Mauri's Reviews > Star Trek Memories

Star Trek Memories by William Shatner
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Oct 21, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: sciencefiction, non-fiction
Read in January, 2000

Written on the eve of The Next Generation's final two seasons and the movie Generations, this book represents the often hysterical and almost tragic recollection of the Original Series, as told by William Shatner.

The book can be fairly evenly divided into three sections: a first section, in which Shatner (or Chris Kreski, the dude helping him write) attempt to ease us into the first-person perspective, at the same time introducing the roots of Star Trek. Fairly painful and the reason I knocked a star off.

The next section is better, consisting of descriptions of the pilots and the first two seasons of the show, including descriptions of pranks, flubs, and the massive fan campaign to save the show. Some unpleasant details are dealt with, mostly in the realm of "Why did so-and-so leave?" These are handled discretely, which seemed well enough, as to do otherwise would have interrupted the good-feeling flow.

The third section details the downfall of Star Trek in an almost painful, ripping-the-Band-Aid-off style. This part almost always gives me a stomachache. It's sudden and upsetting, but Shatner manages to stay upbeat and hopeful in a way that doesn't make me want to smack him. The last chapter is one of my favorites, dealing with Shatner's realization that he doesn't know some of his fellow cast members as well as he should (that was another reason for only four stars - the man acts in a fairly funny, but mildly annoying egotistical way throughout the book and is surprised to discover that people perceive him that way).

I think he handled his material rather well (including some very entertaining interviews with cast and crew), especially considering the "demise" of Star Trek after its third season. An entertaining read, though I am interested in how this would have sounded if he had written this a) while Roddenberry was still alive b) before TNG was conceived or c) immediately after the show's cancellation.
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