Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2018 October 26 • Friday

David A. Goodman's The Autobiography of James T. Kirk: The Story of Starfleet's Greatest Captain is startlingly good. This is fan-fic gone pro, I guess. And it's so good that the only complaints this reader had were about very slight infelicities.

The book's title is one, particularly its subtitle. It's hard to imagine Kirk wanting that on his book, especially after the convincing portrait Goodman gives us of Kirk as a hard-working, scrupulous and modest person.

And there are a few other little things, such as Kirk's referring to the Enterprise as "it" instead of "she", and some very tiny solecisms that Spock shouldn't have been allowed to make. (His subjects and verbs would always agree.)

But really this is nitpicking. It's a wonderful book, sure to please fans of the real Star Trek (sometimes referred to as "the original series").

It has the best opening line, from Dr. McCoy's Foreword: "First let me just say, I'm a doctor not a writer".

The Afterword by Spock is the perfect conclusion and also manages to be quite touching.

In between Kirk tells his own story, folding in memorable episodes and movies along with otherw material, all of it convincing, presumably new and generated by Goodman though of course it may have sources unknown to me (the animated series, novels, comic books, etc.).

Kirk's relationship with Carol Marcus is particularly well handled.

Which reminds me, anybody with any interest at all in this should immediately read, if they haven't already, Erin Horáková's magnificent article "Freshly Remember'd: Kirk Drift", which is the greatest thing I have ever read about anything having anything to do with Star Trek as well as being an outstanding piece of writing.

You might wish to know how Goodman handles some of the really difficult areas of the Star Trek universe, such as the fifth movie...

Well, I won't spoil it for you but he does come up with an ingenious solution for including it as well as disposing of it.

Surprisingly great book! I wonder if there are other such books that are as good.