This week details and a cover have been released on a new autobiography from William Shatner, the first Captain James T. Kirk. The book titled "Up Till Now: The Autobiography" (co-authored by David Fisher) promises to be the definite Shatner-ography and will be available in May on both a hardcover and audio CD (presumably narrated by the man himself). Details and large cover image below.
From the publisher’s description of the (audio version).
This is the story of William Shatner’s half-century career and private life. The audio will take readers from the streets of Montreal to regional theatre, where Shatner was once called upon to replace Christopher Plummer as Henry V— in a role he had never rehearsed, with actors he had never met. It will describe his early TV work and movies, among them Roger Corman’s The Intruder, a movie about racism filmed in the south in 1961; Kingdom of the Spiders, in which he costarred with 30,000 tarantulas; and Incubus, the only film ever made in the language of Esperanto.
It will include his private life, including the complete story of the drowning death of his third wife. It will include stories from three other series, T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911—which saved more than 240 lives—and Boston Legal, as well as his work on Third Rock from the Sun, for which he won his first Emmy for playing “the Big Giant Head.”
And of course, it will include the story of Star Trek; how it came about and how it affected him—and fans—concluding with the story of a taxi driver who told Shatner he’d been a prisoner in Vietnam and that pretending they were the Star Trek crew kept him and his fellow inmates sane. And yes, it will include his singing and commercials and quiz show hosting and award show hosting and the greatest practical joke ever played, Invasion, Iowa, not to mention the story about Shatner being invited into a cage with Koko the Gorilla—who wanted to take him back to her bedcage.
After almost 60 years, William Shatner has become one of our most beloved entertainers. And as evidenced by Comedy Central’s roast, “The Shat Hits the Fan,” Shatner gets the joke. For the first time, William Shatner shares with listeners the remarkable, full story of his life.
Shatner’s latest autobio
Not Shatner’s first
William Shatner is an enigma. There is much to admire about William Shatner, none the least of which is his enthusiasm. Shatner often talks about trying to not have regrets or living in the past (even saying that he never looks over his old work or even photographs). But for someone who claims to not think about the past, it is ironic that he has written so much about it. "Up Till Now" will be Shatner’s sixth memoir. In 1979 Shatner wrote" William Shatner Where No Man" with Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. Then, in 1989, Shatners William and Lisabeth wrote "Captain’s Log: William Shatner’s Personal Account of the Making of Star Trek V." The book is a fascinating and honest description of the compromises that occur from idea to actual feature film with lots of great insights. Then, Shatner’s next two books (co-authored by Chris Kreski), "Star Trek Memories" in 1993 (about the TV series) followed by "Star Trek Movie Memories"
in 1994 are very funny, genuine and poignant presentations of Shatner’s Star Trek experiences. They include refreshing interviews with his Trek costars speaking their mind and letting him know what their problems with him. But Perhaps the best Shatner memoir so far is "Get A Life!," his 1999 book on his history with Star Trek conventions. The book (also co-written by Kreski) is very funny, yet has a real arc for Shatner as a person. He writes about how after the reality of Kirk’s death in Star Trek Generations, Shatner would go to as many conventions as possible to help ease the pain. He realized that he really had no appreciation for these events and since writing the "Get a Life!" his talks and interactions are more respecting of Star Trek and its fans.
What makes "Up Till Now" exciting is that Shatner is writing it during the best years of his life. It will be fascinating to read what he thinks of those years of playing Shakespeare at local theater to being Captain Kirk. It is easy to glean from his CD" Has Been" that Shatner’s enthusiasm for today doesn’t mean he has found contentment or that he is ever satisfied with his experiences. For these reasons, it should mean" Up Till Now" is worth checking out, a postmodern writing about the past of a man who doesn’t really want to think about. it.
“Get a Life!" the best memoir so far
“Up Till Now” is available now for pre-order at Amazon