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I Am Spock Hardcover – October 26, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Few actors are as inextricably associated with one role as Leonard Nimoy is with Star Trek's Mr. Spock. In 1975, when he was embarking on a post-Star Trek career, Nimoy published an autobiography with the tongue-in-cheek title I Am Not Spock. Twenty years later, despite a fruitful career as a film director (Three Men and a Baby, The Good Mother) and theatrical actor, he here reembraces his legendary half-Vulcan alter ego. Star Trek fans will find this a, well, fascinating history of the "birth" and evolution of Spock?Nimoy explains the original conception of the character and describes his own contributions to the development of Spock's persona. He also provides an insider's account of the production of the TV show and the highly successful series of Star Trek movies, and offers his insights into why the Star Trek phenomenon has maintained such a grip on our cultural imagination. Nimoy's admirers may find this fairly impersonal memoir disappointing; it touches only tangentially on the author's private life. But this is an intelligent and entertaining look at an actor's engagement with a character who "seemed to take on an existence of his own." Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Twenty years ago, Nimoy published a book declaring I Am Not Spock and started one of the big showbiz rumors of our time--that he hated his dramatic alter ego, the pointy-eared, half-alien first officer of the starship Enterprise in the original Star Trek. The rumor's not true, says he in this very congenial new book focused on Spock so exclusively that other roles Nimoy has played get short shrift and, with a few exceptions (such as the account of filming the acclaimed Good Mother, which Nimoy directed), non^-Star Trek events get less. But that's the way a Star Trek memoir should be, and Nimoy's ST recollections top the others in entertainment value, not least because of the amusing dialogues between himself and Spock that he scatters throughout. Nimoy doesn't distract us with the greater personal detail Nichelle Nichols and George Takei vended in their recent life stories, and he's a far sight less self-inflating than Bill Shatner in his ST autobios. Maybe Nimoy's being a bit too much of a nice guy, you sometimes feel, maybe there was more friction and frustration than he lets on. But with all these happy Star Trek stories to read, who cares? Ray Olson

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (October 26, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786861827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786861828
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
As an original Trekkie, I am always looking for additional information about the Star Trek phenomena. I am interested in more than just the shows themselves, I have an additional interest in the lives and careers of those who played the major characters. In this book, Leonard Nimoy not only discusses his role in Star Trek, but also other aspects of his professional life. Of all the major characters, he is the only one who developed a significant career in film outside of Star Trek. Yes, I am aware that William Shatner starred in a television series, but that was short-lived. Nimoy has been very active as a writer/director, being involved in the development of some very good movies.
There is very little information about Nimoy's personal life outside his career in the book. The bulk of the discussion concerns his role in the original Star Trek series, subsequent Star Trek feature films and some of his experiences behind the camera as a director. All information that I have encountered bolsters the thesis that Nimoy puts forward in the book, that he is very highly regarded as a director by the remainder of the Star Trek original cast. He also is very positive about William Shatner, and it is clear that he and Shatner are friends, despite some creative differences in the past.
Nimoy also raises a point about Shatner and Star Trek that should be taken seriously. Shatner has often been criticized for overacting in the series, Nimoy notes that it probably could not have been any other way. Jeffrey Hunter, the original captain, was more introspective, and was not well received by all test audiences. At that point in entertainment history, dynamic heroes were a necessity in all action venues.
Leonard Nimoy is a very literate man who tells a different side of the Star Trek phenomena. There is no scandal, no personal pique, just a statement of what happened and how much he enjoys having been a part of an ongoing entertainment phenomena.
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Format: Hardcover
Leonard Nimoy is best know as the actor that portrays Spock in the Star Trek universe. Those that follow films also know him as the director of Three Men and a Baby and The Good Mother, not to mention a couple of the ST films. This interesting biography includes a healthy dose of Spock, as indicated by the title, along with some divergences into his other acting roles and his directorial work. The time frame is from approximately the beginning of the original series to the end of his appearance in the Star Trek: the Next Generation episode entitled "Unification", where Spock appeared alongside the Enterprise D crew. As such, it is certainly a complete record of his work in the Trek universe (so far!).
It is a personal autobiography, in that discussions always centre on Nimoy himself. This is a contrast to the Shatner "Star Trek Memories" books, in that Nimoy makes little attempt to explore his extended Trek family. However, we get a very candid look at Nimoy's contributions over the years, including the conflicts on the set (between the actors themselves and between the actors and the directors, writers, etc.). It is a thoughtful book, analysing the phenomenon of Trek and mulling over his place in it. His schizophrenic relationship with the Vulcan he portrays is especially highlighted (including updated versions of his dialogues, similar to those in the earlier I Am Not Spock).
My only disappointment is that he spends little time on his early life and on his family life. We only hear about his parents when he discusses their passing on. He talks about working with his son on a TV show, but barely mentions his children previous to that. This is not a problem overall (presumably he means to protect his family from the publicity), just a small disappointment. Otherwise, it's highly recommended - a thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable look into the mind Leonard Nimoy.
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Format: Hardcover
Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek tales are gentler, more forgiving versions of the stories told by William Shatner in the Shatner "Memories" books.
"I Am Spock" is an entertainging piece, perhaps a bit 'jumpy' in places, flashing forward and backward between Star Trek events and Nimoy's other works, and repeats much of the tales in his earlier book - but it was difficult for me to find much fault with this volume.
What I did find interesting was that, while Mr. Shatner's stories often show Mr. Nimoy as a tough businessman, with the "f"-word peppering his direct quotes, the Mr. Nimoy in "I Am Spock" seems more reserved and gentlemanly. Which is the truer? No matter. Mr. Nimoy's modesty shines softly throughout this book. He's obviously very (multi) talented in all facets of his art, and it's a pity the original Star Trek series didn't extend him the opportunity to direct, or create, or produce as he did in later years - then the Enterprise would have definitely fulfilled its 5-year mission, rather than only 3.
Bottom Line: A good read, especially for the Star Trek / Nimoy / Spock fan - but don't expect anything intringing, new, or shocking. This is the grandfatherly Nimoy talking, and his memories all seem to be fond ones.
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Format: Hardcover
A "fascinating," Vulcan-like observation of a human and his Vulcan alter ego. Unlike many autobiographies, this one eschews tattletales, in favor of a relatively objective look at a remarkable career.
The most interesting part is the inner dialogue between Nimoy and Spock, particularly after Spock's "reincarnation" (see Star Trek III: The Search for Spock).
This one's a keeper.
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