William Shatner,
Up Till Now
(St. Martin's Griffin , 2009)

This book doesn't contain the bizarreness of Pryor Convictions, regarding Richard Pryor's life. Nor is it as funny as American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot by Craig Ferguson. However, I would rate it very high for providing a "fun" reading experience. It's just plain, simple fun.

The book spares us the minutiae of all the behind-the-scenes action -- there is some, but not too much. It does provide us with a detailed picture of the events that shaped William Shatner. The risks that he took over the years should be taught in every high school. Call it Risk-taking 101 with the William Shatner Workbook. Those risks defined him as an actor and as a man.

I also enjoyed the writing style, which makes the book sound like you are actually sitting with Bill Shatner while he tells his stories. The forgetfulness, the tangents, the tongue-in-cheek self-promotion ... all of it combines for an effect that really makes Shatner jump off the page. Excellent job.

Am I a Shatner fan? You bet. From Star Trek to Boston Legal. Any time he is on the screen, it is electric. And nowadays, I never miss an airing of Raw Nerve. It's great television and Shatner, in my book, is the best interviewer we have ever had the pleasure of watching.

I just can't wait to see what he is going to do next.

book review by
Michael L. Gooch

25 September 2010

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