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Up Till Now [Unabridged] [Paperback]

William Shatner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

1 May 2009

William Shatner gets the joke about William Shatner. In fact, most of the time he's the one telling it. His self-effacing attitude, so perfectly parodied in the bombastic character he now plays on Boston Legal, Denny Crane, is one of the reasons for his huge popularity. While best known for his creation of Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek, William Shatner has been a working actor for more than half a century. He has experienced all the ups (the awards and acclaim) and the down (having to live for a time in the truck bed of his camper when he couldn't get work) that are a part of the actor's world.

In Up Till Now he tells us about his remarkable life, from training as a Shakespearan actor to his time on Broadway, his movie career and, of course, his successful tv series. He writes, with glee, about some of his less successful ventures, including Incubus, the only feature ever made entirely in Esperanto. As funny and charming as the man himself, this book will delight his many fans of all ages.

'Crammed full of anecdotes from a long and full life, and infused with a self-deprecating humour' Private Eye

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (1 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330452975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330452977
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'By the end of the book you have to salute him: he is a genius.'
-- Telegraph

'This warm funny memoir is packed with stories at his own expense. Someone should give him another TV series.' -- Mail on Sunday


'By the end of the book you have to salute him: he is a genius.'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love or loathe him - he just bounces back. 5 Aug 2008
William Shatner makes it clear fairly early on this book that his keyboard is firmly in his cheek as he retells the story of his life and trys to sell you stuff from his on-line store.

While some will find the style off-putting this is a very personal memoir from a television icon - an actor for almost 60 years he has at least three great shows to his name (Star Trek, T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal) but the book is about more: his joys, his tragedies, his life "up till now".

If you are a fan of his work there are plenty of anecdotes about the well known shows and horror stories about the unknown films. Other facets included are his family, his charity work and his passions - food, woman, horses - maybe not in that order but you get the idea.

Shatner admits to making stuff up in the past, being no good at marriage for many years and making some truly awful films but he does it all in a way that makes you like him and, you get the sense, that may be his aim in all he does
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good As Expected 21 July 2009
William Shatner has a reputation as a bit of an egomaniac and this book reinforces that (admittedly most autobiographies can be a bit egotistical). There are pages about resuing kids from drowning and how many lives he saved via his Rescue 911 show etc.

The fact that most of his co-stars hate him is dismissed in a few paragraphs. There are loads of plugs for his online store. These are in a jokey fashion but its still advertising.
All in all this is a readable book but not great.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Up Till Now will appeal to Shatner fans and those who are thinking about acting careers. He provides a "lite" look at what it was like where even the tearful moments are mostly played for laughs.

William Shatner and David Fisher provide lots of entertaining fare that manages to explain his roles and attitude toward life. Being an actor brings an appreciation for irony: An ordinary role may create stardom while a great role may lead to a cancellation. Mr. Shatner's long and successful career has taught him to appreciate simply being able to work and save a little money. He also humbly understands that building and maintaining a marriage while acting is even more difficult, an area where he has not excelled.

The book contains lots of humorous details that were hidden to the camera at the time and the writing sparkles with bon mots like: "This was a series that spared every expense." "Call me 'Lost my life savings in uranium' Shatner. But don't call me collect!" "Where divorce is concerned, it takes two to tangle."

The writing also simulates a conversation in which Shatner continually changes the subject just as you get the juicy part, such as interrupting a story about performing nude with Angie Dickinson with another story about learning how horses can help physically and emotionally handicapped kids. I assume this is Shatner's personal style.

There's also a lot of peek-a-boo in the book, where an allusion is made to some secret that reveals much of the secret without getting into the whole detail such as in the book's final question (I won't say what it is, that would be a spoiler).

Star Trek fans may be a little disappointed that the book doesn't revolve around the series and movies.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Stuff! 19 July 2008
By Coincidence Vs Fate TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Like a lot of people I only really bought this book as I'm a fan of the original Star Trek series. However, I must also admit to being a bit of a fan of his music. "Has Been" was great, but if you can, try and track down "In Love" - it's brilliant.

I really enjoyed this book and I avoided doing what I do with many biographies by actors, musicians, etc, I didn't skip any bits. I did buy this with an attitude: I'll read about the Star Trek period, but miss out the rest, but I didn't.

The book is easy to read and it's refreshing to read about a star (as that's what Our William is) who doesn't take himself too seriously. For example there's a great line about a review he'd had when Star Trek was first aired, he'd been called 'wooden'. Bill writes in the book that this didn't bother him at the time and it's continued not to bother him for the last forty years!

I would heartily recommend this book, it can be sad, touching and laugh-out-loud funny.

William, you are really something!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Emanon
What can you say about William Shatner that hasn't already been said a thousand times (more often than not by the man himself)? He seems to be something of a Marmite character; you either love him or hate him, and sometimes he seems to have been very hard for people to like. From his early beginnings as a respected stage actor through to his later much. Parodied. "Shatnerian". Style. Of. Acting. - he has certainly had a long career so, at the very least, you do have to respect him for that. You might not think much of his acting (I happen to think he's very under-rated) but you can't deny that he's been very successful at it.

This, the latest of his autobiographical works is a lot of fun (although not as laugh out loud funny as some would have you believe) and takes a breezy informal style to tell the story of a very complex and hard working man. The plugs (mostly for his own websites) that interrupt the text are entirely in keeping, as is the running gag of a long list of STAR TREK memorabilia that keeps popping up. Keeping every half hour of his life busy (and boy does he keep busy!) seems to be the secret of his success, and even his failures ("Transformed Man" anyone?) seem to become opportunities for him to strive on into the future with his very complicated career.

However, it's not been fun all the way, and he does speak very frankly and movingly about the darker areas of his life. From a period of having to live in his car, and his frustrations when his pet projects fail, to the many tragedies of his personal life, all are handled very openly and sometimes quite poignantly. He also waxes philosophical about coming to terms with what it is to be an aging action hero and what that can mean to your prospects for acting work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SHATMAN RULES --OK ?
Published 1 month ago by READINGNANNY
5.0 out of 5 stars William Shatners book called Up Till Now
This book was ordered for my husband. It came on time & was perfectly wrapped. He is still reading this book but really enjoying it.
Published 1 month ago by June Barker
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be more about Kirk
Interesting book which is littered with marketing campaigns, which just make it a bit weird. Glossed over too much that the fan would be interested in.
Published 5 months ago by craig culshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars till now
I have only read half of this book, but have found it interesting, funny, and unusual.
Though the ad breaks were off putting and I did not enjoy them, I am sure others will... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. N. Moorin
4.0 out of 5 stars boldly taking the rise out of himself
an affectionate look at william shatner's life and times... plenty of self deprecation, plenty of laughs.. definitely worth a read
Published 7 months ago by Mr. R. I. W. Boyd
5.0 out of 5 stars shatner's stream of consciousness
I love william shatner and i have really enjoyed reading this book- i have on more than one occasion burst out laughing on a crowded bus as i make my way to and from work.
Published 11 months ago by Castle Greyscullion
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
A bit dry to begin with but overall a great read for any shatter fan.
Some good pictures contained within.
Published 11 months ago by Mr B Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Fabulous book. Poignant, funny and honest, it's easily one of the best autobiographies I've had the pleasure of reading. And it's not just for Trekkies!
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
by it even if you've never heard of William shanter. its funny but has its sad moments. slags off nobody . just tells it
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Have I got news for you?
I enjoyed this book very much. He writes very tongue in cheek on occasions. But there is no mistaking he is a wit (see his performance on the BBC programme "Have I got News... Read more
Published 15 months ago by K WHELAN
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