LEONARD: My Fifty-Year Friendship With a Remarkable Man. By William Shatner. Thomas Dunne Books. 288 pages. $25.99.
William Shatner reflects on the death of Leonard Nimoy and their tumultuous friendship that began when both were cast on the original “Star Trek” TV show in “Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship With a Remarkable Man.”
This isn’t a straightforward biography of Nimoy, though it does cover the elements that showcase his early life, his career highlights and what made him such a beloved person both on the screen and in real life.
Instead, Shatner parallels Nimoy’s life with his own and how they were eerily similar up to the point where they were hired as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in 1966. The end result is that this becomes Shatner’s story as well.
Shatner is blunt and honest when he talks about their friendship. They were like siblings who shared a deep love and respect but also had issues expressing their frustrations with each other. The resulting relationship was both rewarding and challenging.
When life threw curveballs, they were there for each other, just as they were for their successes. Shatner doesn’t hold back when it comes to demonstrating Nimoy’s love and compassion for his family and friends.
He also is quite forthcoming with Nimoy’s personal demons, including his battle with alcoholism and near estrangement from his wife and children.
Shatner also shines a light on his own rough times and how Nimoy supported him. With regret, he writes that in the last few years of Nimoy’s life, they weren’t speaking to each other. Like all families with stubborn matters to resolve, there is always tomorrow to fix them. Sadly it never happened, and Shatner still wonders what led to the silence.
Shatner delivers a raw and honest look at the life of Leonard Nimoy through the filter of someone who loved him like a brother.
“Star Trek” fans aren’t the only ones who should read this definitive biography of the man who was much more than Mr. Spock.