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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

What listeners say about Up Till Now

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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.

5 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.

4 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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William Shatner - what a great audio book!

I loved this book...of course ive see william shatner in tonnes of stuff down through the years... star trek of course, Tj hooker as well as lots of cameo's... the airplane movies which i loved. I always liked william shatner. when i saw this book pop up on audible i immediately saved it to my wish list.. finally i listened to the sample and then some weeks later bought it for my upcoming holiday. i loved everything about this book, listening to william tell his story, his style, plenty of LOL moments, all the points of reference throughout my life, people, movies, tv etc... great listening to such a positive guy whose full of life and wonder at what the future holds... next im going to www.williamshatner.com to see what incredible products i can purchase as a memento of my listening to this great book.(PS im not related to william shatner 🙂)

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Very good read for Shatner fans

very interesting read but hard to hear his voice properly sometimes. he is very witty.

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loved it!!

his voice is velvet and he's so candid about himself very sad in parts but mostly humorous I loved it he was and is a genius in his craft and Sulu can suck it!!!

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bill shatner

Excellent, loved every chapter. even had to laugh out loud on certain segments .I am now looking for the next one.

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Very interesting biography

I’d heard rumours about WS being egotistical and a pain to work with and he makes no ‘bones’ about it during this enjoyable audio book. He is very honest and candid about his behaviour in both his work and personal life throughout a story that is both very entertaining and informative. WS has a huge body of work and I got the feeling he doesn’t take himself too seriously. I did find the part about the death of his wife a little puzzling in that there appears to be little or no emotion in his voice when he talks about her / the drowning incident but perhaps he is just being professional with his audio read? This in contrast to a recent Burt Reynolds’s audio where he was literally in tears talking about old loves etc. Anyway WS reads really well and I felt was a very funny and interesting character. One minor issue was around editing there are a few really roughly out together edits throughout the audio which was poor but on the whole I’d highly recommend this audio book

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So funny and self deprecating.

absolutely brilliant book. well performed and a great comedic structure too. moving to extremes in places too. some of the whispering is inaudible in places though so difficult to listen in the car. you must read this audio book though!!!

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It left me with tinnitus

Great book but beware one minute he is whispering (turn volume up on a busy street to hear) then talking loudly minutes later (too late to to turn volume back down)

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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.

10 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.

7 people found this helpful

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    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.

7 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

6 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.

13 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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Smiley
  • 22-06-16

Very funny and heartwarming

I wasn't sure when I got this audiobook, but it's one of the top five I've listened to. And I've listen to a LOT!! It's heartwarming and it funny and it made the time go by on my hour-long drive to work and from work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-06-16

Shatner is amusing.

it's interesting to hear him talk about his life. it was fun to hear him talk about his side of things.

2 people found this helpful