Nicholas Meyer's "The View From the Bridge"

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by HaplessCrewman, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. HaplessCrewman

    HaplessCrewman Commander Red Shirt

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    Just started reading this today.

    As a big fan of Meyer and his often witty comments, this was a must-buy. I have just now gotten up to the part where he begins to talk about ST II.

    Meyer breezes through how he got to Hollywood in the first third of the book. He seems acutely aware that fans are wanting to mainly read about Trek so he tries to get to it as soon as possible. He even breezes through Time After Time - which I wouldn't mind knowing a little more about.

    So far, I have yet to read anything he hasn't already spoken about in his DVD commentaries or his stage appearances.

    The one annoying thing is that he get some facts wrong. He thinks he started working on ST II in 1982. He thinks Dykstra and Abel did the drydock scenes for TMP, etc.

    So far Meyer is not nearly as as witty or entertaining on the page as he is on DVD or on the stage.

    Still a must-have for fans of his.
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Moderator

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    It arrived at Galaxy in Sydney this week! The two b/w pics I love the most are all-encompassing shots of the ST II Ceti Alpha V set (sand dunes near Khan's abode), and the Genesis Cave set.
     
  3. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Got mine from Amazon yesterday.
     
  4. Mark Boeder

    Mark Boeder Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Received mine last night and am now about half way through it. I have to agree with HaplessCrewman's comments -- there are too many typos and factual errors that, while probably honestly made, should have been caught before publication.

    I am curious to find out more about the falling out between Harve Bennett and Bob Sallin. This was the first time I'd heard about the rift that developed between the two of them on STII.

    So, not as enlightening as I had hoped, but still an entertaining -- if light -- read.

    - Mark
     
  5. KingstonTrekker

    KingstonTrekker Commander Red Shirt

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    I read the Trek chapters at my local bookstore (couldn't justify spending $30+ for this hardcover.) I found the book to be very underwhelming. Very few new revelations about "behind the scenes" Trek. The narrative is very superficial and, as others have noted, there are numerous typos and factual errors.

    Save your money.
     
  6. HaplessCrewman

    HaplessCrewman Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I'm up to The Day After.

    The book was esp. interesting during the Trek parts but nothing I hadn't heard before.

    Re: Bob Sallin. He does not sound like a nice man!

    Has anyone got up to the bit about Louis Malle yet? This is the book's most vivid anecdote so far.

    Meyer says there are 67 episodes of TOS. Yikes! Fact check, please!

    In Meyer's defense, who can remember what they were doing 27 years ago with any detail?
     
  7. Cuhl

    Cuhl Captain Captain

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    I browsed through it at the bookstore today. What's the distinction he's making when he says that he and Shatner are both vain, but not egotistical?
     
  8. KingstonTrekker

    KingstonTrekker Commander Red Shirt

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    If I remember correctly (I read the book quickly) he stated that Shatner "the man" was not egotistical or vain. However, he was very vain about the "Kirk character" and how the character was depicted on-screen. I took this to mean that Meyer is also vain about the final product that appears on movie screens when he is directing.
     
  9. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Finished it. It's a relatively short and breezy book that will probably have a few people wishing for more in-depth material, and it could use a fact-check -- Meyer acknowledges this, sort of, by stating in the author's note that it's based on his memory, and then referring to the film Rashomon, a movie about the ways people remember a certain event. He gets the number of TOS episodes wrong, and he says the Klingons in ST VI had pink blood because he wanted some interesting weird colour, though IIRC other sources have said the Klingon blood was pink because red blood would have resulted in an R rating for the movie.

    There's not much new revealed about the making of the movies, other than the fallings out between various people behind the scenes, and discussions of who actually wrote what, and why the WGA put certain people's names in the credits for certain movies.

    If anything, the non-Trek material may be more interesting, because I basically knew Meyer as the guy who did a couple of Sherlock Holmes books (he talks about those a bit, but never mentions the third one) and a few Trek movies. I'd forgotten about his involvement with The Day After.

    I don't think it's an essential book for Trek fans, by any means, but it was well enough written and didn't overstay its welcome.
     
  10. Cuhl

    Cuhl Captain Captain

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    Thanks. I don't think I agree with Meyer that there's a meaningful difference there, but I think you're right about the point he was trying to make.
     
  11. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    Meyer's book was delivered on Friday, and by Saturday afternoon I'd finished it.

    There were quite a few factual errors -- fact checking would've been a good idea. Despite these flaws, however, I quite enjoyed the book. We don't often see the inner workings of the Hollywood machine through the eyes of a mid-level filmmaker -- we usually get the memoirs of a Huge Player. So, it was entertaining seeing that side of the entertainment industry.

    That's about it, really. It's a pleasantly-written memoir that keeps the reader turning the pages until the end. Then it's done.

    Sometimes, that's enough for me.
     
  12. Mark Boeder

    Mark Boeder Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Finished it last night. On the whole, I'd have to say I'm mildly disappointed for all of the reasons stated by the various posters above. I'm not really sure who this book is intended for, since I think both Star Trek fans and movie buffs in general will feel slighted. Most of Meyer's attention is given to his Star Trek experiences, but if you've watched the extras and listened to his commentaries on the DVDs, you are already going to be familiar with 99% of this. The remainder of his film work gets just a quick, cursory examination.

    So, a half-hearted recommendation from me. If you still feel a need to read it, I suggest waiting for the paperback, at least.

    - Mark
     
  13. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Canary Trainer was, I thought, rather dull. I wanted to like it, but it never gelled for me. (The unfortunate thing about The Canary Trainer is that its publication nearly scuttled Sam Siciliano's similar, and far superior, The Angel of the Opera.) I wonder if Meyer has similar feelings about the book.
     
  14. PaulSimpson

    PaulSimpson Writer/Editor Captain

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    That wasn't the impression I got from him when we were talking last month - the Holmes stuff won't get in the STM article (probably) but he certainly seemed happy with it (and helped me get hold of a copy!) I haven't read the Siciliano book - would you recommend it?
     
  15. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I absolutely loved Siciliano's The Angel of the Opera. Of the three Holmes/Phantom of the Opera crossovers I know of (The Canary Trainer, Angel, and a two-issue comic whose title I forget), Angel is by far the best. Like Laurie R. King would do a few years later in The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Siciliano creates a new narrator for the adventure; in this case, Holmes' cousin, Dr. Henry Vernet. Siciliano's Holmes feels right to me, despite the different narrator, and the plot hews much closer to the events of Gaston Leroux's novel than Meyer attempted in Canary Trainer. It feels authentic to me.

    Now I'm tempted to dig out my copy of Angel and give it another read. :)
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is it worth reading?
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I enjoyed it.
     
  18. ClayinCA

    ClayinCA Commodore Commodore

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    I thought it was great too. The only problem I had with it was that it seemed that in order to make his narrator a more fully-developed character, he has to keep disparaging Watson; there are constant references to Watson not being smart enough (in the narrator's opinion) or to not understanding why Holmes liked Watson so much. I didn't think this was necessary, and as I recall, the references got in the way of enjoying the scenes they were in.

    The book as a whole is fantastic, though, and well worth tracking down if you can find a copy.