Review: Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History by Robert Greenberger

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Star Trek: The Complete Unauthorized History by Robert Greenberger is a long book. A really long book.

As a Trekkie, I enjoyed it and learned a lot of the behind the scenes of Gene Roddenberry‘s life with Star Trek. I’ve read many books on Star Trek’s history and this one gave a lot of detail into the history of how Star Trek was created, Gene’s life during the series, all the seasons of The Original Series and the shows following (The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise) and of course – the fans.

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STAR TREK HISTORY

It gives a pretty good detail on Roddenberry’s vision of Star Trek and how it came to light. Like other Star Trek books, it talked about his pitch to the networks and the success and failures with the series. But this book does discuss the “other” side of Gene Roddenberry. This was the first book I’ve read that showed Roddenberry’s dark side. The other Trek books – unless it was his unauthorized biography – did not discuss Roddenberry’s extramarital affairs and conflicts with his crew and colleagues.

The book mainly focuses on The Original Series and smaller chapters regarding the other branches – The Next Generation, Voyager, DS9 and Enterprise. It even mentions a chapter on the reboot by J.J. Abrams – including a small section regarding Star Trek Into Darkness. The book gave light on the difficulties the series had – the cast, crew, writers, producers, etc. A lot of the information has been mentioned in other Trek books and biographies of the cast/crew, but they did have snippets of information that I was not aware of before.

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STAR TREK IMAGES

There were a lot of pictures in this book. I felt that it was a bit too much and some seemed misplaced. There was a lot of Star Trek products (from ThinkGeek) that seemed to be placed randomly throughout this book. Also, there were images that weren’t related to the chapter as well. I understand they want to show photos and products throughout Trek’s history, but it just seemed so random when I am reading about The Next Generation and seeing photos of The Original Series in the article. It’s as if they had extra images and just stuck them anywhere there was an opening.

There were images of Star Trek fans that I was excited about. There were several photos of Star Trek convention regulars (two convention friends of mine were in the book – Eric Hall and Luis Valentin) who were shown in the book. I geeked out on behalf of them.

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STAR TREK READING

This book was not an easy book to read. There was just so much information squished together and honestly, my eyes hurt a bit. Trust me, I read a lot of books – that is my field, but it just seemed so cluttered. There was just SO much information and they did not format it well to make it easy on the eyes. The side insert stories was a bit difficult to read as well due to the font color contrast to the background.

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OVERALL

This book did give a good history lesson of the Trek franchise in general. It mainly focuses on the franchise – the films, TV series, conventions, merchandise and the background of it. There is NO information on the story lines of the characters or the history of the characters. This is mainly a history of how Trek came to be and is. I felt like they compact the information all together and then added a bunch of photos/images everywhere. It’s a long read, but the photos are cool. Random, but cool.

Grade: B-/C+

Laura Sirikul

Trekkie. Jedi. Whovian. Sherlockian. Hobbit. Sanrio. Comics. I am Spartacus. Warrior Princess. Superhero. Nerd. Follow me @lsirikul

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