I Am Spock

By Leonard Nimoy


Star Trek has been infiltrating my life for as long as I can remember. I watched the original series as a child, and the movies as a teen and adult. My husband loves the original Star Trek, and enjoys the more recent Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager. Captains Kirk, Picard and Janeway all have different attributes, which makes each of the series unique and interesting.


One of the icon characters of Star Trek is Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, who died at the end of February. Nimoy introduced the Vulcan hand salutation accompanied by “live long and prosper”. Nimoy did live long and prosper. He was 83 when he died, and he had an amazing career.


In researching his obituary, I found out Nimoy had written two books I am not Spock in 1975, and I am Spock 20 years later. Intrigued by the titles, I wanted to read both books, but the library only had the later. I don’t think I need to read the first one. Nimoy mentions it in the second calling the title a mistake. The title I am not Spock gave the impression that Nimoy did not like the character or being on Star Trek. That was so far from the truth, as Nimoy explains in I am Spock.


The book, which gives Nimoy’s unique perspective on his career through the beginning of Star Trek to his last associations with it, was a pleasure to read. I enjoyed getting a back-stage look at what it takes to be involved in a project that grows into a phenomenon, and learning how portraying a character, especially for that length of time, can affect someone.


Nimoy talks about politics with the studios, relationships with his costars, especially William Shatner and DeForest Kelley, and the creation of the Star Trek phenomenon. He goes into detail about the creation and development of Spock’s character, and of how he lived alongside of, learned from and enjoyed Spock.


The book also describes other projects that Nimoy was involved in, both as an actor and director. He directed movies from opposite ends of the spectrum, like Three Men and a Baby and The Good Mother. He also acted in a huge variety of films and plays. He played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Fagin in Oliver and Goldman in The Man in the Glass Booth. He also also appeared in the cast of Mission Impossible.


I learned a lot about Spock and Nimoy, and would recommend the book to anyone interested in Star Trek.



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