THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES T. KIRK

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Books as artefacts from fictional universes tend to rely on novelty to remain interesting. More often than not, things pretending to be ‘real’ starship manuals or magical bestiaries tend to break the illusion at some point as the needs of the story overrides the illusion. The Autobiography of James T. Kirk avoids this by taking itself 100% seriously and the same time by having its tongue rammed firmly in its cheek.

For a start, this book follows the adventures of the Shatner version of Kirk, rather than the movie reboot version. It’s also a fairly complete account of the good captain’s life, starting with Kirk talking about the circumstances of his birth and running all the way to just before his last mission (Spock provides a rather poignant epitaph at the end which is suitably both cheesy and profound).

David A. Goodman captures Kirks voice perfectly throughout, and the result is a clever, sardonic and insightful episode guide of sorts. The book, after all, is Kirk talking about how he felt about the various missions he was involved in and how they affected him personally. Goodman takes the opportunity to give Kirk closure at key points; Kirk comes to terms with the multiple deaths of those he’s worked with and so on.  This is a book written by a (fictional) older man looking back on his life with a wry sense of humour and decades of really weird experiences.

This is not a book for the casual fan; a strong familiarity of the source material is necessary to get many of the jokes and to understand where the captain of the Enterprise is coming from. For example, there’s an absolutely lovely snark at Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country which would make no sense to anyone who hadn’t seen it, but is one of the best gags in the book. 

The Autobiography of James T. Kirk is a lovely thing; it’s an entirely in-universe book that at the same time provides meta-commentary on what makes Star Trek such an enduring and endearing show. Lots of fun and highly recommended.

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES T. KIRK / AUTHOR: DAVID A. GOODMAN / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 11TH


 

Books as artefacts from fictional universes tend to rely on novelty to remain interesting. More often than not, things pretending to be ‘real’ starship manuals or magical bestiaries tend to break the illusion at some point as the needs of the story overrides the illusion. The Autobiography of James T. Kirk avoids this by taking itself 100% seriously and the same time by having its tongue rammed firmly in its cheek.

For a start, this book follows the adventures of the Shatner version of Kirk, rather than the movie reboot version. It’s also a fairly complete account of the good captain’s life, starting with Kirk talking about the circumstances of his birth and running all the way to just before his last mission (Spock provides a rather poignant epitaph at the end which is suitably both cheesy and profound).

David A. Goodman captures Kirks voice perfectly throughout, and the result is a clever, sardonic and insightful episode guide of sorts. The book, after all, is Kirk talking about how he felt about the various missions he was involved in and how they affected him personally. Goodman takes the opportunity to give Kirk closure at key points; Kirk comes to terms with the multiple deaths of those he’s worked with and so on.  This is a book written by a (fictional) older man looking back on his life with a wry sense of humour and decades of really weird experiences.

This is not a book for the casual fan; a strong familiarity of the source material is necessary to get many of the jokes and to understand where the captain of the Enterprise is coming from. For example, there’s an absolutely lovely snark at Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country which would make no sense to anyone who hadn’t seen it, but is one of the best gags in the book.

The Autobiography of James T. Kirk is a lovely thing; it’s an entirely in-universe book that at the same time provides meta-commentary on what makes Star Trek such an enduring and endearing show. Lots of fun and highly recommended.

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES T. KIRK / AUTHOR: DAVID A. GOODMAN / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 11TH

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