Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner

2/5 Stars
Genre: Memoir/Biography
First Published: February, 2016
Source: Library – Borrowed

This is a nonfiction biography/memoir written by Willaim Shatner to celebrate the life and acting career of Leonard Nimoy.

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Click HERE for Book’s Goodreads Page

Okay, this review is actually going to be pretty short. I’m pretty indifferent about this book. Same old Shatner, different book.

I found this book to have been cranked out far too quickly. For how much money Shatner has, you’d think he’d be able to hire a decent ghost-writer (we all know he didn’t write this) and editor. But, I found many mundane errors that should have been avoided. Plus, this book came out super fast after Nimoy’s sad death. I don’t want to say Shatner capitalized off of Nimoy’s death, but it sure seems like Shatner capitalized off Nimoy’s death.

I found many of the stories and anecdotes in here to be redundant and already milked for what they were worth. Not a whole lot of new information, even though Shatner claims he’s spilled secrets that have never been talked about before. Maybe these secrets came later on in the book when I started to heartily skim the text? There was no reason this book needed to be as long as it was.

I also couldn’t tell exactly what this book was. Was it an apology to Leonard? Was it an apology to Star Trek fans for shoving the series under the rug for so long and not giving it the credit it deserved for Shatner’s own career? Was it a memoir of Shatner’s own life? Was it an autobiography of Nimoy’s life?

I haven’t read any of Nimoy’s memoirs or writings in long-text form, but Shatner is trying to retell what has already been told. He talks of Nimoy’s alcoholism and addiction to smoking as if this is a new break through, but it’s as if Shatner read Nimoy’s own writing and then cut and pasted it to make his own book.

For this deep friendship the two shared, it did not come across on the page. Shatner does not talk warmly about Nimoy as dear friends tend to talk about each other. All the stories seemed cold and distant. This book seemed like more of an excuse to talk about himself more than anything.

These are all tedious and mediocre complaints, though. My biggest complaint is that Shatner takes no responsibility toward Nimoy’s decision to stop talking to his Star Trek costar before his death. Shatner says he has no idea what happened and, of course, claims none of the blame. If they were such close friends, this type of fallout wouldn’t have happened with Nimoy knowing he didn’t have much time left.

However, having said that, the last chapter of this book is quite beautiful and seems like a sincere apology. I’m not sure if it is, and I’m not sure how much of it is actually Shatner talking, but it was touching to read, none the less. The final pages made me ache for the talented man that brought an alien character we’ve all grown to love alive.

Nimoy will forever be remembered and missed.

Overall, do I recommend this book? Nah, you could probably skip it. If I had had high hopes for this, I would have been disappointed, but I already knew what kind of man Shatner is, so I saved myself from that.


Have you read this book? Thoughts?

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Happy Reading! 


One thought on “Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner

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