• Joe Pace

Favorite Non-Fiction Books, #4: I Am Spock


I knew the Vulcans were behind Apple

In 1975, Leonard Nimoy wrote an autobiography entitled "I Am Not Spock". In what he believed to be his post-Star Trek days, he was distancing himself from his Vulcan alter-ego in an attempt to evade typecasting. Twenty years later, after the return of Trek to the big screen (with success in the even-numbered installments), he returned to writing with this book, a direct response to negative fan reaction to the title and general thrust of the first. While he expressed pride in his work as Spock in the first book, in this second effort he fully embraces him, engaging in dialogue with the science officer and exploring his own life through the lens of Spock.

Captain Kirk has always been my favorite Trek character, and Shatner (though easily lampooned) was a gifted actor. But Nimoy was a breed apart. A talented performer, he was also a voracious and broad reader, deeply curious about the world. He opens up in "I Am Spock" about his struggles with addiction, troubles in his family life, and how hard he worked as a New York Jewish kid to make it in mid-20th century show business. And make it he did. Trek aside, Nimoy directed the highest grossing American film of 1987 (guesses welcome in the comments below). He also had a robust theater career including the roles of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and many many others. And of course, perhaps most importantly, he was the voice of Galvatron in the iconic 1986 Transformers animated movie.

Nimoy was a singular individual, and when he passed in 2015 the world lost a great voice, a great actor, and became a little less fascinating. But with so much of his work to watch and read, I daresay we'll remember.

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