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Firstly, yes I am a star trek fan.
When I read this book i think it came as much of a shock to me as it did to the author to find out what is fellow "crewmates" thought of him. The way this is handled shows a man who grows simply my making the journey of writing this book. At the begining you do get a feel of Shatners self importance, moving through anger & disbelieve to a need to make up for past behavious. This is more telling than the anecdotes contained in the writing as many of them are already familier to fans, although it is nice to get them from Shatners point of view and collected in one place.
Good read, more interesting for non trek fans wanting an insight or just a nice thing to have in your collection if you are a fan.
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on 30 March 2015
It's unclear how much of the writing was done by Shatner's co-author, but the book is very well written. Two-thirds of it cover the genesis and first season of Star Trek, with the remainder devoted to the more troublesome seasons 2 and 3. Shatner (Kreski?) have also interviewed quite a few of the people involved in the series which helps make the book less of an ego trip. The epilogue is interesting as Shatner is confronted with the fact that several of the actors thought of him as an arse.
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on 16 December 2013
"Star Trek Memories" written by William Shatner and Chris Kreski is not really an autobiography but is actually a recollection of the Original Series itself. It is written chronologically taking the reader from the initial creation of the series right through to its cancellation.

Shatner basically covers the three seasons of "Star Trek" detailing what he remembers about the episodes, guest stars and other escapades that occurred throughout the Original Series production run. However he doesn't just rely on his own memories as he supports them via commentary gleaned from interviews he held with other cast and crew members. I liked this as it enabled him to provide some added details that he may have been unable to provide if he had just relied on his own memories.

Don't let this fool you however; the book still does have a Shatner slant which can bother some people as the guy does have an ego and can be a bit of a ham, all of which does come across at times. Personally, I like Shatner's sense of humour so I found myself enjoying his commentary and the manner in which he recollects the various events despite his ego. In fact, I was actually quite impressed by some of Shatner's honesty in that he does admit early on that he was at times blinded by his own thoughts and didn't really appreciate how his actions affected his crew mates.

One minor issue I did have with these memoirs is that there is a lot of time dedicated to the first season but as we move onto the second and then the third the amount of detail reduces. In fact, I think more time was spent detailing the campaign to save Star Trek for a third season than was actually spent going over the events of the season's production. Whilst I understand he maybe wanted to concentrate more on the good than the bad, it did make the book feel a little bit lopsided.

A final point I wish to make is that whilst Shatner describes various events, technical details and production issues he doesn't really capture the relationships between everyone. I felt that this was a shame as I knew a fair few of the known facts already and had been looking for a bit more about how the various cast and crew members interacted.

Overall, I found this to be a decent look back at the history of the television show which includes a look at the cast, crew and even some of the technical aspects. Yes it would have been nice to get a little bit of a deeper look at the relationships between people but in the end I suspect Shatner's own strong viewpoints may have skewed this anyway.
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I love star trek and William Shatner is still the worry guts perfectionist he always was, I believe. I really enjoyed reading this inside gen and I still watch the original series. Well written and very informative.
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This is a review of the 1996 paperback edition of a book that William Shatner wrote with Chris Kreski. We all know Shatner can write, and that he can write well, but there is no indication here of where Shatner ends and Kreski begins. The first edition was published in 1993 when there was talk of a `Generations' film in the offing.

There are nineteen chapters. Early on we are told that the book is not "going to run through detailed synopses of every episode ... It's not going to provide exacting blueprints of the `Enterprise' or speculate on adventures that might have been." Instead, Shatner relates, "what I CAN tell you about" is "how `Star Trek' was created, produced, written, filmed, edited and polished ... I can also let you in on all of the onstage, sidestage and backstage goings-on ..." (Beware that word `all'.) Shatner tells us this just after he's recounted how at the famous Mann's Chinese Theatre in 1991, when the seven `Star Trek' stars are to sign their names in cement, not only does DeForest Kelley hog most of the space limiting their scrawls, but he also fails to remember how to spell his name!

The preliminaries over, Shatner starts his tale with Gene Roddenberry's career using quotes from Majel Barret and other members of Roddenberry's pre-`Star Trek' circle. Indeed, for the rest of the book, it often feels like a documentary script as Shatner hands over to Kelley or Nimoy or members of the backroom team of writers and producers to comment on this development or that issue.

A lot of detail follows on the pilot episodes and then on how the series hit the ground running as soon as the green light was given (which was by no means a simple process). Shatner takes us through each of the three seasons, focussing more on what was happening behind the scenes than in front of them. He writes how he based Kirk's character on his own - an idealised version of his self - but balances everything with the usual Shatner self-deprecation. There is much playful ribbing of Leonard Nimoy.

That "the untarnished, perfect veneer of `Star Trek' is not without its cracks, not without its dark side" is made manifest by the tale of Grace Lee Whitney, as well as James Doohan's lack of co-operation with Shatner's memoire. Indeed, the final chapter is the most surprising where Shatner learns for himself how disliked he was at times by his fellow crew members. He admits that his relationship with Roddenberry was not so hot either. Full marks to Shatner for being so brave.

The book brings us up to the end of season three of the original series. It is carried forward in Shatner's companion volume, `Star Trek Movie Memories'.

The book is illustrated but mostly with small monochrome images on cheap paper, so they are more or less useless: too small and too dark. Inexcusably, there is no index.
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on 19 April 2015
While Star Trek made a great deal of television history, there were many other significant consequences. To the best of my knowledge, it was the first show to make significant profits via syndication. It was so popular that three subsequent television series, "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager" each ran for years. Finally, there is also the enormous number of books about Star Trek. I own nearly one hundred Star Trek novels and have read nearly every one of the "memories" books written by a major cast member of the original series.
In this book, Shatner sets down many of his recollections about the original series. To his credit, Shatner is very honest about things, giving all of the other major players the opportunity to contribute to the book. Those contributions are included even when they are critical of his actions on and off camera. In defense of Shatner, it is difficult to see how it could have been any other way. This was a show about a quasi-military ship that by necessity had to operate independently of any central command structure. The captain of the ship was lord of his surroundings, so the premise of the show was that all the action had to resolve around the captain. Secondly, television shows, especially in that period of time, revolved around the stars of the show.
These are the reasons why I have always taken comments critical of Shatner by the secondary members of the cast with a grain of salt. Had the show simply languished and died off, none of them would have ever achieved the fame that they did. Therefore, they are criticizing the very means whereby they achieved their fame.
As Shatner makes very clear in this book, all the members of the cast and production crew were under enormous pressure to get the work done. Given those circumstances, it is amazing that more serious and lasting rifts between the principals did not occur. The fact that they did not speaks to the sense of purpose and community that existed between them.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 September 2011
If you are the kind of ST fan that I am - growing up on it, surviving for many years on re-runs alone, then delighted when the show re-booted with the first film - you will enjoy this book. Shatner, who will forever be my favorite scifi character on TV, gives his point of view on the making of the show. While he can be quite critical and revealing, such as Roddenberry's omnivorous sexual appetite, throughout he strives to sound nice and even to reconcile with fellow cast members who cannot stand him. Indeed, he admits that "actors are children" and jokes about himself as well. Of course, we know he isn't all that nice a guy, but he tries.

When I was young, I wanted to be Captain Kirk, as silly as that sounds. Here you get a wonderful behind-the-scenes peek, not too deep but interesting enough. It is strictly perishable stuff, with a lot of fun tidbits, the kind of thing you might pick up while procrastinating or over a glass of wine for a few minutes on a Sunday afternoon. It is fun for die hard fans. Recommended.
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on 14 May 2015
a pleasant read all you really need to know the low budget,bad time slots,evolving special effects.shows how the actors did,nt all get on.explains why season 3 is particularly poor due to cutting an already low budget has nice feel to it
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on 28 January 2013
I enjoyed this but it's for serious Trekkies-not well written at all but a fairly good account of the making of Star Trek from William Shatner. The best bits are the captions for the photos!
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on 27 September 2013
A wonderful book; funny, insightful and very entertaining. The small b&w photos actually work very well with the style and tone of the book.
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