Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship With a Remarkable Man


spock-jpegThis book will appeal to anyone who was curious about the relationship between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.  It is also another view of the lovable man we all remembered as Spock.  As a ‘Trekkie’, I certainly wanted to know what Shatner would say about the friendship that seemed to fizzle in the final years.  Granted, Shatner’s opinions may be biased but I saw him this year at the Montreal Comic-con and I really thought he was a fun and nice person, so I tended to trust his words in this open and honest book.  I am always willing to give the benefit of the doubt.  This memoir wasn’t so much about the sci-fi franchise, yet it was undeniably the biggest thing that brought Shatner and Nimoy together.  Shatner’s book starts the recollection of their friendship by mirroring his life to Nimoy’s:  their close birth dates, same religious backgrounds, similar childhoods in busy cities and the hardships they encountered when starting out in Hollywood.  They even experienced their own struggles with personal demons (Leonard was an alcoholic at one point and couldn’t quit smoking, while Shatner always got involved with women who were alcoholics).  There are a lot of interesting tid-bits in here, which I would never have known otherwise.  What I think this work represents (first and foremost) is an official apology for any wrongdoings and a sincere, heartfelt goodbye.  It is the product of a complicated yet admirably respectful friendship.  After all, many true and deep friendships thrive for years—despite an absence of communication.  Even men can attest to that.

Hislit title read-alikes:
If you liked Shatner’s book about Nimoy, here are others you may find just as fascinating:
I Am Spock by Leonard Nimoy
Star Trek Memories by William Shatner
Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows by Harvey Kubernik

It took Shatner courage to face the mystery of a friendship that weaved in an out of difficulties for decades and admit to certain bumps in the road, including his jealousy at times.  The book is a nice gesture—almost like an extended eulogy, which seems to give Shatner a sense of closure.  Whatever his faults, Shatner has shown that he is willing to let bygones be bygones and sing the praises of a worthy comrade.



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