Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder” by William Shatner with Joshua Brandon

Dear Reader: William Shatner is a national treasure, a link to “Star Trek,” Gene Rodenberry’s brilliantly imagined colonial space epic that created legions of fans. But, I implore you do not “Boldly Go” past chapter 3 of Bill’s latest tome. At 91, Bill has certainly amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge, but his penchant for self-promotion is the most notable feature of his latest foray into the literary landscape.

In the first three chapters you will read about Bill swimming with sharks, his theory (taken from Native American knowledge and ecologists alike) that everything is connected, his continual need to work, his love of animals and his family, and above all his own conceit in his ingenuity and curiosity. Unsurprisingly, none of his colleagues from “Star Trek” speak to him anymore. They felt he took up all the room, leaving their parts and income on the cutting room floor. He is an actor who seems best suited to solo shows, standing in front of an orchestra, intoning his “musical compositions” and feeling as if there were an “umbilical cord” between him and the audience.

For the first three chapters, you learn something about him. The death of his first dog is heart-wrenching and finely told. The rest of the book is pomp and circumstance with no literary flair. If you are a “Star Trek” fan, you may find some insights that speak to your soul, but if not, you might want to give the whole thing a miss and boldly go to the library for another book.

Emily Bryan, Ph.D, is an assistant professor at Sacred Heart University where she teaches courses in literature, writing, religious studies and theater. An active board member of Shakespeare on the Sound in Norwalk, Dr. Bryan is currently leading a collaboration between Sacred Heart University and the Untitled Othello Project.

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