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Beam me up, Scotty: Star Trek's "Scotty"--in his own words Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671520563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671520564
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #523,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Omnes TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 3 2012
Format: Paperback
Done in collaboration with Peter David, who compiled and edited together his discussions with Jimmy Doohan, this autobiography offers us the chance to know more about the man who became an inspiration to fans, engineers and astronauts. Concise and with simple descriptions, Jimmy Doohan narrates his career on Star Trek TV series, movies, and fan convetions, but he also discuss his childhood in Canada, and his military life during World War Two. In fact, there are more information about his life outside of Star Trek than about the TV show, but I was happy about that because we got to find out more about Jimmy than Scotty, because I think that Jimmy's life is an imprtant way to understand why Scotty was such a popular character with fans since as he said in this book, Scotty is 1% scottish, 99% Jimmy. Not only that it is a good way to find out how his acting career evolved from working in Canada and the American East Coast to going to Hollywood.

Of course, Jimmy mentions his friendships and conflicts he had on Star Trek, such as with William Shatner, but he also comments certain episodes, which I loved because they allow us to see, under a different perspective, storylines that we may have loved or disliked.

As this biography was done in 1996, and since there are no reedition of this book, I wish someone could do another biograhy about this actor, for I think that it would be nice to see Jimmy's perspective on his life between 1996 until his death in 2005. If not, it would be nice to have extra chapters included in a reedition of this book, either on paperback or on Kindle.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on Nov. 29 2003
Format: Paperback
Jimmy Doohan who became famous by playing "Scotty" on Star Trek TV and movies wrote what must be a relatively dry book on his life. While information was somewhat interesting and his background material a food for trivia loving Trekkie, Doohan apparently forgot why he was so famous...famous enough that people will buy a book about his life. Whether Doohan like it or not, Star Trek made him and without it, he would have probably been just another character actor, competence but forgettable. His views on Star Trek would have been very valuable and interesting to all fans who followed the show and in turn, followed him. So it was pretty disappointing that he didn't covered Star Trek that much and didn't get deep into it. William Shatner, whom Doohan admit that he didn't like, wrote a more honest set of memiors although I am sure from the perceptions of others, that may be debatable. I hope Mr. Doohan rethink about his legacy which for better or for worst, lies with Star Trek and write a book - a second volume if must be, on his experience on that show and movies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A brief comment July 25 2005
By magellan - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was 14 when the original Star Trek came out, and it was always the high point of the week for me. I wasn't exactly a nerd in school, although the science classes were my favorite, and so I thought the science and technology in Star Trek was the coolest stuff I had ever seen. In 1965 it was still the Cold War and we lived under the specter of possible global nuclear annihilation, and then along comes this little TV series, which showed that humans might finally abolish war and achieve peace (at least on earth), and that science and technology might create a better future for the human race. The combination of the positive message along with all the cool technology was an irresistible combination for me, and so I hardly ever missed a show.

So although I've never been to a Trekkie conference or participated in any of the typical fandom events, I was a big fan of the original (and subsequent series) and so still count myself as a true "Trekkie."

With the recent passing of James Doohan last week this brief autobiobraphy will remain the one and only commentary on his life. The book concentrates more on Doohan's earlier life and his experiences and career up till Star Trek, including his poor childhood, his military service during WWII, and early acting experiences, and most people would probably prefer that he devoted more space to that. But Doohan was 10 years older than most of the other people in the cast, except for DeForest Kelly, and it was interesting to read his perspective on many of these events. He is honest in admitting his dislike for Capt. Kirk, which takes some courage--since that by itself might predispose some people to giving the book a one-star review.

One thing I have to mention is that the scene where Scotty is explaining to Capt. Kirk when he finally punched the Klingon officer that started the fight in the bar in the episode, The Trouble with Tribbles, was considered the funniest scene in the whole series by the fans. I'm not going to go into anymore details than that or the dialog since I'm sure all the diehard fans here remember the scene from start to finish.

I just had one other comment, which is that the character of Scotty was interesting in that basically what they did was to create a likable and charismatic nerd or geek. I've always found Americans' widespread disdain for nerds paradoxical since we are the most high-tech society on earth and are responsible for inventing and developing almost all the high-tech science, engineering, and medical technology, and we even win most of Nobel Prizes in science, and yet nerds and geeks still get no respect here, and are still widely derided. :-) Well, Scotty's amiable and charismatic personality both on and off the set changed all that and made it, if not fashionable to be a geek, at least acceptable.

I will always remember Doohan, who was one of my personal favorites among the cast, and can only hope that he beams up to a better place than the world he left behind.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Sometimes it takes on the tone of a report rather than an adventure Sept. 10 2007
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an older person, I was there when Star Trek first aired and when it exploded into syndication. The boys in my junior high school quickly adopted many of the phrases of the show, including the title of this book. Over the years, I have read every book about Star Trek that I have encountered. Unfortunately, until recently I had never seen this one, so I was pleased when it appeared on the shelf of a local used book store.
However, while Doohan has certainly led an interesting life, in this book Scotty could have used more effective writing support. The prose often takes on the tone of someone writing a report in a diary rather than an attempt to explain the life of Doohan. If it were not for his memorable role in Star Trek, I most likely would not have finished the book.
Doohan lost the middle finger of his right hand while fighting in France in World War II. A member of the Canadian military that stormed the beaches of Normandy, he was hit with at least seven bullets, so his survival was truly amazing. Star Trek does not appear until page 127, over halfway through the book. There is a section of twenty-five pages where Doohan describes several of the episodes. There are some solid insights and it would have been better if it had been longer. While he does spend some pages describing the personal interactions between the people who acted out Star Trek, there is not enough to satisfy the avid fan of the genre.
Doohan clearly states his dislike of William Shatner, although he has nothing but praise for Leonard Nimoy and the remaining actors and actresses. He describes the friendships he built with some of the people who helped make Star Trek, noting how that was the beginning of the vast community that has existed for forty years.
This book was a disappointment in the sense that it gives too brief a glimpse into Star Trek as viewed through the eyes of what grew to be a main character. If there would have been more about the genre, reading it would have been much more satisfying.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
That`s just like Jimmy Sept. 22 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read Jimmy`s biography and I liked it a lot. Allright he`s not a writer (he had Peter David for that). But he`s a very gifted story teller. His WWII stories are very interesting (Bad-boy indeed). I mean he wrote about his friends, his numerous girlfriends, actors and actresses he likes. He let Shatner get away with a simple "I just don`t like that man". Well, me, I had a great time reading this. Laughed a lot when I read about his first sexual encounter. And I think I even blushed. Just wasn`t prepared for that! That man is so admiably straightforward. So if you wanna know a little more about James Doohan, you better get this one quick. It`s fascinating. You`ll see what a romantic, warm man he really is.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
He's self-effacing and tells it like it is. May 16 2011
By King of Controversy - Published on
Format: Paperback
Doohan mentions that in the movie Star Trek V, he was upset with one scene that made his character look foolish. In the scene I remember from the movie, after performing another miracle fixing the ship, Scotty says, "There's nothing mysterious to it. I know this ship like the back of my hand" and then while walking away he bumps his head on a rafter knocking himself out. I thought it was really funny but Doohan didn't think that would happen to the real Scotty.

This was the best autobiography I ever read - for the first 50 pages or so. Reading it was like being right there with Doohan as he grows up in Canada. His war time stories are good as well. He's not a man who 'doesn't want to talk about it', but he is self-effacing (the opposite of self-aggrandizing anyway). He's the kind who says 'it was no big deal' and tells it like it is. By the end, unfortunately, Beam Me Up Scotty was one of the worst biographies I've read. Doohan just got tired of the hard work of writing, seemed like. Instead of sharing his story he began simply to list facts. If only the first 3rd could have been published and garnered a bit of fame or attention Doohan may have been able to put more effort into the rest. The world is a sadder place without James Doohan.
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Honest and Frank book Jan. 28 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I liked this autobiography by James Doohan because he didn't try to "pretty up" the events that occurred in his life, or sugar-coat his opinions of others. In short, he is more honest than other writers of autobiographies, and seems to be taking a lot of flak for it. James Doohan was the personal assistant to Meisner at the Playhouse for years, and you don't get in that position for nothing. Those who criticized his "unauthentic " accent in their review obviously didn't read the chapter he devoted to how he came to adopt it, rather than the completely unintelligable accent authentic Scottish brogue can be.
My only two quibbles of the book were that I wished he'd gone into a little more detail about the general goings-on during Star Trek, and that, while certainly a unique experience, that he'd kept his early sexual encounter private. Some private things are, well,...private. The reader may not like some of the things he says or take issue with his attitudes, but he honestly expresses his feelings about things, which allows us to see the person as they are, and should be the goal of an autobiography. Overall, recommended to those who prefer honesty over poetic verse.