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I Am Not Spock

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  742 ratings  ·  90 reviews

To a watching world he is the logical, powerful, stalwart first officer of the Starship Enterprise – the adored object of millions of Star Trek fans.
For 3 years, 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, he functioned as the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, an extraterrestrial. He is not. He is Leonard Nimoy. An actor. A teacher. A writer. A father. A husband. A rea
Mass Market Paperback, 136 pages
Published November 12th 1979 by Del Rey (first published 1976)
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  742 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a fan of Star Trek, in particular the original series movies. I've also had occasion to listen to Mr. Nimoy speak twice, so I was looking forward to reading this infamously titled autobiography. I wasn't disappointed, and the 'voice' in the book matched up with my expectations for the most part. Not a heavy ready, it's a pretty slim book, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I don't know that I'd recommend it to the rabid Trekkie, since it really isn't focused on the series. I'm about to start on ...more
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ironically, the author approaches the presentation in a manner befitting the character that he purports not to be; initially, in a logical and cogent manner that is well thought-out and written. What follows is part-master class on how the character was created by the actor, as well as through collaboration with make-up personnel, production staff, and co-stars.

Interspersed is also a part-memoir of encounters and opportunities that presented themselves as a result of his portrayal as the chief s
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very short, very uneven. Some anecdotes, some autobiography, and some thoughts on acting are interspersed with dialogs between Nimoy and Spock. I have heard that his later book, I Am Spock, reuses some of this material but is a much better work. Hoping so.

Biggest disappointment - not a single mention of "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins".
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to categorize this book. It's not exactly a memoir. Parts of it I liked, parts of it were meh. He literally has conversations between himself and his character of Spock. I liked his discussion of his favorite Star Trek episodes, his description of the process of making it, and finding out about other projects he was involved with. It reads like a rambling journal entry full of musings and experiences in no particular order.
John Yelverton
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very refreshing autobiography, that does not shy away from the fact that the only reason that anyone is picking up this book, is because they love "Star Trek". Leonard Nimoy spends several chapters giving the reader what he wants, while very quietly and unobtrusively discusses things that interest the author as well.
I AM NOT SPOCK is a decent little memoir, though, even at under 150 pages, much of it feels like rambling. Whereas William Shatner always admitted that he initially considered STAR TREK just another job and approached the character of Captain Kirk as an idealized version of himself, Nimoy went to the opposite extreme and completely lost himself in the character the way that actors like Daniel Day-Lewis and Christian Bale are said to do. Thus, the title I AM NOT SPOCK refers to a crisis of identi ...more
What happens when you create a role that's so iconic that no one sees the actor anymore? This is Leonard Nimoy's existential dilemma . . . who is Nimoy if no one sees Nimoy and only expects Spock? There are some odd dialogues between Nimoy and Spock which may have been helpful for Nimoy but are a bit trying to read, but otherwise this is a straightforward memoir of his experience creating an alien that resonated with audiences. Ultimately this is a journey of an actor who wants to leave a role t ...more
Marisabel Bonet-Cruz
I first read this book in Mt. Hotham, in 2008, after searching for a copy of what was, then, an out of print book. I re-read the book on a camping trip in Narbethong in 2013, just as the new 'Star Trek' movies were touching new audiences. Zachary Quinto plays Spock now, and not Leonard Nimoy. Still, I remember the happiness with which I opened this book, my version being the one with the black cover. Reading this book, in which Nimoy would explain his ideas and opinions about the character he's ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is no surprise that Leonard Nimoy became so popular in his role as Spock. From deep introspection about the role, to dialoging with the character, to sending memos to the production team about character inconsistencies in the scripts, Nimoy was totally immersed in his character. This book, published 5 years after the last Star Trek episode aired, could have been titled, “I Am Not Always Spock,” as much of it deals with Nimoy’s hand-on approach to this character, and Star Trek behind-the-scene ...more
Sep 05, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Trek fans who'd like to know a little more about the actors behind the characters
Picked up I Am Not Spock a few weeks ago at a used book store.

Despite the title, Nimoy writes of his alter-ego and the time spent in the Star Trek world with fondness. The memoir starts out semi-chronologically, but then veers off into varying topics, including reminiscences of his acting career before and after Star Trek and reproductions of some correspondence he had with the writers and producers of the series. Readers expecting an autobiography will be a little disappointed, I think.

Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in the early 1970's, before the Star Trek phenomenon really began to take off. At the time, Nimoy was trying to shed the typecast image of being Mr. Spock, hence the title of the book. I can remember him appearing on daytime television game shows and the subject came up. Therefore, this book is not a retrospective of his three years filming Star Trek the original series but a description of the years immediately after.
His work as a director has demonstrated his talents and
Ian Banks
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread it this morning after hearing of Mr Nimoy's death.

Some folks only look at the title and think of this as a dismissal of Nimoy's most famous role. But he admits that Spock brought him opportunities he wouldn't have had available to him. It was interesting to read about how he felt like he had a home after fifteen or so years as a jobbing actor and how he defended his character and the actions of him in the show to the writers and producers. Also interesting are the details of how his caree
Ally Hibbard
This book seemed like he rushed through the writing of it. The stories of his experiences were not as fleshed out, and the segues between said stories needed some work. When he begins talking about his experiences working on Fiddler on the Roof - it is touching and you seem to get more of an understanding of his Jewish heritage. This was the best part of the book. However, I think the book that follows this (I am Spock) is much better written. Some of the stories from this book are repeated in t ...more
Daniel Currie
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Altho it isn't listed on Goodreads, I assure you I listened to the unabridged audiobook version (Which the author does not narrate).

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this. It was done in 1975 so wasn't sure what his perspective would have been at that point. But he does seem to have had a pretty good handle on the whole Star Trek thing, even tho they hadn't even started in on the movie franchise or spin-offs.

He goes back and forth quite a lot during the book, talking about Star Trek, then
Hannah Givens
I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying.

This is a strange book. It's not deftly (ghost)written like a modern "I'm a celebrity so here's a memoir" production. It's a rambling meditation on Nimoy's acting philosophy, and more importantly about how he both is and is not Spock... As he says, if he isn't Spock, then who is? It's about him grappling with himself, and he doesn't feel like he needs to offer any conclusions. I don't always agree with him about how Spock functions, oddly enough, but the glimpse int
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a beautiful mix of thoughts, observations, and feelings. It's a reflection of how Nimoy's role of Mr Spock effected his life externally (fame) and internally (emotionally). There is a lot of insight about how people feel about aliens --extraterrestrial and human-- and why so many people fell in love with Mr Spock.
The conversations between Nimoy and Spock were my favorite parts of the book 'cause they were often clever and amusing.
*Rest in peace Mr Nimoy. You will always be adored a
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Obviously, anyone who has read this book would never believe the myth that Mr. Nimoy hated playing Spock. The myth was obviously perpetuated by those who read the title only and presumed they therefore understood the book's contents.

Mr. Nimoy presents a delightful excerpt of his life as Earth's MPV (Most Popular Vulcan) as well as the benefits and challenges that came from creating such a beloved character for the ages. The typographical errors (in what appears to be a first hardcover edition) a
J.W. Braun
Nimoy's first memoir, by his own admission has a misleading title. The book isn't really about him separating himself from his Vulcan alter-ego. (It's evident when reading the book that unlike what people thought when the book was published in the 70s, the title isn't so much Nimoy telling people he's not Spock; it's more Nimoy telling himself he's something more.)

At any rate, Nimoy took all the best parts from this book and put them in his second memoir, "I Am Spock". There's really no need to
Ancient Weaver
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I really only read this because I wanted to be able to compare and contrast the opinions of 70's Nimoy with that of 90's Nimoy. This isn't a bad book (at times it does get a little pedantic), but Nimoy isn't far enough along in his journey to have enough perspective yet. My guess is that I'll enjoy I Am Spock a lot more.

The book is most interesting viewed as a relic from a time when Star Trek was as yet still only a brief, almost forgotten memory kept alive solely by reruns and obscure, under
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I really enjoyed it. I was particularly interested in how Nimoy perceived his role as Spock in the context of the show's scripts (developing his character), as well as Star Trek itself and what was happening in the world at the time. This quote resonated with me: "Most people are so busy doing what they must do that they never have the opportunity to find out what they can do." A, if you'll pardon the pun, fascinating read. LLAP
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Un libro corto, extrañamente entretenido.
Supongo que en la década de los 70, los memoir eran mucho más cortos que ahora. Disfruté muchas partes, en especial cuando habla de cómo la crítica recibió sus libros de poesía y el incidente con las plumas.

Vale la pena cada minuto. Creo que mi única queja es eso mismo, que es muy corto.

Tengo entendido que en sus últimos años, Nimoy escribió el I am Spock, en contrapunto y haciendo pases con todo.

Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well...the title says "I am not Spock," but most of this book is Leonard Nimoy aligning the real person with the fictional one. There is one (appropriately) bizarre section where Leonard Nimoy "interviews" Dr. Spock. It's not often you witness someone interview themselves! Of course, the late Leonard Nimoy seemed like a good guy and for whatever criticisms there may be (e.g., this book is simply kind of boring), he comes across that way here.

For hardcore fans only.

Now, off to "I am Spock"!
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very interesting view though the eyes of Leonard Nimoy only a few years after Star Trek went off the air. I find it almost hard to comprehend his position that Star Trek was done and over, and that he would love to distance him self from Spock. I look forward to jumping ahead 20 years in his life and reading "I am Spock".
Sadie-jane (sj) Nunis
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm going to look out for his follow up. This gave great insights to him having to deal with Mr spock/Leonard nimoy situation. He so evolved Mr spock that everyone kept seeing them as one and the same. I particularly liked the nimoy/spock conversations.

saw a few reviews that mentioned I am spock has elaborated more on some of the stories here.. will check it out.

geeks check this out.
Alex Daniel
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
A short book written by the director of THREE MEN AND A BABY.

Some interesting content re: dealing with success, interesting glimpse of what it is like to be famous for a character that is very different from your own. The fake back-and-forth between Nimoy and Spock is interesting, but ultimately serves to fill space of a book that is already quite short.
Mary ~*Sweary McCoffeehound*~
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
I love everything about Leonard Nimoy, and this book is no exception. It was a bit meandering at times, but I loved living in his head for a little while and learning more about the private and creative side of him. I'm looking forward to reading his other works.
Joan Concilio
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-read
It's interesting that I picked up this book 2 nights ago from a pile of unreads to start after finishing my current read, which I did today about 3 hours before Leonard Nimoy's passing. Well worth a read - brutally honest and full of observations that will make you think. Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This was slow going to start, but I stuck with it as it is a short book and was rewarded. Amusing stories about his dealings with Desi-lu while on Star Trek and his moving on to Mission Impossible and other acting jobs.
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Leonard Nimoy describes how too much time without emotional expression on the set used to make him break down crying. He or his publishers printed another book called I Am Spock, mostly with material from I am Not Spock.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was about how he tried to distance himself from being typecast as Spock. He worked after Star Trek tv series and the movies, he was a director, he narrated things, he did science tv shows. Then he wrote another book called I AM Spock. Too funny.
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Jewish-American actor, film director, poet, musician and photographer.

He was best known for playing the character of Spock on Star Trek, an American television series that ran for three seasons from 1966 to 1969, in addition to several movie sequels.
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“Spencer Tracy, when asked for advice on acting, said, “Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.” James Cagney said, “Walk in, plant your feet, look the other fellow in the eye and…tell the truth.” With all due respect to both of these giant talents, I would have to say there’s something more.

The true creation of a being, a character other than one’s self, for me is comparable to a mystical or spiritual experience. To stand in another person’s shoes. To see as he sees, to hear as he hears. To know what he knows, and to do all this with a sense of control, a mastering of the dramatic moment, there must be more than a “natural talent” at work.”
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