Monday, September 22, 2008

Shatner Up Till Now


I've just finished William Shatner's autobiography 'Up Till Now' and I really enjoyed it. Having already read Shatner's two books on his days as Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories, I didn't figure I'd learn much more about Star Trek and I was correct. All the stories Shatner tells in the new book are the same ones I've heard before. Good thing is, they are consistent with what he's said about the series before.
Instead I got lots of info about Shatner's early life and about his later TV shows, the short lived The Barbary Coast, the cop show T.J. Hooker, and his current stint as Denny Crane on Boston Legal. Plus lots and lots of stories about every aspect of Shatner's life.
One thing I'll say about the book is Shatner isn't afraid of making himself look bad. He blames the failure of his first two marriages entirely upon himself. He doesn't gloss over the fact that most of the actors on the original Star Trek series hated him. He tells quite a few stories that frankly make him look bad. Some of these things he apologizes for and others he just shrugs and says, "That's how I was back then." It's a pretty gutsy bio all things considered. The chapter that deals with the unfortunate death of his third wife is pretty raw, and I think Shatner still blames himself to some degree for not being at home when his alcoholic wife accidentally drowned in their pool. Sobering stuff.
But for the most part, Up Till Now is a fun book with a lot of funny stories and a lot of inside information on the entertainment world. The 77 year old Shatner has been around all the blocks in Hollywood and come back to tell the tales. And he's still determined to explore strange new worlds and have new adventures even as he approaches his eighth decade of life. I get the feeling that he really does look at every day as a chance to live his life to its fullest. Not a bad lesson.

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