on 9 September 2006
If I mention the name Leonard Nimoy the first thing to probably pass through your mind is the inimitable Mr Spock, the archetypal Vulcan, science officer and close friend of Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. After reading this book, you realise that Nimoy is more than the eponymous Spock, but a highly trained and experienced actor with a unique insight into the background workings of the Star Trek franchise.
This book is an apology to his previous work "I am not Spock", which was a reaction to the automatic association he had with the Vulcan. Twenty years later, a little wiser and more compassionate to his Star Trek fans, Nimoy has come to embrace his alter-ego as a construction of his own internal landscape and Star Trek's scriptwriters.
His book describes the relationships he had with his co-stars, Gene Roddenberry, the movie directors, the Star Trek community and throws light on the mechanics and negotiations that precede the making of a Star Trek movie. Surprisingly, there's also a lot about his stage appearances and his pre-StarTrek movie career.
More than a book about Spock, his incarnation and personality, it's a book about an actor's craft and dedication and the twists and turns of a successful movie career. Nimoy describes his shift in gear from being in front of the camera to being behind one, as director, with all the difficulties and management it entails.
I Am Spock has given me a new appreciation for an internationally recognised actor, but also a family-man, and a person of depth, wisdom and compassion.
on 13 September 2013
This may be the best biography I've ever read!! I'm huge trekkie and I loved mr. Nimoy's portraial of Spock before, but reading this and seeing how much of himself he put in him and the little backstage details spiced with his marvelous sence of humor just gave me a whole new perspective. The stories of mr. Shatner's pranks and the banter with Spock that he has just made me laugh so hard. I love this book and everybody should read it IMO.
Leonard Nimoy is by far the best actor, plus spock was the best character from the star trek film/series he and captain kirk were by far the best partnership in the history of sci-fi, it's like Bert and Ernie, Morcambe and wise, one without the other it does not work. it's like when I seen leonard nimoy in a film called "Invasion of the body Snatchers(1978)", I half expected William shatter to turn up and help with the alien invasion, plus I just loved the respect both characters and actors had for each other.
Its a shame he died but in my heart he never will, all I have to do is put a film or episode of star trek on, that's the great thing about being a film legend, in away they never die, I still watch Bob Hoskins films and Rik mayall in bottom, and its as if they have never gone.
on 7 November 2014
This was written as an update to his earlier autobiography 'I am not Spock', which had been widely interpreted as an attempt to distance himself from the character. This book shows quite clearly the debt he owes to Star Trek and to the Spock character.
With his continuing involvement with the show, and his appearances in the JJ Abrams reboot of the movie franchise, an update is well overdue.
on 12 February 2010
Obviously I am a Star Trek fan hence my purchase. This is a FACINATING read from start to finish. Nimoy is a talented actor and director and now he can add author to his list of talents. The insights into the hardships created by Paramount and the studios in the first season of Star Trek are revealing.
It is most refreshing to be told in this book that the idea for the current Star Trek movie was in fact conceived many years ago and was rejected by the studio. It will be interesting to see if Paramount create an entire new series from the success of the last movie.
I haven't read "I Am Not Spock" but this book I believe has a lot of its content with the explanation of the title choice 20 years before.
If you are a true Trekkie this is a LOGICAL purchase for you. Brilliant!
on 24 March 2015
Rarely has an actor been associated with one particular character he played (for only 3 seasons, in a moderately successful tv series in the 1960s) as Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek's half-Vulcan, half-human Mr Spock. In this book, written 20 years before his death, Nimoy recounts his career, which involved a lot more than just Star Trek, but in which he keeps coming back to the role that made him famous. Twenty years after publishing the oft-misinterpreted book "I am not Spock" he corrects the public image of his relationship with the character and fully embraces his "duality".
on 15 September 2014
This book was much longer than the last (I am not Spock) but that just meant it was more fun to read! It contained a few extracts from the last book, especially in the first few chapters but I assume that that is in part because of its autobiographical nature. It's exceedingly difficult to describe two youths when you've only had one!
Nimoy is as good a writer as he is an actor. "I am Spock" is witty and funny and simply an adventure to read. Do be warned though- this book contains numerous spoilers from the Star Trek films.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves the actor and especially his work in Star Trek! In fact, I'm buying it as a gift for a friend as we speak!
on 25 February 2012
It's a fantastic book, and there are a lot of amusing tales of life on the ST set in there, as well as a lot of other wonderful things. Nimoy writes in a really pleasant style, so it's easy to read and enjoyable too.
This is a review of the original paperback edition, published in 1996. I do not know if there has been a later updated edition. Nimoy takes his story up to the `next Generation' episode `Unification' and his turning down of a cameo role in the movie `Generations.'
Nimoy concedes that his previous autobiographical volume - `I Am Not Spock' (1975) - was a mistake: "My timing and choice of title couldn't have been worse." There are eighteen chapters in this affirmatively-titled sequel. The book is illustrated with some interesting black and white photographs that portray Nimoy's acting and directing career over the years.
Nimoy sees links between Spock's character and his own childhood and formative acting career, but there is little detail. By chapter three we are already into season one of `Star Trek'. Nimoy had problems maintaining the dividing line between the character he was playing and the real life Nimoy was living: "Dwelling inside Spock's head became a pressure cooker." Later Nimoy says Spock's character "probably" took over his own when his father died. Nimoy's close relationship to Spock is made manifest throughout the book by presenting the reader with imaginary conversations between himself and his most famous character.
Nimoy relates how Spock was conceived and developed by him, Roddenberry, and the writers. He relates the disagreements he had with the show's producers, and admits to not having a warm relationship with Roddenberry, as well as the competitive spirit that existed with co-star William Shatner. He says he would have found it hard to return for a fourth season had one been shot.
Nimoy briefly covers his `Mission Impossible' years and his return to the theatre, but Spock remains the main subject of the book, even when he gives much space over to his non-`Star Trek' directing duties in the 1980s. I was surprised by one or two errors, such as his assertion that Spock made his return to the `Enterprise' in `Star Trek: The Motion Picture' by beaming aboard: my memory is that he arrived by separate ship.
The chapter on `The Wrath of Khan' is almost wholly devoted to Spock's death. Nimoy writes, "What did the Vulcan think was going to happen? I'm sure he felt that sacrifice was simply the only logical course open to him - but Leonard Nimoy felt very differently."
Interestingly, Nimoy informs the reader that, "at some point during the making of `The Voyage Home', [producer] Harve Bennett had come up with a concept for another movie ... a prequel ... a story involving Kirk, Spock, and McCoy during their Starfleet Academy days, with all of us being replaced by younger actors." Remember, this was written in 1995, so the idea of a `Star Trek' reboot has been around since at least the mid-1980s.
Nimoy ends his `fascinating' tale, which is spiced with some strong opinions as well as with some amusing anecdotes, by re-affirming how much Spock has become a part of Nimoy: "Not a day passes that I don't hear that cool, rational voice commenting on some irrational aspect of the human condition." But the reader will inevitably conclude that at least Nimoy is one-hundred-percent human.
on 29 March 2015
As an original Trekkie, I am always looking for additional information about the Star Trek phenomena. I am interested in more than just the shows themselves, I have an additional interest in the lives and careers of those who played the major characters. In this book, Leonard Nimoy not only discusses his role in Star Trek, but also other aspects of his professional life. Of all the major characters, he is the only one who developed a significant career in film outside of Star Trek. Yes, I am aware that William Shatner starred in a television series, but that was short-lived. Nimoy has been very active as a writer/director, being involved in the development of some very good movies.
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.