William Shatner’s latest book, Leonard: My 50 Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, will be released on February 16th, just a week and a half shy of the one year anniversary of Nimoy’s death. Surely this is an excellent marketing move by Shatner’s publisher, as Nimoy’s fans will be thinking of him as the anniversary approaches.
Yet I am reluctant to buy this book. I’ve read a few excerpts on Amazon.com, and there is some good, thoughtful writing in it as Bill , with help from David Fisher, recalls his half century of friendship with his co-star. I have no doubt that Bill loved his friend, and that Leonard loved him. We can see how they related through their similar religious and cultural backgrounds, and they were there for each other through good and bad.
Sadly, the takeaway from early reviews is the revelation that Leonard Nimoy “froze him out” from their friendship in the last few months of his life; only relating to Shatner on business matters concerning Star Trek. If this is true, it’s a tragic development. Unfortunately, Nimoy is not here to tell his side of the story, and we, as well as Shatner, are left to wonder Why? It’s a biting frustration that Shatner will have to live with, and it is a blow to all of our us who imagined that these two men were as devoted to each other as their iconic characters were. I hope Shatner will find solace in memories of the good times of their friendship.
But this revelation, and the fact that this book comes out so relatively soon after Nimoy’s passing, makes one wonder about Shatner’s motives here. Is it a true tribute to his friend or a quick money grab to bring Bill and his storied ego back into the spotlight? I truly hope it’s the former.
I won’t be buying the book, but I’ll be content to wait for it to come to the local library. And I give Shatner credit for baring his soul and his heartbreak over the loss of his friend, as well as for still having so many irons in the fire at age 84. (He’s even reconsidering playing Kirk again!) I wish him good health and happiness. If all the proceeds from this book went to charity, I’d snap it up, but for now, I think I’ve sent enough cash his way. Good Luck, Bill.