Similar to Tina Fay’s Bossy Pants, William Shatner’s Shatner Rules might possibly be better in audio than written form. Narrated by the great Captain Kirk himself, the audio version feels as if you’re watching a personal interview with Mr. Shatner. Whether reading or listening, if you’re in the mood for a humorous, informative biography on a TV legend, this is the book for you.
When one thinks of William Shatner, it is likely that his role as Captain James Tiberius Kirk on Star Trek comes to mind first. In this, his thirty eighth book (yes, you read that correctly), we get a glimpse of the many diverse sides to Bill Shatner, as he prefers to be called. We learn that he is an avid horse lover, a devoted grandfather, a former vegetarian, and a novice in the art of deep fat frying turkeys. He has never earned a paycheck for anything other than entertaining and performing, yet the medias through which he has done such entertaining range from acting on TV and in movies, doing standup comedy, and performing in live theater, to singing with famous musicians such as Ben Folds Five, writing novels and autobiographies, and occasionally staring in the closing act at the Olympic Ceremonies.
The title of the book comes from the “Rules” <ding!> that run throughout the book for how to interact with Shatner should you ever meet him, as well as suggestions and wisdom for life in general. Examples: “Anything can be negotiated—as long as you’re not negotiating with your wife” and “If you don’t write your name on your lunch, I write ‘William Shatner’ on it.” Interlaced among the pages are also “Fun Factner’s” which consist of random, tangential antidotes, as well as sporadic quizzes on what the reader has just been taught. In other words, the book does not follow the template of a normal biography, with a chronological sequence of events. Rather it is a book that lends itself to reading in short snippets of time or by randomly opening to any given section. A warning though—while one may intend to only read for a short period, readers are liable to get sucked into Shatner’s witty and charming writing style.
I would recommend this book—particularly the audio version—to anyone who enjoys biographies on famous people. You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to get a kick out of this book. If you like Shatner Rules, you may also enjoy Bossypants by Tina Fey, Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox, and Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher.