I wonder if William Shatner holds the record for the number of autobiographies. I’ve read and enjoyed them all. This latest is a tongue in cheek and yet earnest look at the Shatnerverse. The book is structured as a list of rules to live by to live life to the fullest, as Mr. Shatner has.
That narrative jumps around the chronology of Shatner’s life, from the perspective of a man that, having reached 80 years old, knows that end is much closer than the beginning, and isn’t going to waste a minute of it. He makes fun of his rule to “Say yes” that has resulted in him being truly the busiest man in show business and an omnipresence. In the last year or so, alone, he has had a network sitcom, hosted two different TV talk shows, appeared on the talk shows of countless others, been roasted on Comedy Central, published a book, ran a foundation, recorded a heavy metal record, and taken to the Twitterverse.
I was surprised at how open Mr. Shatner makes himself, throughout the book. Sometimes the narrative has the voice of the uber-confident caricature of “The Shat” that he has cultivated, but sometimes it is the voice of an insecure man, as he admits that he is deathly afraid of being alone and takes criticism of his acting personally, because he has never had a job, since childhood, outside of performing. He talks about his back and forth struggle with living the last half century as “Captain Kirk” and jokes about his role as spokesperson for Priceline.com. He shares his love for horses, his pride at being a Canadian, and the pain of finding his wife drowned in the swimming pool. He talks about his love for deep frying turkeys and explains his penchant for performing songs in spoken word.
Shatner Rules is a funny and insightful book, and I hope he has at least three autobiographies left in him.