Review

Up Till Now: The Autobiography

William Shatner, with David Fisher

“There are going to be a lot of laughs in this book,
mostly at my expense.” Here we have William Shatner --- the
actor, the father, the husband, the horseman, the pilot, the dog
lover. The whole man is pictured in the pages of UP TILL NOW. Story
after story, fans of the beloved entertainer will find another
reason to keep reading.

For me, Denny Crane of “Boston Legal” is
William Shatner. But there are so many aspects to this performer
that we haven’t known until now. From 2006: “Actor
William Shatner agreed on Monday to sell his kidney stone for
$75,000 to an online casino. The money will go to Habitat for
Humanity.” Said Shatner, “This takes organ donors to a
new height or perhaps a new low.” According to him, the
kidney stone was so big “you’d want to wear it on your
finger. If you subjected it to extreme heat, it might turn out to
be a diamond…” Shatner humor at its best!

In addition to his legendary role of Captain James T. Kirk on
“Star Trek,” Shatner has appeared in countless films,
including The Intruder and Judgment at Nuremberg,
and such television programs as “T.J. Hooker” and
“The Twilight Zone” (in a classic episode entitled
“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”) He also developed a series
of science fiction novels, which led to a Marvel Comics series and
inspired the computer game TekWar, and can even boast a musical
career. The biggest surprise in this autobiography, though, is the
fact that he made his American television debut as Ranger Bob (the
precursor to Buffalo Bob) on “The Howdy Doody
Show.”

Shatner is never boring, and never bored. Involved with a number of
projects simultaneously, he also has his own website, where he
sells Star Trek merchandise and includes links to the Hollywood
Charity Horse Show and the Nerine Shatner Friendly House, a
non-profit residential facility for women. Also, there are plenty
of videos in ShatnerVision, fan clubs, etc. The list of Star Trek
merchandise is amazing!

Shatner dishes on some of the backstage “Star Trek”
gossip. Especially interesting for non-Trekkies like me is the
information on all the actors who turned down the role of Captain
Kirk before it was offered to Shatner. Of course, he also relives
his Star Trek convention blowup, known for all time as “get a
life.”

I must admit I was hooked on page one. Of the hundreds of
biographies and autobiographies I’ve read, UP TILL NOW is
truly the most engaging. It’s pretty obvious that when you
hear the voice of Denny Crane or Captain Kirk, or come across those
Priceline.com commercials, you are hearing William Shatner. He is
as real as they come.

Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on January 24, 2011

Up Till Now: The Autobiography
William Shatner, with David Fisher

  • Publication Date: May 13, 2008
  • Genres: Autobiography, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  • ISBN-10: 0312372655
  • ISBN-13: 9780312372651