UP TILL NOW
An autobiography by William Shatner/David Fisher - 2008
I like William Shatner as he has put his talent into so many diversities.. he acts, sings, (Common People, Convoy), and writes poetry, songs and books. He was a reular where I grew up, on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting) drama, along with Raymond Massey, Christopher Plummer etc, and acted in the Stratford (Ontario) summer drama festivals directed by the late great Sir Tyrone Guthrie.
The book is a rambling read and the subject continually digresses and interrupts his story flow... this inconsistency didn't bother me. His ruminations are really entertaining and I found myself laughing out loud.
He turns many poignant phrases and there are some very beautiful insights into a life, like many, that was dependent on random luck.
His acting credits are amazing... theatre, film, TV and so on. He has metamorphized into hundreds of roles such as the classic Rod Serling Twilight Zone “Nightmare at 2000 feet” (with the gremlin on the plane wing) to “Boston Legal” and has retained many great friendships (one being Leonard 'Spock' Nimoy from “Star Trek” and strong family ties.
When his Dad died, Bill Shatner heard his father's voice... “Billy just get me a nice simple coffin.” So Shatner bought that simple coffin and during the service turned to his his sister Joy and said, “Joy, Daddy would have been very proud of me. I got a great deal on his coffin.” “Why?” Joy asked, “Was it used?” So everyone was laughing while they were grieving their beloved father. “It struck me then how grief and laughter fit so easily side by side and I never forgot it.”
He talks about how inexplicably physical fear doesn't bother him as much as emotional fear such as being a failure, of not meeting family reaponsibilities.
There are some good photos accompanying the text and there is a funny one of a 'clearly embarrassed horse' having to stand next to Shatner.
He shares significant events that have impacted his life and some are very sad. He formally imparts one lesson to the reader.. “Don't take Esperanto as your second language in High School.” He says we are born into mystery and leave life in mystery not knowing what life is.. is there a God? What is Time? etc.
He has had a good life so far of wondering and speculating and guessing. Mysteries are a feast for the active mind, he says and leaves us with a complex question.. “Do I wear a toupee?”
This is a good read, especially for folk who like showbusiness..theatre, movies etc. and appreciate the hard slog that's involved.
Reviewed by Jean Fraser