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Up Till Now: The Autobiography | [William Shatner, David Fisher]

Up Till Now: The Autobiography

This is the story of William Shatner’s half-century career and private life. It will take listeners from the streets of Montreal to regional theater and describe his early TV work and movies. It also includes stories from four series he's starred in, including T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911, Boston Legal, and, of course, Star Trek.
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Publisher's 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 Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (393 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maggie 04-04-15
    Maggie 04-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Really enjoyed it."

    I very much enjoyed this trip down memory lane for Mr Shatner. Interesting, funny, sad and I think the fact that Mr Shatner narrated it himself made even more of an impression. If you're a fan of anything he's done or just him, you'll enjoy this reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Springfield, OR, United States 12-05-14
    Greg Springfield, OR, United States 12-05-14 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A fully realized exploration of "Poe's Law""

    Up Until Now accurately simulates the experience of being trapped broken elevator in one-sided conversation with William Shatner for 10 hours. Shatner's stories have the rhythm of free form beat poetry, meandering through Shatner's over-sense of self, lit through his mind's prism. From his refractions, Shatner attempts to tell his life story. Surprisingly, it's fantastic, and has a brilliance that's never seems quite intentional.

    I was recommended it by brother to which my reaction was a resounding "Eh" as I wouldn't describe myself as fan of Shatner.... but when he mentioned the audiobook was narrated by Shatner, I was sold. It's probably one of the fully most realized explorations "Poe's Law" where the parodying and lines of reality are blurred. Between William's tendency to self-plug as an oft-joke (yet, it's not really a joke) and jumping between pivotable life events, you actually get a much more interesting read than a usual straight linear biography. It's funny, sad, serious, self-aggrandizing and mocking. I enjoyed it probably more than I should have...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Balwyn, Australia 07-26-14
    Sarah Balwyn, Australia 07-26-14
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    "Not as good as expected"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I'd cut out a bunch of his random stories. Many of them were quite dull and appeared to have little significance.


    Would you be willing to try another book from William Shatner and David Fisher ? Why or why not?

    Very possibly not. William Shatner appeared quite full of himself, and even though he was telling the stories, the way he talked about himself made him sound a bit self involved. He often felt the need to dispute horrible things people had said or felt against him, giving the impression that there was something causing it to begin with,


    Would you listen to another book narrated by William Shatner?

    Maybe. The audio for this book would be loud one minute then become very very quiet, that I could not understand what was said even when the volume was up full blast. I have the feeling it was the way Shatner spoke, however you'd think someone producing this could have easily fixed the problem.


    Did Up Till Now inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc 05-31-14
    Marc 05-31-14
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    "Understanding the Shatman - unexpectedly"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Up Till Now to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print edition (otherwise I obviously wouldn't have bought the audio edition), so I cannot compare them. Yet, I believe that I would not have had the issues with the print version that I had with the audio version, so ... maybe I'd preferred the printed book. Again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Up Till Now?

    What I did not expect from a collection of anecdotes (a "biography" in my understanding would be a bit more "to the point", not just jumping from story to story) is this: I hear a lot of people getting all emotional about whether they hate or adore Mr. Shatner. I never understood this, as for me he was always "just an actor", I never bothered to know anything personal about him. I found it quite nice to see, that to Mr. Shatner Mr. Shatner actually is "just an actor" and that he, Mr. Shatner, never bothered to have the audience know anything personal about him.
    After listening to his - subjective, biased and in many occasions obviously not "well thought through" - stories I kind of sympathize with the man. Both the actor and the human being. It seems that some people expect "role model qualities" from someone, who, at the end of the day, always wanted to be "just an actor".


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Actually I found the narration the most irritating part of the book. Sure, Shatner has a nice voice to listen to, is easy to follow - but the production allowed him to drop into mumbling and get away with far too many "volume issues" that my listening experience wasn't very positive. More often than not I found it hard to understand his "into the beard"-passages, which, for an audio book you listen to while walking the woods, isn't that cool.


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

    There's too much jumping from story to story, too much sidekicks, too many "thought-to-be-funny" self-advertisements (I believe those are meant as a running gag, performed in the "Shatner wit" of humor) to listen to the narration for more than 1-2 hours in a sitting. That's for me, naturally. I guess, if you are a ShatFanBoy, you probably would consider this point of view invalid.


    Any additional comments?

    I sometimes think that audio book productions should consider "famous" narrators less god-like (which turns out into letting them "perform" the reading no matter of that performance fits the purpose of the production). Sometimes those "celebrities" are JUST ACTORS and need someone to guide them through a performance, asking them to "speak clearly" and "could you do that part again".
    Sure. Fans want to have all the "funny bits". But funny bits can be handled in ways that make them fun for (nearly) everyone, if production treats actors as actors, not as "he knows what he's doin'"-wonders.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Flowermound, TX, United States 10-02-13
    Mike Flowermound, TX, United States 10-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining and worthwhile"
    Would you listen to Up Till Now again? Why?

    Yes. Very funny and entertaining, yet sometimes difficult to hear due to his reading style.


    Did William Shatner do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Character creation really isn't the point of his book, but he has a very entertaining delievery of the message.


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

    An Actors Guide to the Galaxy


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes this book was difficult to hear because of his reading style, make sure your base is turned all the way down and your treble 3/4 up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Medford, MA, United States 07-16-13
    Amazon Customer Medford, MA, United States 07-16-13
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    "Good listen but hard to hear!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I love Bill Shatner. He seems to possess a child-like wonder about the world, and has a quizzical, whimsical side that mixes practicality with bravado in unexpected, often amusing, and sometimes dangerous ways. I get a kick out of his delivery, and love his "straight-man" sense of humor (as exemplified in the character of Denny Crane in Boston Legal). Above all, Bill has an expressive vocal style that ranges from a soft whisper to a booming baritone, frequently switching between these two modulations in swift, dramatic fashion. While fun and engaging to watch, listening to a recording in my car traveling 75 mph is a challenge! Constantly changing the volume in extreme adjustments just to make out what he's saying was annoying. Worth it, but annoying. I wish a sound mixer could have engineered the recording to make this less of a distracting feature of an otherwise good listen. True, listening with headphones might mitigate the problem, but unless the rest of the outside world is silent, you'd have the same problem (running outdoors w/cars and other traffic, working a treadmill in a gym with constant music, etc.).


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most -- His incredible range of experiences both theatrical and personal. And his wry sense of humor -- love it. He seems like a kind, sweet man, but don't take no guff!
    Least -- Details about his movie ideas. Sorry Bill.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of William Shatner?

    Never. No way.


    Was Up Till Now worth the listening time?

    Sure!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy 05-18-13
    Cathy 05-18-13
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    "Loved the stories, but the audio is horrible"

    I love hearing William Shatner telling his own story but the producer needed to fix the audio. Bill kept lowering and raising his voice to where I had to keep my hand on the volume knob to constantly turn the sound up and down. He would almost whisper some of the parts. I understand it was for the drama factor but then you can't hear him. That part is very disappointing. But the writing and the book itself is wonderful Very much enjoyed the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SharleneSays 05-15-13

    Trying out this new audiobooks bizo. It's kinda cool.

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    "Shatner Exposed!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I really like the concept of stars telling us what it was like growing up but a good part of this story was really depressing. Shatner divorced his first wife, second wife dies & he doesn't really delve into the third woman & their happiness together. I wouldn't listen to this again. The priceline stuff, the relationship he had with costars like Leonard Nimoy and the Star Trek info takes up most of the book... and ya can't forget the horses. Shatner's best friends.


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

    I don't think there is a book like it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of William Shatner’s performances?

    I would listen to Shatner narrating something else, but not another autobiography.


    Do you think Up Till Now needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    If the book moved away from Star Trek, Priceline and his wives then maybe a follow up book would be worth it.


    Any additional comments?

    At times Shatner talks really fast, mumbles and speaks really low so it can be very difficult to keep up with him or understand what he is saying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Austin Texas, United States 04-03-13
    Jeffrey Austin Texas, United States 04-03-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Surprising, unusual!"

    For me, Shatner will always only be Captain Kirk, and yet the rest of the book worked, very well actually. The most poignant chapter was his very heartfelt accounting of the tragedy of his third marriage, very sad but told in a way that others can benefit. I did not know Nimoy had that problem to beat as well. I'll never read this one again, but glad I did it once. By the way, I have found celebrities reading their own books generally problematic and not entertaining for reasons unknown. Shatner's narration however was superb!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Los Angeles, CA 03-08-13
    Becky Los Angeles, CA 03-08-13
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    "WILLIAM SHATNER AND I ARE CLOSER THAN EVER"
    Where does Up Till Now rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Only read books, this was my first audiobook and it was fantastic. I chose the autobiography of William Shatner because I love the sound of his voice. I was not disappointed.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It was an autobiography of William Shatner. Mr. Shatner brought his wit and humor to this book and hearing rather than reading it brought it to life.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His entire life "up till now"


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

    The Real William Shatner - No Holds Bar


    Any additional comments?

    I would hear his story in the quiet of night. Closing my eyes and listening, it was as if Mr. Shatner was there with me talking about his life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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