- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Hyperion (Oct. 26 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786861827
- ISBN-13: 978-0786861828
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 658 g
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #320,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I Am Spock Hardcover – Oct 1 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Few actors are as inextricably associated with one role as Leonard Nimoy is with Star Trek's Mr. Spock. In 1975, when he was embarking on a post-Star Trek career, Nimoy published an autobiography with the tongue-in-cheek title I Am Not Spock. Twenty years later, despite a fruitful career as a film director (Three Men and a Baby, The Good Mother) and theatrical actor, he here reembraces his legendary half-Vulcan alter ego. Star Trek fans will find this a, well, fascinating history of the "birth" and evolution of Spock?Nimoy explains the original conception of the character and describes his own contributions to the development of Spock's persona. He also provides an insider's account of the production of the TV show and the highly successful series of Star Trek movies, and offers his insights into why the Star Trek phenomenon has maintained such a grip on our cultural imagination. Nimoy's admirers may find this fairly impersonal memoir disappointing; it touches only tangentially on the author's private life. But this is an intelligent and entertaining look at an actor's engagement with a character who "seemed to take on an existence of his own." Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Twenty years ago, Nimoy published a book declaring I Am Not Spock and started one of the big showbiz rumors of our time--that he hated his dramatic alter ego, the pointy-eared, half-alien first officer of the starship Enterprise in the original Star Trek. The rumor's not true, says he in this very congenial new book focused on Spock so exclusively that other roles Nimoy has played get short shrift and, with a few exceptions (such as the account of filming the acclaimed Good Mother, which Nimoy directed), non^-Star Trek events get less. But that's the way a Star Trek memoir should be, and Nimoy's ST recollections top the others in entertainment value, not least because of the amusing dialogues between himself and Spock that he scatters throughout. Nimoy doesn't distract us with the greater personal detail Nichelle Nichols and George Takei vended in their recent life stories, and he's a far sight less self-inflating than Bill Shatner in his ST autobios. Maybe Nimoy's being a bit too much of a nice guy, you sometimes feel, maybe there was more friction and frustration than he lets on. But with all these happy Star Trek stories to read, who cares? Ray OlsonSee all Product description
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There is very little information about Nimoy's personal life outside his career in the book. The bulk of the discussion concerns his role in the original Star Trek series, subsequent Star Trek feature films and some of his experiences behind the camera as a director. All information that I have encountered bolsters the thesis that Nimoy puts forward in the book, that he is very highly regarded as a director by the remainder of the Star Trek original cast. He also is very positive about William Shatner, and it is clear that he and Shatner are friends, despite some creative differences in the past.
Nimoy also raises a point about Shatner and Star Trek that should be taken seriously. Shatner has often been criticized for overacting in the series, Nimoy notes that it probably could not have been any other way. Jeffrey Hunter, the original captain, was more introspective, and was not well received by all test audiences. At that point in entertainment history, dynamic heroes were a necessity in all action venues.
Leonard Nimoy is a very literate man who tells a different side of the Star Trek phenomena. There is no scandal, no personal pique, just a statement of what happened and how much he enjoys having been a part of an ongoing entertainment phenomena.
I'll say this for Nimoy if he is as big an egotist as William Shatner he sure doesn't write like it. While it might not have the scope of Shatner's books, I don't know it just seems more human.
Overall-A must for any Star Trek fan.
Nimoy's accounting is a good one, but definitely a very personal one. It is all from his own perspective, and this is solidified with rare use of others' quotations, and his rather delightful internal dialogues with the character of Spock. It tells not only of his time working on Star Trek's various projects, but his other loves, such as the theater, photography, and his career as a director.
Nimoy also seems to pull his punches more often than not. There is more than a little industry back-patting and mild shmoozing contained therein. Though he outlines a few of the problems he had with Gene Roddenberry and goes so far as to say "our personal relationship had deteriorated", he always falls short of actually condemning the man for his behavior on any matter, even some rather stressful, deceitful, and just plain cruel things he did.
But even though I'm a Star Trek fan, I was just as fascinated with the other parts of this work that don't really have that much to do with Star Trek... even if they're ABOUT Star Trek. More than being about Star Trek, this is also about the games that studios and those in the industry play. (Such as Nimoy and Shatner's own salary negotiation ruse.)
I have also found that some of what is laid out here can be used as invaluable tools for writing. Some of the concepts Nimoy lays out lead to thought and, though on the surface the application to writing isn't always obvious, I'd definitely suggest this as a multiple-read for any aspiring author.
This work also contains an important insight to other accounts released by connected actors such as Nichelle Nichols. She and Walter Koenig, among other Original Series castmembers, have cast rather damning disparagements towards William Shatner. However, the Shatner portrayed here is no slobbering ogre or spotlight thief, but what seems to be a very realistic showing of who he is... not without flaw, but certainly not a bad person. At one point, Nimoy notes that when his (Nimoy's) father died, Shatner attended the funeral, which touched Nimoy greatly. There is no mention of Nichols, Koenig, Doohan, or any of the others who have called Shatner selfish and arrogant attending this funeral, or aiding Nimoy in any other significant way. (There is mention of Nichols at one point being found late at night in Roddenberry's office wearing nothing but a sweatshirt, but Nimoy tries to allow the reader to assume that this might have simply been a prank.)
In all, this book isn't wholly about Star Trek, but rather about the effects of Star Trek on Nimoy's life, and it's a very, very worthwhile read.
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