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Up Till Now

The Autobiography
Narrated by: William Shatner
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (300 ratings)

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Summary

This is the story of William Shatner’s half-century career and private life. The audio will take listeners from the streets of Montreal to regional theater, 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.

©2008 William Shatner and David Fisher (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Shatner in his own voice

I am becoming a bit of a biography nerd and have been listening to many. The William Shatner one is one of the most entertaining I have listened to in a while. The biggest plus for me is that William has narrated the biography himself - it is always nice to listen to the life of someone you have grown up watching on tv in their own words. Unfortunately this is possibly also one of the downsides of this book - at times William seems to be almost whispering. This caused me to miss a few lines here and there as I was listening to the book whilst travelling to and from work.

In the book itself, you get to learn about William Shatner the child, growing up the son of a clothing manufacturer in Canada, through his many attempts to 'break' it into film whilst trying not to do too much TV. It was also very interesting to hear Williams side of the rise of Star Trek. Especially as it is such a huge thing now, but when initially released, it seemed to be just a small little show that ultimately would be a footnote on the actors careers, not the defining moments for them. Finally you get to understand what motivates William to continue working, long after most would have retired.

2 people found this helpful

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Like being next to William Shatner having a chat about his life and philosophy.

I love listening to people narrate their own autobiography. It’s like a personal audience with the star. William Shatner is a great narrator: he has warmth, emotion, incite and both humour and seriousness. This isn’t quite a warts and all narrative. More like a lot of warts and most of everything else. I guess with a professional history as long as his (and still going) there is too much to say and perhaps it might be less enjoyable if the book was simply an account of first I did this then I did that then I did something else and so forth.

Instead Mr Shatner reveals lots of interesting, funny and also sad highs and lows in his life, both personal and professional. If you enjoyed his earlier autobiography you will enjoy this too as it fills in later parts of his life. He describes himself as fortunate. When you listen to his early life and his way of life you realise that like many successful people you make your own luck usually by hard work and perseverance. Mr Shatner certainly has a good work ethic and is prepared to do anything for work while his willingness to poke fun at himself makes him very human and tangible to the ordinary reader.

If you liked Captain Kirk or T J Hooker or Denny Crane, then you will love hearing about the man behind the characters who imbued those characters with some of himself to make it so good. Enjoy! It’s a great read.

2 people found this helpful

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The Most Famous Man You Never Knew

I only really knew WS from Star Trek with only passing knowledge of TJHooker and none of Priceline.com/Boston Legal/etc or his endless celebrity quiz shows, but there is so much more to him than you think. Always commited to remaining a "serious actor" he is openly honest about his good fortune and humbly appreciative of the breaks he has along the way.

He is intelligent, passionate and funny and I found this open and interesting account of his life story really entertaining. The chapters rolled by very quickly and whilst his delivery is a little soft/quiet at times, what he lacks in clarity he makes up for in content.

His telling of the relationship and eventual death of his third wife is told with great feeling, is gripping and absorbing. His recounting of the background and execution of "Invasion Iowa" hilarious, but equally shows his depth of character and human connection with others.

A very enjoyable listen from a very interesting and unique man. I loved this from start to finish.



1 person found this helpful

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I admit I was a little sceptical...

Well there it is. Yes I was sceptical but nevertheless intrigued to listen to the one and only JTK /TJH read his Autobiography.
I’ve got to say I enjoyed it. Shatner has the ability to keep the audience engaged with the story and admittedly he does cross reference his own website a lot but nevertheless he recounts a good tale. And yes I enjoyed it! Marmite love it or hate it just try it and make your own mind up. I did and was glad I purchased it!

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the final frontier?

great book, would like to catch up on the last 12 years! funny and self deprecating.

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A great funny look on the life of William Shatner told with a sense of humour

I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Bill Shatner autobiography.

The reason is he covers his life and his bizarre acting with a sense of humour making me laugh with him throughout his life story. I enjoyed this so much that I went and bought some other books narrated by him.
This is what Kevin Hart book should have been but Kevin missed the point.

Shatner talks about throughout his career to how he became an actor, his early work, Star Trek, his terrible singing career, TJ Hooker, Star Trek Movies, his time as Denny Crane and confrontations with Trekkies.

He covers all the controversies to his fight with George Takei, Leonard Nimoy, his massive ego, his overacting and he does this making light jabs at himself so u will love and enjoy his book.

Having the book read by James T Kirk is great but having it read so well and to realise that this book is aimed at entertaining the listener not just informing the reader is probably the most important lesson that Bill can give to production teams and narrators of other audiobooks.

Shatner is an author not a writer, he authors books so u can enjoy them, he does not write to just inflate his ego so much that the message is lost on his readers.

Also I learnt a lot of life lessons from Bill on the way from his marital strifes (he was terrible at marriage but prob got some good insight into female psychology from counsellors) to the need to being appreciative of whatever work you can get to sustain yourself and not think any project is beneath u.

Although looking back at his career I wish he had been more selective.

U will enjoy this book. Download it and have fun!

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Headphone

Very good book had to give the performance a low score due to the fact you have to listen to this one with headphones

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Funniest book ever!

Narrated by Bill Shatner this is a hilarious story. Thoroughly enjoyed it, kept me laughing all the way to work and back each day.

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An Unusually Comic Shatner

Will Shatner is not really known for comedy, Tvs 3rd Rock from the Sun and the film Airplane 2 being exceptions, so I was very surprised to finding myself laughing out loud throughout the Audio book.

Thanks Bill.

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Shatner talks and talks

I enjoyed listening to Bill Shatner reading his life story..it seems to have been many years of work followed by more work and Bill took us through his early years in some detail. He did mention his later years too and went on and on about some of his roles. After hearing him speaking about his career I imagine he was a pain to work or live with..but never mind he made a great Captain Kirk and everything else can be forgotten

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  • Rebecca Park Totilo
  • 02-04-12

What a Delight!

Would you consider the audio edition of Up Till Now to be better than the print version?

I loved hearing William share his own stories. It was enjoyable from beginning to end. He is a treasure - I love his spirit! So personable - so human. You will feel like you really know him when you're finished.

What other book might you compare Up Till Now to and why?

I have yet to hear another autobiography I liked more.

What does William Shatner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Hearing his voice, his humor and every inflection. No one could tell his story better than him.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

His wife's tragic drowning in the pool. So sad and moving. I felt his pain. I could envision every detail he described. I appreciated his honesty. What a humble man.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cheryl
  • 30-08-11

Definately worth a listen ...

Really entertaining read. Enjoyed every minute. My ONLY negative criticism would be that Shatner's extremely well known speech cadence sometimes gets in the way of actually HEARING the story. On headphones it's fine ... in the car, it's necessary to mess with the volume knob all the time. Other than that ... I loved it and am still amazed at the life he's led.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sandra P.
  • 08-10-12

Honest, Humble and Fabulous Fun

Would you consider the audio edition of Up Till Now to be better than the print version?

William Shatner is amazingly open and forthcoming in this book. His self-deprecating humor is engaging. His honest and humble story-telling reminds us that we all have different perspectives and that doesn't make us wrong, it just makes us unique.And his story-telling is engaging. His voice draws you in to his world and makes you an empathetic friend. I felt like I was just hanging out with my new friend at Starbucks.

Which scene was your favorite?

The alien in the desert.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

My Life on Earth

5 people found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 11-02-12

Outstanding narration

Bill Shatner should narrate more books. He is very entertaining, keeps the listening very interesting, and is able to poke fun at himself. The years must have put some humility into him. I think history will treat Bill better than the present. A must read if you have ever been entertained by watching anything he has had a part in.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Mr.
  • 18-11-11

Hang on for a great listen

Bill Shatner is going full speed the entire book and it is one hilarious and entertaining story after another. I can't imagine this book being half as good if you had to just read it. The stories by themselves are funny and entertaining but listening to Shatner act the dialogue makes you feel as if he is telling the stories to you personally and you are experiencing much of his life as he has lived it. A really fun book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • JackMargo
  • 08-11-12

Wanna Meet the Real Captain Kirk?

Shatner does a fine job of telling his own story and introducing the real Captain Kirk to the listener. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the comments and have decided that I like Shatner better than I liked Kirk.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 06-08-11

I loved this book.

Not only is it an autobiography, but it's read by Bill himself ! You get to hear Bill tell you about his long career and his ups and downs along the way. His humor blends the whole thing together in a very unexpected and brilliant way. I found myself cheering for him in his retelling of winning the Emmy, and tearing up when he spoke of his late wife .I loved this book from the first chapter to the funny last sentence!

4 people found this helpful

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  • mike
  • 19-09-12

Funny but uneven

Would you consider the audio edition of Up Till Now to be better than the print version?

Never read the book, though due to the audio issues it may have been a bettter choice.

What about William Shatner’s performance did you like?

I thought the book was very funny in parts and that no one else except William Shatner could have read it. My only criticism (though it is a big one) was the extreme volume fluctuations. While knowing that some of it is due to Shatner's delivery from "normal volume" speaking down to below a whisper, it was very difficult to listen to without having to constantly turn the volume up and down. Just when you thought you had reached a balance, it would go really loud or almost silent again. The content of the book was good and as this was my first book from William Shatner I was pleased with all the meandering and side stories, etc that he would inject, I just wish it could have been a better audio experience.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

Again the audio production made it very difficult to enjoy as much as it could have been.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon_ Customers
  • 27-06-13

Great Story Teller!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

He kept me interested in the book from the very beginning of the book! He know how to tell a good story! He has also an entertaining voice to keep you interested in the book. Worth

What about William Shatner’s performance did you like?

His story telling skills

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Take every opportunity that comes to you

Any additional comments?

Worth listening to!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mika
  • 05-11-12

An excellent autobiography.

What made the experience of listening to Up Till Now the most enjoyable?

Shatner's performance is really remarkably enjoyable. Unlike many of his other narrations, this one holds my interest again and again with its liveliness alone.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bill of course!

Have you listened to any of William Shatner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I have, and this one is the best of the lot, by far.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh, a LOT.

Any additional comments?

I listened to the abridged version before buying this one. I bought this unabridged version because I was hoping there would be more of the same excellent material, and I was not disappointed. However, if you already have the abridged copy, you're not missing out on enough to warrant the cost of purchasing this unabridged version. I can't think of anything specific that was left out of the abridged edition. Really, this edition is primarily for those who can't get enough of Bill Shatner...like myself! :)

5 people found this helpful