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“It is now Bill Shatner’s universe---we just live in it.”---New York Daily News

After almost sixty years as an actor, William Shatner has become one of the most beloved entertainers in the world. And it seems as if Shatner is everywhere. Winning an Emmy for his role on Boston Legal. Doing commercials for Priceline.com. In the movie theaters. Singing with Ben Folds. He’s sitting next to Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, and he’s practically a regular on Howard Stern’s show. He was recently honored with election to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. He was a target on a Comedy Central’s Celebrity Roast entitled “The Shat Hits the Fan.” In Up Till Now, Shatner sits down with readers and offers the remarkable, full story of his life and explains how he got to be, well, everywhere.

It was the original Star Trek series, and later its films, that made Shatner instantly recognizable, called by name---or at least by Captain Kirk’s name---across the globe. But Shatner neither began nor has ended his career with that role. From the very start, he took his skills as an actor and put them to use wherever he could. He straddled the classic world of the theater and the new world of television, whether stepping in for Christopher Plummer in Shakespeare’s Henry V or staring at “something on the wing” in a classic episode of The Twilight Zone. And since then, he’s gone on to star in numerous successful shows, such as T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911, and most recently Boston Legal.

William Shatner has always been willing to take risks for his art. What other actor would star in history’s first---and probably only---all-Esperanto-language film? Who else would share the screen with thousands of tarantulas, release an album called Has Been, or film a racially incendiary film in the Deep South during the height of the civil rights era? And who else would willingly paramotor into a field of waiting fans armed with paintball guns, all waiting for a chance to stun Captain…er, Shatner?

In this touching and very funny autobiography, William Shatner reveals the man behind these unforgettable moments, and how he’s become the worldwide star and experienced actor he is today.

           

 

From Publishers Weekly

Working with various collaborators, Shatner has previously written science fiction (the TekWar series) and science fact ( I''m Working on That), and ventured into memoir with Star Trek Memories. Embarking on a full-scale autobiography, he begins with his Montreal childhood doing children''s theater, then covers comedies with the Canadian National Repertory Theatre, lead roles with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and live TV in New York City in 1956: I became one of the busiest actors in the city. At that point Shatner opens a Pandora''s box of self-deprecating humor and fascinating anecdotes about the hilarious goofs, on-camera accidents and stage fright during the live TV era. Obsessed with work, Shatner took any job that came his way, from dog shows to reality TV. Some of his tales are quite funny, such as doing an entire feature film, Incubus (1965), in Esperanto: No one understood their lines. Covering his multiple careers of acting, writing and directing, he never pulls his punches, describing humiliations as well as triumphs. Shatner''s sincerity, honesty and heightened sense of humor all come across at warp speed in this entertaining memoir. (May 13)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—Today''s teens may know Shatner from his role as Denny Crane in Boston Legal, or as the pitchman for Priceline.com, or as a character in several Brad Paisley music videos. They are probably also aware of his enduring role as Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek television show and movies. In this autobiography, he takes a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at his long acting career, starting with performing in the Montreal Children''s Theatre, moving on to the Canadian Rep, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and, ultimately, just about every television drama that was on the air in the 1950s. Over the years, he clearly learned to laugh at himself, which makes this book an entertaining read as he talks about his career, his four wives, three daughters, horses, love of risk-taking, eternal quest for financial security, and lots of people, famous and otherwise, whom he met along the way. Although the narrative is roughly chronological, Shatner never hesitates to stop in the middle of one story to tell another, or to refer to something that happened much later. There is some repetition-he clearly has favorite stories-but his lighthearted approach makes readers willing to be indulgent of his vagaries and excesses.— Sarah Flowers, Santa Clara County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The Autobiography seems a rather ponderous label for an impish book. On the other hand, maybe it notifies us that this is all Shatner, possessor of one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, intends to give us in the way of a primary source about his life. In any event, this is such an entertaining book, so full of baggy-pants foolery and general lightheartness, that not a word of it should be changed. The personifier of Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk, reactionary cop T. J. Hooker, and Boston Legal’s pompous Denny Crane is a terrific storyteller, who confesses to believing that truth in particulars must give way to telling a good tale. While proceeding basically chronologically from his 1930s Montreal childhood to his current home on the West Coast, Shatner makes decade-hopping feints back and forth as the spirit moves him, freely plugs merchandise obtainable through his Web sites, and pretends to use his cell phone now and then. The book comes across as a lightly edited transcript of a torrent of dictation. Shatner waxes somber very infrequently, at greatest length for the account of his alcoholic third wife’s accidental death, for which scandalmongers briefly suggested he might be responsible. The rest is an old-style entertainer’s spiel and delightful “lite” reading. --Ray Olson

About the Author

William Shatner played Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven Star Trek movies. He also played Police Sergeant T.J Hooker, from 1982 to 1986, and has worked as a musician, producer, director, and celebrity pitchman, recently for Priceline.com. He has won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for his role as attorney Denny Crane on the TV drama Boston Legal.

 

David Fisher is the author of more than fifteen New York Times bestsellers. He is the only writer ever to have works of fiction, nonfiction, and reference offered simultaneously by theBook of the Month Club. He lives in New York with his wife, two teenagers, one dog, and one cat.

 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER ONE

I was going to begin my autobiography this way:

Call me . . . Captain James T. Kirk or Sergeant

T.J. Hooker or Denny Crane Denny Crane or Twilight Zone plane passenger Bob Wilson or the Big Giant Head or Henry V or the Priceline Negotiator or . . .

Well, that''s the problem, isn''t it? I''ve been a working actor for more than half a century and I''ve played so many different roles on the stage, on television, and in the movies that it would be impossible to focus on just one of them. Besides, my career as an actor is only part of my story, so I realized I couldn''t begin this book that way.

Then I decided I was going to start this book by telling the story of my memorable meeting with Koko the gorilla:

In 1988, to help the Gorilla Foundation encourage Californians to contribute to its Endangered Species Campaign, I was permitted to visit Koko the gorilla in her quarters. Koko was an extraordinary animal who had learned to communicate with human beings. She was able to sign more than six hundred words, but more impressively, as her handlers told me, she understood the meaning of those words. She knew the signs for water and for bird and the first time she saw a duck landing on a lake she signed water bird. That displayed a synthesis of knowledge. So you see, she was obviously very intelligent. I was allowed to go into her compound, to enter a room with her all alone. As I walked into that room I was reminded that she was an imposing, powerful animal; smaller gorillas have been known to tear off men''s arms in anger. I am not often afraid, but truthfully I was frightened.

There is a form of acting that teaches: feel it and say it, and that feeling will be revealed through your words. The English form is quite different: say it and then you feel it. To deal with my fear of this magnificent animal as I got closer and closer to her I found myself saying, "I love you, Koko. I love you." I said it earnestly and honestly and I looked directly in her eyes as I spoke. I crouched over a little to show submission, moving forward rather than backward to show I was not afraid. Over and over I repeated, "I love you, Koko, I love you." And as I said it, I began to feel that love. Finally I stopped directly in front of her and looked into her deep brown eyes and saw her furrowed brow and her enormous hands. I love you, Koko.

And with that she reached out and grabbed me by my balls. And looked me right in the eyes. After a slight pause-in a substantially higher voice-I tried to repeat, "I love you, Koko." Obviously these words had more significance than a few seconds earlier.

Her handler, standing just outside the room, said, "Stand very still. She wants you to go to her bedroom." So I stood very still because I did not want to go to her bedroom. I think it is fair to say that few people in history have ever stood as still as I did at that moment. Meanwhile, in the adjoining compound a young gorilla who they hoped would mate with Koko was pounding on the door like a jealous husband. There I was, caught in the eternal triangle, with a gorilla holding on to my rapidly shrinking scrotum. Eventually she got bored...

Starting this book with that story would enable me to inform the reader that it''s not going to be limited to my professional career, that it will also include stories about all the extraordinary opportunities I''ve been given to explore the world. I''d discuss all the amazing experiences I''ve had, from that dark night in Africa when I pursued a wild elephant to the afternoon a helicopter left me more alone than I''d ever been in my life on top of a twenty-thousand-foot-high glacier, and even to that memorable moment when I saw aliens in the desert. And it would also demonstrate that there are going to be a lot of laughs in this book, most of them at my expense. But then I realized that people know me primarily from the work I''ve done as an actor, so that wouldn''t be effective as a beginning. So I decided not to begin that way either.

Then I had a great idea. I was going to start the book by quoting the lyrics to a song I''d written about the truly tragic death by drowning of my beautiful wife, Nerine Shatner:

My love was supposed to protect her It didn''t My love was supposed to heal her It didn''t You had said don''t leave me And I begged you not to leave me We did

Opening the book that way would be so meaningful to me, beginning with the great tragedy of my life. And it would immediately let readers know that this is to be a truthful book. But it would also be such a sad beginning, when my life has been filled with so much joy. And of course, I''m not known for my singing; in fact there are those who believe my performance of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" may be the worst version of a Beatles song ever recorded. Not me- of course. And this is such a personal story that it needs to be told in its entirety, so certainly I couldn''t begin my book that way.

There is one extremely well-known phrase that I definitely decided I would not use to begin this book:

"Beam me up, Scotty."

In fact, I am determined that this phrase will not appear anywhere in this book.

The beginning, I knew, needed to catch the interest of the reader within a few words, to engage their curiosity, to make them wonder, perhaps, what the hell is he talking about? Which led to:

I arrived in New York City for the first time in my life in an Indian outrigger canoe, having paddled all the way from Montreal...

I liked that, but it didn''t seem to convey the essence of my life. Somehow it seemed too gimmicky, too clever, so I knew I couldn''t use that. Maybe later in the first chapter, I decided.

It occurred to me that perhaps I should open this book with a description of the day I took my beautiful horse, Sultan''s Great Day, for his final walk in the pasture. Oh my, you should have seen him in his world-championship days. I''m telling you, this was the most magnificent stallion you''ve ever seen. I''m not kidding about that. Really, people were in awe of his presence. They would look at him and...

I would use that beginning to tell you about my passions, the passions that have made all the difference in my life. The passions that I''ve spent my life pursuing: the love of a beautiful woman, the love for my family, the love for my craft, my art, the need to experience every aspect of life. Sometimes I''m amazed to realize that I live today with the vestiges of my priorities as a young man, the desire to act, the need to be loved, the pleasures of a great meal, a great laugh, and enduring companionship.

But simply telling you about my passions-even my passion for horses and dogs-seemed far too somber an opening.

Perhaps, I thought, I should start this book by being glib, by exposing my quirky sense of humor to the readers. Make them laugh at the very beginning by quoting a newspaper story about one of the more unusual things I''ve ever done:

(AP) 1/17/2006 Actor William Shatner agreed on Monday to sell his kidney stone for $75,000 to an online casino. The money will go to Habitat for Humanity. "This takes organ donors to a new height, or perhaps a new low," said Shatner. The auction price includes the surgical stent and string used to permit passage of the stone.

According to Shatner, the kidney stone was so big, "[Y]ou''d want to wear it on your finger. If you subjected it to extreme heat, it might turn out to be a diamond..."

While that beginning certainly would be humorous, it just seemed too frivolous to start that way. Instead, it occurred to me that the opening of this book should be thoughtful, it should be about my life. How much more sincere could I be about the life I''ve had than using words written by David E. Kelley for the character I play on Boston Legal, Denny Crane Denny Crane:

Evening: Crane and Shore on the balcony outside Crane''s office

CRANE

Alan Shore believes man has a soul. Stop the presses.

SHORE

Don''t you believe it? Can this be all there is? And if so...

have we not wasted...

CRANE

I haven''t wasted a second. I''ve enjoyed my ride, all of it.

SHORE

But will it have truly counted for something?

CRANE

You''ve heard the old joke, Alan. Man shows up at the pearly gates, sees this guy in a pinstripe suit, briefcase, cigar, prancing about, he says to St. Peter, "Who the hell is that?" St. Peter says, "Oh that''s just God. Thinks he''s Denny Crane."

SHORE

What would you do, Denny, if you actually met God one day?

CRANE

I dunno. Probably take him fishing.

For a brief time I had decided this was the perfect way to open this book. Then it occurred to me, let Denny Crane write his own book! Finally, inspiration struck! I had what I believed would be a unique and perfect opening:

Are you tired of paying full price for this book? Well, you don''t have to. You can buy as many copies of it as you like-and you name the price! That''s right, you name the price you want to pay. At Priceline.com it''s as simple as that. Here''s the way...

Opening this book like that would be funny, yet accurate, as many people know me from my work representing various companies, such as Priceline.com. And if we also could sell a few more copies of this book, well, I didn''t think St. Martin''s would object. And if Priceline was approached properly by my agent, perhaps they might even be willing to purchase the rights to the opening paragraph. For less than full price, of course.

But perhaps that was too crass for the opening of my autobiography, I decided. Is that really what I wanted to emphasize about my life and my career? And would Priceline meet my price? So that opening too, was rejected.

And then it occurred to me: I don''t need an opening. By the time you''ve reached this paragraph my autobiography has already started. Of course that was very similar to my career; I was already in the middle of it before I realized it had begun.

The first time I stood on a stage I made the audience cry.

Let me establish the rules for this book. I will tell all the jokes unless I specifically identify a straight line. In which case you will have the opportunity make up the jokes.

I was six years old, attending Rabin''s Camp, a summer camp for Jewish welfare cases run by my aunt in the mountains north of Montreal. I wanted to box at that camp-hitting people seemed like fun-but my aunt instead put me in a play named Winterset. My role was that of a young boy forced to leave his home because the Nazis were coming. In the climactic scene I had to say good-bye to my dog, knowing I probably would never see him again. My dog was played by another camper, costumed in painted newspaper. We performed the play on parents'' weekend to an audience consisting primarily of people who had escaped the Nazis, many of whom still had family members trapped in Hitler''s Europe. So many of them had left everything they knew or owned behind-and there I was, saying good-bye to my little doggie.

I cried, the audience cried, everybody cried. I remember taking my bow and seeing people wiping away their tears. I remember the warmth of my father holding me as people told him what a wonderful son he had. Just imagine the impact that had on a six-year-old child. I had the ability to move people to tears. And I could get approval.

Something in me always wanted to perform, always wanted the attention that came from pleasing an audience. Years before my camp debut my older sister remembers my mother taking the two of us downtown. Apparently I ran away and it took them several hectic minutes to find me-dancing happily in front of an organ-grinder.

Where did that come from? That need to please people? What part of me was born with the courage to stand in front of strangers and risk rejection? There was nothing at all like that in my family history. The Shatner family was Polish and Austrian and Hungarian, and apparently several of my forebears were rabbis and teachers.

Like so many Jewish immigrants my father was in the schmatta business-he manufactured inexpensive men''s suits for French-Canadian clothing stores. Admiration Clothes. They were basically suits for workingmen who owned only one suit. Joseph Shatner was a stern but loving man, a hard-working man. I can close my eyes and remember the smell of his cutting room. The unforgettable aroma of raw serge and tweed in rolled-up bales, mixed with the smell of my father''s cigarettes. Saturday afternoon was the only time he would relax, lying on the couch and listening to New York''s Metropolitan Opera on the radio. He came to Montreal from Eastern Europe when he was fourteen, and worked selling newspapers and in other labor-intensive jobs. He started in the clothing business packing boxes and eventually became a salesman and finally started his own small company. He was the first member of his family to come to North America, but eventually he helped all ten of his brothers and sisters leave Europe. My friend Leonard Nimoy likes to joke about the fact that I never stop working; he does an imitation of me in which he says, "It''s quarter of four. What''s scheduled for four-ten? If I''m done there by four-thirty can we get something for four-fifty?"

Perhaps there is some truth to that. Every actor has spent days... months staring at the telephone, willing it to ring. And living with the hollow fear that it might never ring again. Painting the walls over again while waiting for the next offer. After beginning my career I went more than twenty years without taking a real vacation, petrified I might miss a phone call. Having had that experience, having lived in the back of pickup trucks in the parking lots of summer theaters, indeed I am open to opportunities. But there is a general belief that I will accept almost anything that I''m offered and that certainly is not true. It was less than two years ago that I turned down an offer. Like any actor, I''m concerned about being overexposed, so I''ve been very careful to limit myself to acting on the stage and in dramatic television programs, hosting documentary-type programs and game shows, appearing in movies and commercials, endorsing products, doing voice-overs, charity appearances, radio programs, Webcasts, videos, Star Trek conventions, game shows, horse shows and dog shows, writing books and songs, making albums, creating, directing and producing television programs, performing at concerts, and appearing on talk shows, competitive reality-type shows, and award programs. But that''s where I draw the line. For example, I rarely do bar mitzvahs and I''ve never worked in the Catskills.

My work ethic comes from my father. His dream was that I would eventually take over the business. So, as he had done, I worked in the factory packing suits. One of my skills is good packing. I know how to fold a suit with the shoulders touching inside-out, the sleeves down, folded flat so it stays pressed. I know the correct way to fold pants and put them in a box. Had I not become an actor I could have had a fine career in folding.

But acting? What did my father know from acting? Acting smacting, that wasn''t a thing real people did, it wasn''t a job. It wasn''t what people did to earn a living. It was playing.

From my father I learned the value of education, respect for others around me, and to be on time and prepared to work. Eleven-oh-five, he used to tell me, was not eleven o''clock. All my life I have been on time and prepared to work. I''ll tell you how deeply that ethic is ingrained in me. In 2007 I was invited by ABC to participate in a show entitled Fast Cars and Superstars, actually a NASCAR celebrity race. This was an opportunity to drive as fast as possible in an oval without having to worry about speed traps. A racetrack is the one place in the world you can drive as fast as your skills and your courage allow. This was my kind of TV show. I said, "Of course, I''d love to do it." And then I began negotiating furiously for as much money as I could get.

As I was leaving the set of Boston Legal to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina, a producer gently put a comforting hand on my shoulder and explained, "Remember Bill, you''ve got to report for work Thursday at seven a.m. And if you''re not here, if you''ve hit a wall and broken your arms and legs or turned the car over and are lying in a hospital somewhere covered from head to toe in bandages so you can''t get back, this company can sue you." Then he paused and smiled broadly. "Other than that, have a great time."

I''ve loved fast cars all my life. I''ve long admired the great drivers. But I am aware of the danger. I know Dale Earnhardt Jr.''s fate. The reality is that race drivers die. They crash and burn, they roll over and catch fire. I''ve seen those pictures. Not me, of course, them. I have been in enough television shows and feature films to understand reality-the star never gets hurt.

There were twelve competitors divided into four groups. Each group of three people shared one car. For safety, there would be one driver on the track at a time. We were racing against time, not directly against each other. My group consisted of myself, former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, and volleyball player-model Gabrielle Reece. We drove for the first time in a morning practice round. I hit 160 mph, and as I went around the turns I was convinced the car was going to slide out from under me and hit the wall. Well, it didn''t, and 160 mph put me way back in the pack.

I promised myself I would do better in the actual competition. I realized I had been holding back on the straightaways, anticipating the next turn. When we raced that night I intended to press down on the accelerator so I could remain in the race. The only question I had was who would be eliminated first from my group, Cowher or Reece?

My group was scheduled to race Tuesday night. Cowher went first. He spun out and hit the wall; the $500,000 car was badly damaged. We waited more than an hour for a replacement car; finally Cowher made his run and established his time. Gabrielle Reece had posted some very fast times in her practice runs, but during her run she also spun out and almost hit the wall. Now it was my turn.

I was wearing a completely fireproof jumpsuit and a large bulbous helmet with a face mask that covered my entire head. When they tried to strap me in I realized something was wrong. This car had been set up for Cowher and Reece, two very tall people. My feet didn''t reach the pedals. And the seat wouldn''t move. The only thing that did move was the telescoping steering wheel. But the wheel in the car was too large, so they replaced it with a much smaller wheel that was sticking into my gut, much smaller than any steering wheel I was used to. By then it was one o''clock in the morning, I was tired, and the lithium lights shining down on the filthy windshield made it difficult to see clearly.

In minutes I was going to be driving faster than 160 mph with a steering wheel jammed into my belly and pillows stuffed behind me to push me forward so I could reach the pedals on a track I could not see clearly.

This was crazy and I knew it. I thought, what am I doing here? I could be killed.

I put my foot down on the accelerator and took off. I''ve learned in karate that your chi is below your belly button and as you do any physical activity you release it in explosive breaths. I''ve done that many times. My intention was to blow out my chi by yelling as I went around those turns.

Actually, I believe that my exact words as I raced around the corners were "Whooooooooooooooooooooo. Whooooooooooooooooooooo." I was not blowing out my chi, I was trying to contain my fear. I was seeing death. I knew I was going to die. I could barely control the car, I couldn''t see where I was going, and I was driving faster than 160 mph. I never should have been in that situation. Drivers have told me about the feeling of Zen they''ve experienced in which they are one with the car. I didn''t get that feeling, instead I felt like a foreign body that the car was trying to eject.

I finished my three official laps. I never learned my time; I was disqualified for a technical violation. But later I wondered why I had taken that risk. I risked my life for a television program? I did it, I realized, because the cameras were rolling. Believe me, if those TV cameras had not been there I wouldn''t have risked my life. But the cameras were there; this was a show, a performance. This was my job. And as I had been taught by my father, I was there on time and ready to go to work.

It was my mother, Ann Shatner, who encouraged me to act. She sent me to acting school; she never missed a performance. She went with me to audition for radio roles and when I didn''t get the part she would call the producer, Mr. Rupert Kaplan, to scream at him for not hiring me. Unlike some mothers she didn''t follow me to college when I attended McGill-she didn''t have to, we lived two miles from the campus.

My mother might accurately be described kindly as ditzy. Her own family had been relatively well off and she was somewhat spoiled; the contrast between this lovely young woman who had so much and a hard-working man struggling to bring his family over from Europe must have been extreme. My mother had a great dramatic flair. She wanted her life to be big and loud. When we went for dinner, for example, she would quite often inform the waiter that it was her birthday. I still get embarrassed thinking about it. She would sit there beaming while the rest of us were cringing as the waiters gathered around our table to loudly sing "Happy Birthday." I''m certain people would look at our table and wonder why this entire family was looking down and not singing "Happy Birthday" to that lovely woman. What a reputation we must have had: that Shatner family won''t sing "Happy Birthday," imagine that. My mother had more birthdays than anyone in the world.

She always took great pleasure in my success, and even more pleasure in sharing it. I can still hear her saying those memorable words, "I''m William Shatner''s mother." I can still hear it because she never stopped saying it. Everywhere she went. If she got on an elevator before the doors closed she would say, "Hello everybody, I''m William Shatner''s mother." In department stores, in every restaurant, "I''m William Shatner''s mother." On occasion I''d get on an airplane and the stewardess would tell me she''d had my mother on a flight. I didn''t need to ask how she knew it was my mother. I would tell my mother over and over, please don''t do that. It''s embarrassing. I hate it. Don''t do it. And she would look at me sadly and say, "Okay, I won''t do it." And then she would turn around, "Hi, I''m William Shatner''s mother."

My father used to remind me with tremendous emphasis, "She''s still. your mother" Meaning no matter what she''s done, how much you don''t understand her, you will treat her with respect. She''s still your mother.

She was an elocution teacher. She was not, as she often corrected my father, an execution teacher, she was an elocution teacher. I want you to do something for me please, try to pronounce these words aloud as you read them: ten tin men, ten tin men. The difference between "ten" and "tin" is elocution. My mother was probably a frustrated actress; there really was no place for a middle-aged Jewish mother of three to perform in Montreal, so she would act out monologues at home. When I was seven or eight years old she enrolled me in the Dorothy Davis School for Actors, which was run by Miss Dorothy Davis and Miss Violet Walters in the basement of someone''s home. It was in that basement that I learned the skills necessary to succeed in the difficult thespian world-specifically, get up on stage, say my words, get off the stage-skills that eventually allowed me to play such memorable roles as Prince Charming and Tom Sawyer at a theater in the local park. I am proud to say I am the most famous graduate of the Dorothy Davis School for Actors.

I don''t remember being taught how to act, we just acted. And the school charged admission to watch us act. Actually, I don''t believe acting can be taught, but what you can learn is the discipline of learning your words, having to appear, and having to say them.

I was a lonely kid. I''d walk to school by myself. In school, on Valentine''s Day, I would send myself valentines. Those would be the only ones I would receive. One year I got six valentines from myself! Truthfully, I don''t know why I didn''t have many close friends. It might have had something to do with the neighborhood in which we lived. While all my relatives lived in the Jewish section of Montreal, my family lived in a comfortable house on Girouard Street, in the more affluent, mostly Catholic area NDG, Notre Dame de Grace.

There was always trouble between the Jewish kids and the Catholic kids, there was a lot of anti-Semitism. When I had to go to Hebrew school I''d walk on the opposite side of the street, actively pretending I didn''t even realize the synagogue was there-until I got in front of it. Then I''d look both ways and run for the door. I actually planned my strategy for getting there safely. Not that I minded a fight, I wasn''t a big kid but I never backed down from anybody. We had fights almost every day. My nickname was "Toughie," as in, Hey, watch out everybody, here comes Toughie Shatner! Actually, you might not want to mention that to little Lenny Nimoy, another Jewish kid growing up at exactly the same time in Boston. I''d hear stories about Jewish soldiers who had come back from the war; one or two men taking on a whole gang of anti-Semites and beating them into submission with an ax handle.

I played football and skied in high school and I loved both sports, but it was acting that made me feel complete. Acting made me special, and I was good at it. I never had difficulty pretending to be someone else. At camp, not only did I make the adults cry, I literally drove a camper crazy. I was working as a counselor with my friend Hilliard Jason-he required me to call him Hilliard. We ran a bunk filled with kids who had survived the Holocaust, kids who had seen their parents slaughtered, kids who just as easily could kill you with a pencil as become friends. I was able to control them because I was the camp storyteller. At night, in the dark, I would read Poe and Kafka with great elocution. One night I read "The Tell-tale Heart"- "You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me"-and one child broke down in fear. He let free all of those emotions kept inside for so long and it was too much for him. He became hysterical. The next day he was sent home, wrapped in blankets in the backseat of a car.

What had I done? I felt terrible. Awful. That had not been my intention. But I was also astonished. Once again I had seen the extraordinary power of words to evoke great emotion. Look what I could do! Just by saying some words!

I acted throughout my childhood. When Dorothy Davis established the Montreal''s Children Theatre we put on our plays at the Victorian Theatre in the park and on local radio. For five years I saved damsels on Saturday Morning Fairy Tales, even if I wasn''t quite certain what a damsel was. What eight-year-old doesn''t want to be Prince Charming? Or Ali Baba? Or Huck Finn? I got to be them all. Acting was playing. I was being me being someone else. It came easily to me. I crashed my sister Joy''s sweet sixteen party, for example, costumed as an old man. Joy had no idea it was me, no idea. She came over to me and said, politely, "Excuse me, but I don''t think I know who you are." When she got close enough and looked into my eyes, she knew. But the concept that I could do this as a profession, that I could earn...

Oh, excuse me. I just have to go star in another movie with Sandra Bullock for a little while. Here, please hum along with a song I wrote with Ben Folds and I''ll be back in a few sentences:

I know what she''s gonna do; And I can''t wait for her to do it. She knows me and I know her; what I hate and what I prefer. Dum de dum, dum de um. I know her scent, I know her touch; where to hold her and just how much.

My lady belongs here and so...

Okay, I''m back. Where was I? Growing up, the concept that I could continue to do this playing as an adult was not something that occurred to me. It was just something that I loved doing. In high school I played football and acted in school plays and for the first time I allowed myself to dream. Under my photograph in my senior yearbook I finally admitted it out loud: I wanted to be an actor. Not that out loud of course, not loud enough for my father to hear me.

While still in high school I got my first real job in the theater-as a stage manager. I was fifteen years old and I had absolutely no experience. Looking back, I suspect I got the job because I was young and good-looking and oh so terribly naïve. A well-known French male singer was starring in a play at the Orpheum Theatre, which housed all the touring companies. It was thrilling for me. I was in the theater; backstage, but inside the theater. The actor was tall and good-looking and early in the run he asked me if I wanted to join him for dinner.

Well, I thought, I must be a great stage manager. The star of the show has asked me to have dinner with him. Naturally I accepted his invitation. As we left the theater that night he asked me if I had a jacket with me. "No," I admitted.

"That''s fine," he said casually. "I''ve got a jacket that''ll fit you in my hotel room."

Welcome to show business, Shatner. The strongest memory I have of that night is being chased around the bed. Football season had recently ended so I was in good shape and strong. I stayed out of his reach. Incredibly, I didn''t even know what he wanted. I was unaware of homosexuality. I didn''t know that men could be attracted to other men. It was not something spoken about in middle-class Jewish homes.

What happened that night changed my attitude toward women for the rest of my life. I understood the anger and frustration that a woman feels when she says no, and means no, and the man believes she is saying yes.

Acting had become my passion. I was hungry to stand before an audience and perform. I accepted every opportunity offered to me. When I was sixteen I got a part in a production of Clifford Odets''s Waiting for Lefty being done at a Communist organization meeting hall in Montreal. Every serious young actor wanted to do meaningful theater, even if we didn''t understand the meaning. I didn''t know anything about Communism, but I knew the history of Clifford Odets and the Group Theatre. I remember being on stage, looking nobly to the ceiling, my fist raised, screaming, "Strike! Strike!" And the audience-my God, they went out of their minds! "Strike! Strike!" When the audience responded I could feel the power of my performance. Me, little Billy Shatner from the west end of Montreal, not quite Westmont, holding this audience in my hand. Strike! Strike! It was magnificent, beautiful. Strike! Strike!

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. No understanding of political philosophy. I was acting, that''s all. Giving life and emotion to words written on paper. The red-baiting movement started several years later, just as I was beginning my career in America. I was terrified that someone would ask me about my work for the Communist party.

At West Hill High School I was never a very good student, more because of a lack of interest than a lack of ability. In school, those things about the world that would one day intrigue and delight and fascinate me didn''t even interest me. I wanted to act and play football, that was it. I barely graduated from high school and yet was accepted to the McGill University School of Commerce. The business school. I was admitted under a Jewish quota that existed at that time. With my grades they must have been marking on a very large curve. My family believed I was at McGill to learn how to bring modern economic practices into my father''s clothing business, so I could turn it into the hugely successful corporation we all knew was just the completion of my college education away. But I knew I was there to perform in their shows.

I spent considerably more time in the drama department than going to class. I got by, I always managed to get by, but more important, I wrote and produced and appeared in several campus productions. I was also working part-time as a radio announcer at the Canadian Broadcasting Company. Here, remember these words: "Stay tuned for our next exciting program." That was me.

Growing up, I wanted to be like the kids who lived in Westmont, the moneyed part of the city. I wanted to be like the upper-class English kids who drove their MGs to college. I remember when I was five or six years old I found a five-dollar bill. That was all the money in the world to a child, but I wanted to share it with my only friend-so I tore it in half.

I understood the importance of money-but acting was more important. I knew I would never make as much money acting as my father earned in the schmatta business, but I didn''t care. I suspect every actor has a financial goal when they begin. Mine was a hundred dollars a week. I thought, if I could earn a hundred dollars a week as an actor I will be a very happy man. Leonard, whose father was a barber, wanted to earn ten thousand dollars a year, but Leonard always had extravagant dreams.

Telling this to my father was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. My father''s dream was that we would work together one day. As a teenager I would go with him on sales calls. We''d put on our best suits and drive to these small French villages outside Montreal. He had friends in every village-this is my old friend Jake, my old friend Pierre, my old friend Robert-people he had sold to for years. To each of these men he would proudly introduce me, "This is my son," and they would comment on how tall I was, how much I looked like him. It was the salesman''s dance. I was being brought into the family business.

I didn''t know how I could tell him. One afternoon, during my third year in college, for some reason we were in my bedroom and he asked me casually if I''d thought about my future. Just as casually I told him I wanted to be an actor. And his heart just plummeted.

He sat down on my bed as the enormity of that hit him. He didn''t understand the theater. Acting wasn''t a job for a man. Actors were bums. For him, it was like being a minstrel. The chances of succeeding, of having any kind of meaningful life were very, very slim. I knew he was devastated, but the only thing he said to me was, "Well, you do what you want to do. There''s always a place for you here. I don''t have the money to support you, but I''ll help you the best I can." The only thing he asked of me was that I not become a "hanger-on." By that he meant being dependent on other people, on unemployment insurance, a man who couldn''t earn his own keep.

How brave he was to put aside his dreams so I might pursue my own. And how it must have hurt him. He was a man rooted deeply in the reality of a paycheck; the life of an artist was inconceivable to him. But rather than trying to talk me out of it, or offering advice, he gave me freedom.

And he always kept that place for me. Just in case.

I graduated from McGill University with my degree in commerce and I immediately put that degree to work. Mrs. Ruth Springford, a woman who had directed me in several college plays, was the director of a summer theater, the Mountain Playhouse. Having seen my work, she hired me as the assistant manager. The company was performing mostly one-set Broadway shows like Roman Candle and The Seven Year Itch. In those days playwrights were writing shows with minimal scenery and sets, knowing that if their play was successful on Broadway the number of companies that produced it in local theaters-and paid those royalties-would depend greatly on how many sets it had. Generally those plays were light comedies featuring a young guy-often a shy or bumbling young guy-with an innocent smile big enough to reach the back rows.

I was a terrible assistant manager. A disgrace to my commerce degree. I kept losing tickets and mixing up reservations, which were basically the only responsibilities I had. Actors were easily replaceable, but the survival of the theater depended on getting the ticket sales right. Most actors get hired; to save the theater I was fired into the cast. I began playing all those happy young man roles.

These were Broadway shows coming to Canada; the audience was ready to laugh. My talent was knowing my lines and waiting until the laughter stopped before speaking. I had no formal acting training, I never did. I would read about actors in New York City studying The Method. Well, I had my own method, I said my lines as if I were the character. I learned how to act from acting. The audience taught me how to act. If I did something and the audience responded, I did it again. So this experience of working every night, learning new roles, studying lines, experimenting with movements and expressions, that was my acting class.

A few years later, when I was a member of the company at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, they held classes in technique and voice production and even swordplay for the young actors. The problem was that we were working much too hard as actors to find the time to take classes to learn how to act. By the time I had learned technique we had already opened our second show of the season and were in the middle of rehearsals for the third show. But at Stratford I did work with classically trained actors, among them James Mason and Anthony Quayle. We worked with experienced actors every day, we rehearsed with them, we played small roles, we understudied, and when we weren''t onstage we watched them. I learned to act by watching other actors, reading about acting, and living with actors. I studied my craft, but I learned acting by acting.

I was a serious actor, I knew I must be a serious actor because I wasn''t making any money at it. Those days prepared me very well for much later in my career when I would be a well-known television actor and wasn''t making any money from it. I still dreamed of one day earning one hundred dollars a week, but that seemed far away. At least once a day, sometimes more, I spent twenty-seven cents for a plate of fruit salad at Kresge''s lunch counter. I lived on fruit salad and grew to hate fruit salad. My one luxury was my forty-dollar car. That''s what I paid for it, and it was worth that price. The driver''s door was jammed shut, so to get in and out I''d have to climb through the window, and it burned so much oil that every forty or fifty miles I''d stop at a gas station and pour used oil into the crankcase. In those days you could buy oil that had been drained out of other cars very cheaply, which was my price. Generally I''d pour in oil once a day.

When that summer ended Mrs. Springford recommended me to the Canadian National Repertory Theatre in Ottawa-as their assistant manager. Again my uncanny ability to lose tickets and mix up reservations-although sometimes I would mix up tickets and lose reservations- ended up with me joining the cast-at a salary of thirty-one dollars a week!

During my second season in Ottawa a woman contacted me and told me very seriously that a company was being formed to perform Shakespeare in Stratford and invited me to join the company. I thought she was kidding. Give up a secure job that paid thirty-one dollars a week to go to some little town and become a member of some Shakespeare company I''d never heard of? What did they think I was, an actor?

"Thank you," I said, "but I have a regular job and I''m going to keep that one."

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival opened and within months had become celebrated throughout Canada and eventually around the world.

Excerpted from Up Till Now by William Shatner with David Fisher

Copyright © 2008 by William Shatner.

Published in May 2008 by St. Martin''s Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher

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Long term customerTop Contributor: Star Trek
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good read
Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2017
This is for the real fans of the Shat, casual viewers may find much of this book "TMI". This is mostly about his lengthy career, spanning some 60 years, so there is not much detail about his family or marriages, nor the series that made him famous. Mr Shatner... See more
This is for the real fans of the Shat, casual viewers may find much of this book "TMI". This is mostly about his lengthy career, spanning some 60 years, so there is not much detail about his family or marriages, nor the series that made him famous. Mr Shatner explains his life-long philosophy, which was basically saying "yes" to almost any and all acting work, and then provides a myriad of examples, beginning in his mid-teens. Myriad is probably an understatement. Rather than worry about being typecast, for much of his life he was more worried about paying the bills, supporting his first wife and their 3 daughters. After Star Trek was cancelled, Mr Shatner went through a financially devastating divorce. Although the show was catching on all over the world in syndication, he did not receive royalties and was reduced to some low level acting work, living out of his truck for a time. He admits to having appeared in some truly awful movies and pokes plenty of fun at himself throughout the memoir, with the help of his co-author.

Mr Shatner admits that for years, he was confused, even turned off by the "Trekker" phenomena. However when he finally embraced it, he realized that for whatever reason, the show had been a positive force in people''s lives, inspiring many to pursue various careers in science. One man reportedly told him that repeating the show''s dialogue had saved his sanity when he was incarcerated as a POW in Vietnam. So even if "it''s just a TV show", the message therein held great meaning for people, for which Shatner is thankful.

Along similar lines, he is proud of the enduring effect of Rescue 911, with its'' depiction of various emergencies resulting in the real life saving of some 350 or more individuals, as well as the nationwide expansion of the 911 system, saving countless more.

Some of the most poignant parts of the book concern his third wife, Nerine Kidd. From the description of his first 2 marriages, it seems at last he had found his soulmate in her. However it is obvious in hindsight that his love for her had blinded him to the ugly truth of her addiction. Mr Shatner is a romantic at heart and sincerely believed that his love would enable her to stop using. Sadly, that was not the case, and he came home one the evening after visiting with his grandchildren for the day to find her dead in the pool. He has since established a charity for alcoholic women in her honor.

All in all, a good read, and quite a bit of poking fun at himself. He had some hard times and tinnitus even drove him to thoughts of suicide at one point, but Mr Shatner is a resilient man. He loves life, loves acting, horses, dogs, movies, and beautiful women. It is interesting to note that his performances as James T Kirk have been described as both "wooden" and "way over the top". The Star Trek character has been viewed by some as taking himself too seriously, occasionally even sanctimonious. After all, there were no bathrooms on the Enterprise! Maybe I am biased, but I don''t see him that way. To me, James T Kirk was a noble man who taught morality, not by what he said, but by how he behaved. Although I realize William Shatner is not James T Kirk, I can''t help but admire them both.
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Steven Carver
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Bill Fabricates
Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2020
In chapter four, Bill mentions that the most difficult stunt he ever did was a nude scene with Angie Dickinson in BIG BAD MAMA. As the director, I’d like to set the facts straight and comment that his story in Up Till Now: The Autobiography is a complete fabrication. Roger... See more
In chapter four, Bill mentions that the most difficult stunt he ever did was a nude scene with Angie Dickinson in BIG BAD MAMA. As the director, I’d like to set the facts straight and comment that his story in Up Till Now: The Autobiography is a complete fabrication. Roger Corman was never on the set, which was a practical location, not a studio set with rafters. While these scenes take care in setting up with a minimum crew, it was handled professionally, without any offscreen drama. Steve Carver
7 people found this helpful
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Mr. Lucky
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Fascinating Read..
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2018
A remarkably candid and introspective memoir by William Shatner that should appeal beyond people merely interested in “Star Trek.” Shatner is insightful, never pulling punches on his insecurities and imperfections, such as his rivalry and envy of costar Leonard Nimoy.... See more
A remarkably candid and introspective memoir by William Shatner that should appeal beyond people merely interested in “Star Trek.” Shatner is insightful, never pulling punches on his insecurities and imperfections, such as his rivalry and envy of costar Leonard Nimoy. This frankness makes you admire him all the more. Besides learning a lot about the author, you’ll find yourself equally enlightened about life. William Shatner is a very interesting fellow with a wonderful sense of humor, but when he delves into the depths of his pain and disappointments, he attains depth not usually found in these sort of tomes.
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R. E. Statham
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Delightful read
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2014
I just finished Mr. Shatner''s delightful book earlier today, and I wanted to share my review and thoughts on this most enjoyable work. The books''s honest without being nasty, snippy or mean spirited in any way. He tells all about his journey without putting... See more
I just finished Mr. Shatner''s delightful book earlier today, and I wanted to share my review and thoughts on this most enjoyable work.

The books''s honest without being nasty, snippy or mean spirited in any way. He tells all about his journey without putting others down-- and makes no bones about his own mistakes along the way.

Think about it-- a Jewish Canadian kid moves to New York, succeeds on the stage, turns down a contract with MGM ("I can still hear my agent screaming even now..." he says!) and after working role after role after role in a series of television dramas, and even failing in a couple of TV pilots-- FINALLY hits it big as Captain James T. Kirk. Oh, and after that success, hits it big as a TV cop called "T.J. Hooker." Oh-- and after that, hits it even bigger as Denny Crane, Esq-- "big shot attorney" in a large Boston law firm. Three completely different roles with different audiences-- but the same actor.

But it''s the journey that makes this such an interesting read-- how gets here-- as well as his ability to poke fun of himself again and again and again. Yep, the man has a zany sense of humor that comes through on every page-- as well as an ability to read people and truly "tell the story" as an actor.

Mr. Shatner tells a delightful story-- hysterically funny one moment, then devastatingly tearful as he describes coming home and finding his wife dead in the bottom of their swimming pool... and the aftermath as the press and the public ask, "Did Shatner kill her?" (since this was shortly after the O.J. and Nicole Simpson insanity).

Get the book on CD, read by the author. Five CD''s, about the right length, and well paced so that it''s interesting without tying you down for a long and detailed account.

Enjoy!
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R. Helms
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not at all Captain Kirk
Reviewed in the United States on August 27, 2013
This autobiography is about as complete as I could ask for, yet something I read ravenously and wanted much more at the end. Not that it left me unimpressed with the acting career of this remarkable actor, of whom (in Gene Roddenberry''s authorized biography) has been touted... See more
This autobiography is about as complete as I could ask for, yet something I read ravenously and wanted much more at the end. Not that it left me unimpressed with the acting career of this remarkable actor, of whom (in Gene Roddenberry''s authorized biography) has been touted as someone whose career would''ve become like Clint Eastwood''s had Star Trek not nailed him to a singular role.

Instead, we have a pop cultural icon who had not so much success at the time being seen as the starship Captain, but whose drive and ambition kept him seeking challenges and opportunities until he became other also iconic roles we also know him as today - from TJ Hooker to the Priceline Negotiator.

The book doesn''t contain just acting gigs, however - we do get personal glimpses into his relationships, marriages, breakups, tragedies - regrets. We get to know his humor, which perhaps defines him best; his close friendships with other celebrities (including his Star Trek First Officer, Leonard Nimoy who plays the Vulcan Mister Spock).

William Shatner has decades of experience of public speaking at conventions, and as well writing books. He is a commensurate storyteller, and therefore a good autobiographer. However, objectivity has to come into question as he does have a personal code of not speaking ill of people (even himself), so there''s little negativity and darkness found in these pages, aside from his wife''s suicide.

For entertainment and enjoyability and a colorful picture of the man spoken by himself, I find this a very worthwhile read. If you wish something truly objective, I have my doubts there is full disclosure in these pages about some of the potholes and pitfalls in this man''s life - something maybe that may never be known, or discovered posthumously.

Of this I am sure: Shatner is a model of working hard to succeed in show business, someone who has made good friends, perhaps has alienated more people than these pages reveal, but as a whole, someone whose hard work and determination as well as "yes to most everything" attitude has brought him to the level he enjoys today. Most struggling artists would do well to try and emulate this man.

I recommend this book to most anyone interested in William Shatner, any fan of any of his films, not just Star Trek. You''ll be very impressed.
4 people found this helpful
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Solipso
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A helpful overview of a Star Trek pioneer and a popular celebrity
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2013
William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931. That is a fact you might find helpful because the autobiographer does not mention his year of birth until page 97. By that point he has already presented his family, his youth, and his earliest years as a hardworking actor. And... See more
William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931. That is a fact you might find helpful because the autobiographer does not mention his year of birth until page 97. By that point he has already presented his family, his youth, and his earliest years as a hardworking actor. And his failure to note the date recurs throughout the book. When did he marry Gloria? When were his daughters born? When did he marry Marcy? What year did Nerine die? When was the first Star Trek movie released? During what years was T.J. HOOKER aired? And so on.

This absence of dates infused much vagary into the narration. Fortunately I could refer to my Star Trek encyclopedia and the Internet for exact times, but that should not have been necessary. Therefore, minus one star. Otherwise none of UP TIL NOW''s mistakes warrant a degradation of rating. The few mistakes in proofing and editing are tolerable. And though the prose falls short of Pulitzer biographers David McCullough or Ron Chernow, it is easy to read and the pace is leavened by Shatner''s humor.

I got what I was looking for: a good overview of the life of the guy who made Captain Kirk famous. It should please fans of either the Star Trek franchise or BOSTON LEGAL, the two topics that receive most attention, with one exception. The book should also please you if you are simply a fan of William Shatner. That''s the topic that receives the very most attention, unabashedly.

For me, here are two of the book''s more interesting facts: 1) William Shatner was born a Canadian, and he was Jewish; 2) Jeffrey Hunter, the man who was first cast as captain of the ENTERPRISE, lost his job when his wife placed too many demands on producer Gene Roddenberry (probably financial demands).

As a Star Trek fan, I certainly welcomed everything said about Star Trek, but the most absorbing pages were those concerning Shatner''s third wife, Nerine Kidd/Shatner. Though these pages don''t end well for Bill, they constitute a compassionately narrated story of true drama. I appreciate them.
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K.Lee
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful read... Fun addition to library
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2020
Still reading it, and absolutely loving it! He has such a self-deprecating style. I couldn''t help but laugh in so many places (until tears flowed) that I can easily say that my husband kept looking over at me...perhaps a bit envious that I was reading something that was... See more
Still reading it, and absolutely loving it! He has such a self-deprecating style. I couldn''t help but laugh in so many places (until tears flowed) that I can easily say that my husband kept looking over at me...perhaps a bit envious that I was reading something that was so much fun? He opens up on sad, painful & sometimes tragic moments well as shear joy. Thank you William for a lovely book. Well done.
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Miz Brody
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Delightful, light, funny
Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2019
In taking a break from my usual fare of theology and other deep works, this was a welcome break. Easy to read, delightful, funny, whimsical. Shatner is a stream of consciousness writer. He talks a lot about his singing albums so I checked out some YouTubes; he doesn''t... See more
In taking a break from my usual fare of theology and other deep works, this was a welcome break. Easy to read, delightful, funny, whimsical. Shatner is a stream of consciousness writer. He talks a lot about his singing albums so I checked out some YouTubes; he doesn''t "sing" -- he talks his way through songs. That said, I''ve always liked WS, back to the old Star Trek days. Interesting to learn of his friendships with "Scotty" and "Spock".
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Top reviews from other countries

loonie
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
YOU CAN JUDGE THIS BOOK BY IT''S COVER!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2020
BOOK IN VERY GOOD CONDITION AND RESONABLY PRICED.
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ADRIAN POLLARD
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Captain Kirk!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 14, 2018
Excellent read
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lindy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2014
Excellent
One person found this helpful
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JRW
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Honestly, this is Bill Shatner at his very best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 11, 2008
William Shatner delivers the full chronology of his extensive body of work, his intricate relationships with his fellow actors and some of the most tender and precious moments from his life, including the tragic death of his wife. The book is narrated by William Shatner and...See more
William Shatner delivers the full chronology of his extensive body of work, his intricate relationships with his fellow actors and some of the most tender and precious moments from his life, including the tragic death of his wife. The book is narrated by William Shatner and abridged over 5 CD''s with a total listening time of about 5 hours. I first listed to it in the car driving to and from the office but have since loaded it on my IPOD. If you''re already a fan of William or just getting to know him I would recommend you listen to some of his music CD''s to fully appreciate the talents of this incredible man. 1. Leonard Nimoy / William Shatner - Spaced Out 2. William Shatner (with Ben Folds 5) - Has Been In my opinion, this is one of the books you must read / listen to before you die and I regret that I''ll *probably* never get the chance to meet William Shatner.
3 people found this helpful
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Chris_83
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A highly entertaining memoir
Reviewed in Germany on October 15, 2016
William Shatner''s autobiography is both a highly entertaining and fascinating compilation of anecdotes from his experiences in showbiz and a candid description of the highs and lows in his personal life. I would highly recommend it to every StarTrek fan (of course!), but...See more
William Shatner''s autobiography is both a highly entertaining and fascinating compilation of anecdotes from his experiences in showbiz and a candid description of the highs and lows in his personal life. I would highly recommend it to every StarTrek fan (of course!), but also to readers who are interested in insights into the entertainment industry from the perspective of a hard-working actor who managed to succeed for more than 50 years.
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