tracey.
2,031 reviews48 followers
September 9, 2007
Picked up I Am Not Spock a few weeks ago at a used book store.

Despite the title, Nimoy writes of his alter-ego and the time spent in the Star Trek world with fondness. The memoir starts out semi-chronologically, but then veers off into varying topics, including reminiscences of his acting career before and after Star Trek and reproductions of some correspondence he had with the writers and producers of the series. Readers expecting an autobiography will be a little disappointed, I think.

Written in 1975, he marvels at the intense interest in a series more than five years old and only available in limited syndication - he seems to enjoy his appearances at conventions and recounts several amusing and touching stories of fan interaction. I'm curious to see how (or if) his attitude changed after another 5 or 10 years of adulation.

The style is both formal and intimate; his internal dialogues with Spock revealing his conflicted feelings about a character to whom he will be bound for the rest of his life. He speaks with pride about his acting choices; leaving Mission Impossible once he'd gotten bored with the show, instead choosing to find roles that interested him. He also writes of his newly-rekindled love of photography and ponders the possibility of directing (wait a few more years, Leonard :^) ). I was somewhat surprised to find that he and Shatner are nearly the same age, with Bill being 4 days older than he.

I found this short memoir an interesting read, and would like to compare it with I Am Spock, his later volume. Recommended to Star Trek fans who'd like to know a little more about the actors behind the characters.
2,551 reviews33 followers
March 29, 2015
This book was written in the early 1970's, before the Star Trek phenomenon really began to take off. At the time, Nimoy was trying to shed the typecast image of being Mr. Spock, hence the title of the book. I can remember him appearing on daytime television game shows and the subject came up. Therefore, this book is not a retrospective of his three years filming Star Trek the original series but a description of the years immediately after.
His work as a director has demonstrated his talents and he is also a published poet. Nimoy has acted on stage and in some largely forgettable films, yet Spock was always still a part of him. A fact that Nimoy acknowledges several times by describing simulated dialogs between Mr. Spock and Leonard Nimoy.
All of the major characters in the Star Trek original series have written at least one book about their experiences. This one is different in that it is about the life of the actor after the series was cancelled and it is the one actor most likely to be typecast by their role. Nimoy was able to achieve something that few actors are ever able to do, use a role that should be the dictionary example of typecasting and turn it into a separate career. However, he never completely lost those ties and his appreciation to what made him a household name.

This review appears on Amazon
Profile Image for Ian Banks.
783 reviews3 followers
February 28, 2015
Reread it this morning after hearing of Mr Nimoy's death.

Some folks only look at the title and think of this as a dismissal of Nimoy's most famous role. But he admits that Spock brought him opportunities he wouldn't have had available to him. It was interesting to read about how he felt like he had a home after fifteen or so years as a jobbing actor and how he defended his character and the actions of him in the show to the writers and producers. Also interesting are the details of how his career after Trek was sidelined by Spock and how frustrated Nimoy was - not mentioned in the text but the subtext is clear - by the popularity of Spock as it occasionally prevented him from being taken seriously elsewhere. What also comes across is Nimoy's joy in acting and the pleasure he gets from the different roles he has played. What is less interesting are the sidelights where he engages in "dialogue" with Spock to explain his feelings and how ludicrous they are in the context of the situations.

As an interesting sidelight, this book was published almost midway between the final episode of the Animated Series (in which Nimoy played Spock) and the beginning of production for a revived live-action series of Trek which later became the film series and TNG.
Profile Image for Matt.
256 reviews93 followers
March 10, 2017
What happens when you create a role that's so iconic that no one sees the actor anymore? This is Leonard Nimoy's existential dilemma . . . who is Nimoy if no one sees Nimoy and only expects Spock? There are some odd dialogues between Nimoy and Spock which may have been helpful for Nimoy but are a bit trying to read, but otherwise this is a straightforward memoir of his experience creating an alien that resonated with audiences. Ultimately this is a journey of an actor who wants to leave a role to become a well-rounded actor only to learn that the world audience has decided he will always be perceived as the alien. As he learns to accept this, he finds other roles but ultimately discovers and explores a new passion--Nimoy as photographer and poet. An interesting and quick read but uneven in style.
Profile Image for Ally.
43 reviews2 followers
January 17, 2013
This book seemed like he rushed through the writing of it. The stories of his experiences were not as fleshed out, and the segues between said stories needed some work. When he begins talking about his experiences working on Fiddler on the Roof - it is touching and you seem to get more of an understanding of his Jewish heritage. This was the best part of the book. However, I think the book that follows this (I am Spock) is much better written. Some of the stories from this book are repeated in the second book but fleshed out much better. I enjoyed that one a lot more. But it was nice to have gotten to read this and see what all the fuss was about when it first came out. But if you only read the second book you aren't missing much by skipping this first one.
Profile Image for Daniel Currie.
323 reviews1 follower
June 16, 2015
Altho it isn't listed on Goodreads, I assure you I listened to the unabridged audiobook version (Which the author does not narrate).

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this. It was done in 1975 so wasn't sure what his perspective would have been at that point. But he does seem to have had a pretty good handle on the whole Star Trek thing, even tho they hadn't even started in on the movie franchise or spin-offs.

He goes back and forth quite a lot during the book, talking about Star Trek, then not talking about it, There are even a number of imaginary conversations he has with Spock. The book certainly could have used some more focus, but it is interesting and he was an interesting guy, who embraced the Star Trek legacy but certainly didn't let it overwhelm him.
Profile Image for Hannah Givens.
1,754 reviews31 followers
September 11, 2016
I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying.

This is a strange book. It's not deftly (ghost)written like a modern "I'm a celebrity so here's a memoir" production. It's a rambling meditation on Nimoy's acting philosophy, and more importantly about how he both is and is not Spock... As he says, if he isn't Spock, then who is? It's about him grappling with himself, and he doesn't feel like he needs to offer any conclusions. I don't always agree with him about how Spock functions, oddly enough, but the glimpse into Nimoy's feelings at this one point in time is just really interesting and important for those of us who've been intimately involved with Spock for so long.
Profile Image for Bee.
115 reviews12 followers
January 22, 2018
This book is a beautiful mix of thoughts, observations, and feelings. It's a reflection of how Nimoy's role of Mr Spock effected his life externally (fame) and internally (emotionally). There is a lot of insight about how people feel about aliens --extraterrestrial and human-- and why so many people fell in love with Mr Spock.
The conversations between Nimoy and Spock were my favorite parts of the book 'cause they were often clever and amusing.
*Rest in peace Mr Nimoy. You will always be adored and missed.*
"It's okay to be out there and honest and open about yourself because you're part of the human race..." (quote from the last chapter of I Am Not Spock)
Profile Image for J.W. Braun.
Author 9 books25 followers
February 18, 2010
Nimoy's first memoir, by his own admission has a misleading title. The book isn't really about him separating himself from his Vulcan alter-ego. (It's evident when reading the book that unlike what people thought when the book was published in the 70s, the title isn't so much Nimoy telling people he's not Spock; it's more Nimoy telling himself he's something more.)

At any rate, Nimoy took all the best parts from this book and put them in his second memoir, "I Am Spock". There's really no need to read both books, and the latter is much better.
Profile Image for Ancient Weaver.
71 reviews36 followers
September 17, 2011
I really only read this because I wanted to be able to compare and contrast the opinions of 70's Nimoy with that of 90's Nimoy. This isn't a bad book (at times it does get a little pedantic), but Nimoy isn't far enough along in his journey to have enough perspective yet. My guess is that I'll enjoy I Am Spock a lot more.

The book is most interesting viewed as a relic from a time when Star Trek was as yet still only a brief, almost forgotten memory kept alive solely by reruns and obscure, underground fan cults long before geek was considered chic...
Profile Image for Michael Hanscom.
362 reviews27 followers
August 25, 2010
It's entertaining (to me, at least) to read reflections on Star Trek and its influence from relatively early in its existence. Less a renunciation of the Spock character than a combined exploration of Nimoy's experiences as Spock and in the years immediately following Star Trek, this is a fun little snapshot of a time when Trek, while definitely already a force to be reckoned with, was a long way from the four-decade juggernaut it is today.
Profile Image for Jen.
857 reviews
April 7, 2015
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I really enjoyed it. I was particularly interested in how Nimoy perceived his role as Spock in the context of the show's scripts (developing his character), as well as Star Trek itself and what was happening in the world at the time. This quote resonated with me: "Most people are so busy doing what they must do that they never have the opportunity to find out what they can do." A, if you'll pardon the pun, fascinating read. LLAP
Profile Image for Cristhian.
Author 2 books44 followers
April 10, 2015
Un libro corto, extrañamente entretenido.
Supongo que en la década de los 70, los memoir eran mucho más cortos que ahora. Disfruté muchas partes, en especial cuando habla de cómo la crítica recibió sus libros de poesía y el incidente con las plumas.

Vale la pena cada minuto. Creo que mi única queja es eso mismo, que es muy corto.

Tengo entendido que en sus últimos años, Nimoy escribió el I am Spock, en contrapunto y haciendo pases con todo.

Profile Image for Bill.
638 reviews
June 16, 2015
Well...the title says "I am not Spock," but most of this book is Leonard Nimoy aligning the real person with the fictional one. There is one (appropriately) bizarre section where Leonard Nimoy "interviews" Dr. Spock. It's not often you witness someone interview themselves! Of course, the late Leonard Nimoy seemed like a good guy and for whatever criticisms there may be (e.g., this book is simply kind of boring), he comes across that way here.

For hardcore fans only.

Now, off to "I am Spock"!
Profile Image for Jamie.
9 reviews
March 4, 2015
A very interesting view though the eyes of Leonard Nimoy only a few years after Star Trek went off the air. I find it almost hard to comprehend his position that Star Trek was done and over, and that he would love to distance him self from Spock. I look forward to jumping ahead 20 years in his life and reading "I am Spock".
Profile Image for Alex Daniel.
338 reviews11 followers
March 6, 2015
A short book written by the director of THREE MEN AND A BABY.

Some interesting content re: dealing with success, interesting glimpse of what it is like to be famous for a character that is very different from your own. The fake back-and-forth between Nimoy and Spock is interesting, but ultimately serves to fill space of a book that is already quite short.
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