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on 5 August 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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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. But most of Shatner's career involved non-Enterprise appearances.

The book kept me laughing throughout. Unlike most books where I race through the book, the entertainment value in this one kept me reading closely.

Why didn't I rate the book a little higher? Shatner was so coy for so long that I didn't feel like he was playing consistently fair with me. Perhaps he doesn't know any more what his own feelings are compared to what he knows will entertain.
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on 3 June 2009
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. The revival of his career as a character actor well into his 70s is something we can all admire, and even he seems surprised at the amount of luck he has had in his long and very active life. Actor, comedian, writer, director, sky-diver, horse breeder, recording artiste... he seems to have done it all. And do you know what? I'm really glad. If the world hadn't had a William Shatner, we'd have had to make one up, but I suspect no-one would believe it.

This is the story of a quite complex man living his life to the full and loving it, coming to terms with his place in the world, staving off the long dark night and learning to laugh at himself, and as such makes for a very pleasant and enjoyable read.

NB My paperback edition has one blank square where a photograph should have been. Maybe a late copyright issue, or maybe a publishing error that will be corrected in future editions. Not important at all, really, but worth a mention if that sort of thing bothers you.
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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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on 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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on 6 June 2008
One of the few books that make you laugh so hard it hurts. My partner is already fed up with me constantly quoting from it. Bill Shatner sends himself up brilliantly, and shows both humility and confidence in equal measure. Some may question his acting credentials (I don't), but I defy any 'acclaimed' actor to better this. Highly recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 August 2012
I have been a huge fan of Star Trek since childhood, and have very fond memories of watching it on television with my Dad when younger. I always thought Mr Spock was the 'coolest' character and the one I wanted to be.

As I got older however I became more fascinated by the character of Captain Kirk, I loved his confidence, his bravery and his determination. I saw qualities in him such has his leadership and the loyalty he imbued in others, and became increasingly aware that these were characteristics I wanted to develop for myself in order to be more successful in life. From that point on I became a fan of not just Captain Kirk but also of William Shatner, the wonderful actor that made that hero of mine come to life in such a convincing way.

As I have gotten older still, and also gained the financial means, this has led to me exploring other work by him. I have enjoyed his books on the making of the series and films "Star Trek" Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories, other televison appearances (such as his cameos in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air' and '3rd Rock from the Sun', up to his stellar performance in 'Boston Legal') and even his music (well some of it!) Has Been.

I genuinely feel that William Shatner is an immensely talented man, he has a razor sharp wit and is far more intelligent and talented than I feel many people appreciate.

This book is very entertaining, and illustrates the long and fascinating journey that William Shatner has been on to get to where he is today. It is easy to forget that he is a man in eighties, 'Star Trek' itself is nearly fifty years old and he was in his thirties then, already being quite an established and respected serious actor. Some of the stories from the days prior to Star Trek are great and it is genuinely interesting to read about how many legendary names from The Golden Age of Cinema that he had dealings with.

The book is funny, and even if (as is often the case with celebrity autobiographies) he has had some form of assistance with the writing, it is clear to me that he has almost certainly had major input because the man's sense of humour and personality are evident on just about every page.

I must admit that I found it to be something of a page turner, and finished it in just a few evenings (much to my disappointment!).

A highly recommended read and one, that unlike many autobiographies, actually covers what could be considered a genuine lifetime (eighty years and counting!); what is it with all of these so called autobiographies that are being most likely ghost writen for 'celebrities' who clearly have so much of their life still to come?! (although I do appreciate there are some genuine ones out there), for example Full Circle.

Overall I would describe it as an positive and motivational life story (up to now!) of a man who through a combination of talent and hardwork has achieved most of his lifes goals (quite an achievement considering what lofty goals he has set himself); he has had his fair share of hard times and heartbreak mixed in with the success, and he efectively talks of these times with honesty and eloquence.
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on 10 June 2014



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on 1 August 2008
Shatner has written (co-written, dictated,whatever) a lot of novels and memoirs. This one is the best. The other positive reviewers have spelled out why (and the non-positive one hasn't really made a good point. What's wrong with exclamation marks???!!!).

The book is an easy read, and great fun! It made me laugh! Shatner has made himself (deservedly or not) a few enemies, and has had (deservedly or not) quite a few detractors, but his quirky sense of humour has stood him in good stead, and let's face it, he's given a lot of people a lot of pleasure! (and as Captain Kirk, too!)
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First I must confess to being a bit of a Trekkie (or Trekker as some prefer to be called). So I loved the series and the books etc and thought Kirk was a great character and Shatner played him very well. Then as I crunched through the cast biographies (and, ahem, attended the odd convention) it became apparent that William Shatner was not well liked by his fellow cast members and this cast a bit of a shadow on him as an individual. But I watched some of his work, read some of his books and even the comic series Tek World, and formed the view that he had a massive ego but was also able to laugh at himself.... So before I picked up this book, I did have an opinion....

The book is a proper autobiography taking us from his youth to Boston Legal and the production of the latest Star Trek film (in which we know he does not appear). A true jobbing actor he does get over the philosophy of the need to work and even I was surprised how much `proper' acting he has done. He wisely resists the temptation to focus on Star Trek (he's done that in Star Trek Memories) so we dip into all of his work and his private life. He tells it in his own way, often going off piste and with a degree of forthright honesty. Much has been made of how entertaining and funny this book is, but I have to confess that while it held my interest and did a decent job, it was never more then `okay'.
Having said that, it is an interesting life view of the man, perhaps fewer anecdotes then I was expecting and I would have liked a few more amusing tales. This is a quick and easy read and you will be surprised how much of a varied career Shatner has had, but you do wonder at times if he has evolved into his own caricature, or he is very very clever at giving people exactly what they want.

Certainly, by the end of this I liked and understood him a little more.
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