Sunday, December 21, 2008


One would assume that Adam Nimoy wrote this book in an attempt to capture the audiences of two specific markets: The ‘Behind-the-Scenes Hollywood Tell-All’ and the ‘Bizarre and the Horrific Yet Somehow Humorous Memoir’. Of course, the key to writing for a specific market is to give that audience what it wants. This is where Adam’s book fails to deliver.

Behind-the-Scenes readers love to get the inside gossip behind their favorite movies and TV shows. Not only was Adam Nimoy the director of some widely popular and highly successful television programs (Ally McBeal and NYPF Blues), but as the son of the second-most recognizable cast member of the original Star Trek, he had an opportunity to give a unique perspective to the making of the most famous science-fiction show in US history. Considering the number of Star Trek memoirs available (I am Spock, Get a Life, To the Stars, From Sawdust to Stardust, Beam Me Up Scotty and Warped Factors, to name but a few), one more wouldn’t have broken the camel’s back. And considering that the Star Trek franchise simply refuses to die, it isn’t necessarily a bad horse to hitch your wagon to.

But Adam Nimoy doesn’t appear to want anything to do with that. He doesn’t exactly avoid discussing his father’s iconic role as Dr. Spock, but he only mentions it about as frequently as he would have mentioned his father’s vocation if had happened to by a plumber or taxidermist. He gives just enough of a taste to annoy any Star Trek fans who might have reasonably expected more.

It wouldn’t really appear that Adam was trying to sidestep his father’s shadow, except the place where such a familial connection should have been proudly displayed is conspicuously void of any mention. Neither the book’s title, nor it’s underwhelming cover, give any real clue as to who Adam Nimoy is. His last name is the only indication to the casual shelf browser of the most interesting thing about the author.

That list bit may seem harsh, but it is undeniably true. The ups and downs of Nimoy’s life, while well-written and somewhat entertaining, aren’t extreme enough to be terribly engrossing. Addiction to alcohol and marijuana isn’t exactly uncommon these days, and the same goes for people losing their jobs, wives, and self-esteem. That’s why most popular memoirists have survived lives that have been amazingly bizarre (Running with Scissors), side-splittingly funny (Me Talk Pretty One Day), or at least partially fictional (A Million Little Pieces). Adam’s life isn’t any of these. Maybe it would have been more along those lines if he had included more about his film and television experiences.

But maybe that is why he decided to label his book as an Anti-Memoir; because whatever you might be looking for in a memoir from a famous actor’s son, the odds are that you won’t find it here.

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