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The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  472 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The critically acclaimed director and writer shares his account of the making of the three classic Star Trek films

The View from the Bridge is Nicholas Meyer's enormously entertaining account of his involvement with the Star Trek films: STII: The Wrath of Khan, STIV: The Voyage Home, and STVI: The Undiscovered Country, as well as his illustrious career in the movie business. The man best known for bri/>The
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Hardcover, 263 pages
Published August 20th 2009 by Viking Adult (first published July 21st 2009)
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Michael
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
While Star Trek fans may never agree on which series is the best (it will always be Original Series, hands down), most fans will agree that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the best entry in the long-running film franchise. In fact, were it not for Khan and it's success, it's likely we'd only have the original 79 episodes and a couple of movies to discuss when it comes to one of the greatest franchises in modern entertainment history.

A lot of ink has been spilled in recent years on the "kiss and tell" behind th
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Carlin Trammel
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this as a gift quite awhile ago and sadly, I let it sit on my shelf way too long. This is a great autobiography by storyteller Nicholas Meyer from the standpoint of his career. Full of anecdotes about his journey into Hollywood and his ups and downs along the way on the many projects he has worked on. Meyer is transparent and paints a picture of himself that is seemingly truly self-aware. He doesn't run from his faults and in doing so, he emboldens the reader to face their own faults ...more
Matthew Kresal
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
As the author himself notes at one point, “Everyone connected with Star Trek writes a memoir.” Some have been honest and candid, others perhaps more self-serving than others. The View From The Bridge by Nicholas Meyer, the man who brought us not only three of the better Trek films but the Sherlock Holmes meets Sigmund Freud novel The Seven Per-Cent-Solution and the classic 1983 TV movie The Day After, certainly falls into the former category rather than the latter and also presents the reader wi ...more
Grace Jensen
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Trek fans, writers, movie fans
Recommended to Grace by: The cover, I love Star Trek!
Shelves: dollar-store
I didn't want to have to say this: there is more to this book than Star Trek. So, it should get a wider read. If you are a movie fan at all, a writer of any kind, or appreciate the mediums they operate in, then you would enjoy this little peek behind the curtain.

That being said, I bought it *specifically* because a large part of it was about him directing Wrath of Khan. Its ultimately his story, and he has a wonderfully relatable voice, great dry humor and valuable insight to "how dr
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Mike Hankins
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memior
I've been fascinated with Nick Meyer for most of my life, unknowingly at first, as he is responsible for writing and directing my two favorite Star Trek movies, ("Wrath of Khan," and "The Undiscovered Country," he also wrote half the script to IV, but I won't hold that against him) but it wasn't until I started seeing his interviews in some behind-the-scenes specials that I realized how much I really liked this guy. He is able to blend influences of classical literature such as Shakespeare, Milt ...more
Jesse Whitehead
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to start out with a confession that will surprise almost everybody who has never met me or read anything I write.

I am pretty much the biggest nerd there is.

That said many of my heroes are nerd heroes. Nicholas Meyer is one of them.

For the uninitiated Nicholas Meyer is the one responsible for making Star Trek good again, or maybe making it good enough to keep going? He wrote and directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where, famously, Spock dies. He
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Jeffrey Payne
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research-books
I picked up this book because I might be doing a book of my own on The Day After, a TV movie from 1983 that Meyer directed.

Like Meyer, I've never been much of a Star Trek aficionado, and I expected to skim through the Star Trek bits and focus instead on The Day After. I'll confess that I did read The Day After chapter first, but I was so pleased by the writing style and Meyer's ability to lace in bits of artistic advice/insight, that I went back to the beginning and read the whole th
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Steven Belanger
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book, more about writing and directing in Hollywood than about just Star Trek. Having said that, it would help mightily to be a fan of the series. It's not that you have to be a fan to enjoy it; it's that Star Trek, in some way, takes up probably 50% to 75% of the book.

Still, there are other interesting things here:

--It takes about two seconds for directors to become nobodies in Hollywood. I thought it was fast for actors...

--If you're not g
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Surreysmum
I enjoyed this a lot, though you could argue that it's a bit mendacious in marketing - surprise, surprise. It is, in fact, a memoir of Meyer's career in film, as the subtitle suggests, though I'm sorry that it short-changes the fifteen years that followed his last excursion into Star Trek, probably to maintain the fiction that it is really a "Star Trek" book. Anyway, as someone who loved The Seven Percent Solution (chiefly in book form - didn't see the film until much later), but also loved the three ST ...more
Bookworm
A really enjoyable read about Nicholas Meyer, writer and director. He is probably best known for his work on "Star Trek", but he's done other things like "Time After Time", which seems to be a favorite of people.

Most people who buy this book will probably buy it for the ST stuff, but I thoroughly recommend reading the other sections as well. His personal life is not so interesting, except for when he discusses bonding with Pierce Brosnan (best known as James Bond) over being a widowe
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Patrick Nichol
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Nicholas Meyer's entertaining look at his life in movies and Star Trek is not to be missed.

This book takes a good look at internecine Hollywood studio power struggles, and repeated battles to keep creative control.

Because I'm a Trekkie, my favorite chapters deal with making Star Trek II and Star Trek IV.

Meyer killed Spock in STII, a move that he said enraged Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. But he felt it was necessary both to assauge star Leonard Nimoy (who was tired of the ears) an
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Melissa McShane
I knew of Nicholas Meyer as a novelist long before I knew he was involved with Star Trek. His first book, The Seven-percent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, MD, was the first Sherlock Holmes pastiche I ever read and remains one of my favorites. So although I picked up The View from the Bridge because I'm interested in Star Trek, I ended up liking it better for his stories about writing The Seven-percent Solution and then producing the movie based on it. The View from the Bridge is organized ch ...more
Adam Watson
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a fan of Meyer the filmmaker ("Time After Time" is a sentimental favorite of mine going back to 1980's cable when I first watched it) and of course, Star Trek, I had this film autobiography on my wish list for some time. When I saw a used deal for a HC of the book, I grabbed it. (By the way, nice Miller allusion and pun in the title.)

Meyer is at least as prolific as a writer as he is a director, and the book shines because of it. Yes, the Trek anecdotes are plentiful and interesti
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JW
Sep 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I normally don't do memoirs, I'm not much interested in reading about someone's abusive childhood in a war zone where they grew up with a cleft palate. Or whatever. Or the converse, I don't give any measurable amount of shits about how some billionaire lied, cheated and schemed his way to the top, or how much he (was lucky) believed in himself. Or she. Whatever.

But Star Trek. Well, shit, yeah.

Mostly I was interested in hearing some behind the scenes stuff on Shatner. Meye
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Joseph
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
An interesting read from the director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. He deals mainly with his life in show business and breaks the book up into periods of his life based on books he wrote, screenplays he wrote, and films he directed. I was most interested in the Star Trek references and found it most informative on the author's take on Star Trek II, which he directed, Star Trek IV, that he wrote much of the screenplay for, and Star Trek VI, which he also directed. The books shows that what ...more
Phillip
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a keeper. Not only is it a "Star Trek" book, it's also a book about writing, screenwriting, movies, and being an artist. I'll just go ahead and say my biggest complaint upfront -- Nicky Meyer's politics are entirely too distracting when he is writing his life story. His casual use of "George Bush's war crimes" as an analogy just makes you want to stop. But I learned to ignore them while reading, and I managed to enjoy the book. He truly is an artist, and I enjoyed learning about his lif ...more
Kerry
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I first experienced Nicholas Meyer with "The Seven-Percent Solution" which spurred my interest in Sherlock Holmes. I ran into his work again when he helped save the Star Trek franchise with his work on "Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan". This memoir tells of his Hollywood career focusing on the impact of Star Trek on his life and vice versa. It is a well-written, enjoyable story. His observations are memorable and not preachy. He tries to tell the whole story: recounting events as he remembers t ...more
Alex
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Meyer's memoir of how he started his career as a publicist, then accidentally became a novelist and finally a filmmaker is a must-read for everyone who wants to make movies. Witty, honest and chock-full of great anecdotes (and at times painful realizations about himself and his decisions) "View" was hard to put down. The "Star Trek" stuff is informative for even the casual fan, but what I really enjoyed learning more about is his love of Sherlock Holmes and authorship of The Seven-Per-Cent Solut ...more
Keith Hughes
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I almost stopped reading this book on page four, where Nicholas made a political metaphor that so enraged me I was sorely tempted to put the book down. Instead I gave him one more chance, just one, and he never gave me cause to regret for the remainder of his tale. Instead I found the rest of the book to be very enjoyable.

He relates the story of his life in Hollywood, including directing Star Trek II and VI. Admittedly this was the hook that drew me in, but his story as a whole as he
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Chris Aylott
Jun 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Star Trek gets top billing here -- no surprise when you consider the Trekkie sales factor, and heck, it caught my eye in the library too. But most of the book about the life and evolving work of a guy who "loves movies and tries to make good ones." I've enjoyed Meyer's writing for a long time -- I think I first ran into The Seven Percent Solution back in Thorntown -- and reading from his perspective just adds a little more to it.

Unfortunately, it also added several movies to my DVD queue. Cu
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Amanda
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nicholas Meyer directed two of my three favourite Star Trek films (II and VI). I didn't know he wrote the 4th movie, either. So I picked this up and figured I'd get an interesting look at my favorite movies. I did, and I got more. I didn't know about Meyer's oeuvre but now I'm interested. He is a good storyteller who keeps you wrapped up in his history of Hollywood. I really found it fascinating, and don't worry, it's not all about Star Trek. (But there's a lot of Star Trek). I have some movie w ...more
Sky-guy
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Received this as a gift, given it's Star Trek content, but enjoyed it as a memoir of an observer of the Hollywood machine. I've been interested in movies and movie making almost as long as I've been a Star Trek fan, so enjoyed Nick's insights into how scripts get written, rewritten, dropped, rewritten and eventually, occasionally made into movies. I did enjoy the Star Trek information, but as others have noted, this book deserves a broader audience. It covers much more about movie making than ju ...more
Jay
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Maybe a quarter of the book is about Star Trek. I appreciate this book more for Meyer's musings on movies as art and how difficult it was and still is to make them. His thoughts about going to the movies as a community experience sheds light on my continual irritation with people who use their cell phones. When you turn that damned thing on, you separate yourself from the group, breaking the unwritten pact. Anyway, the book is a quick read and worth your time if you like Hollywood memoirs that d ...more
Dave Leach
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to Meyer's book as a less-than-fanatical fan of Trek and found an interesting overview of how ideas and scripts get turned into movies. The author gains some credibility by being self-effacing and turning the blame for some failures inward, though when he makes other claims (he's the single-handed reason for the studio disclaimer you see at the beginning of DVD commentary tracks?) it does cause the reader to wonder about the perspectives of the other players in these stories.
Joshua Pruett
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Smart and informative, like reading old war stories written by your favorite brilliant uncle, "Memories" offers all kinds of treasures Trek and otherwise. Written in the same eloquent and economic use of language that made Khan and Country the classics they've become. Wonderful stories about how his career began, then petered out, then came back around - has a rare candor, without becoming too self-indulgent or (worse) boring.
Alex
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Most of the Trek anecdotes are interesting, but I got a little bored with Meyer's discussions of his other film work -- which is my own fault, since they're written with the same flair and humor as the Trek bits. An interesting read from the guy who directed the two best ST films: Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country.
Cassandra Carico
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a great book for anyone who loves Star Trek and wants to know about what happens 'behind the scenes.' Nicholas Meyer is also just a very interesting fellow.
Scott
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This came across to me as a really honest, if conflicted book.

Meyer seems a bit divided between wanting to write a true memoir and "giving the people what they want" -- and what he advertises on the cover! -- Star Trek.

In terms of Star Trek, there isn't much "new" information for people who've already read books like Shatner and Kreski's Star Trek Movie Memories. You'd think that Meyer himself, speaking, would have more to say that he didn't say in those books, but he doe
...more
K.B. Inglee
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I had just finished The Seven Percent Solution, the best Sherlock Holmes rip off I had ever read. That evening I went to a party and was touting the book when the hostess said she was related to Nicholas Meyer. I was in the same room with a relative of my currently favorite author.
Lots of authors have moved into that spot since the 1970s, but now having read this book, Mr. Meyer has moved back. (OK, next week it will be someone else). I don't know how many readers would appreciate the style, se
...more
Paul Lloyd
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book gives a great deal of insight into Nicholas Meyers career in films. He explains his reasoning for doing things he did in his films. There is also a transparency to dealing with the nitty gritty of dealing with people and situations. Initially I was drawn to the book by the idea that it had to do with Star Trek but was surprised how much other content was in the book. while reading the book I ended up doing further research on films, books, people and places that Nicholas mentions. All ...more
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Nicholas Meyer graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in theater and film-making, & is a film writer, producer, director and novelist best known for his involvement in the Star Trek films. He is also well known as the director for the landmark 1983 TV-Movie "The Day After", for which he was nominated for a Best Director Emmy Award. In 1977, Meyer was nominated for an Adapted Scree ...more
“I was responsible for a clause that is now standard in all studio DVDs, the disclaimer that states that the studio is in no way responsible for any of the content or comments made by people appearing in the interviews on the disc. It is hard to overstate the importance of this clause: It enables those supplementary DVD segments to be more than mere puff pieces but a valuable form of oral history. People can tell their differing, multiple versions and perceptions of the truth” 2 likes
“At its best, Star Trek appears to function as pop-allegory/ pop metaphor, taking current events and issues (ecology, war, racism) and objectifying them for us to contemplate in a sci-fi setting. The world it presents may make no scientific sense but it is well and truly sufficient to lay out human questions for us to think about. Removed from our immediate neighborhoods, it is refreshing and even intriguing to consider earth matters from the distance of a few light years. Like the best science fiction, Star Trek does not show us other worlds so meaningfully as it shows us our own—for better or worse, in sickness and in health. In truth, Star Trek doesn’t really even pretend to show us other worlds—only humanity refracted in a vaguely hi-tech mirror.” 2 likes
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