Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Nerd Do Well

Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy's Journey to Becoming A Big Kid by Simon Pegg

Age Group: Adult
Format: Hardback, 384 pgs
Published: June 9, 2011 by Penguin (US release)
Source: Library


The unique life story of one of the most talented and inventive comedians, star of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Star Trek.

Zombies in North London, death cults in the West Country, the engineering deck of the Enterprise: actor, comedian, writer and self-proclaimed supergeek Simon Pegg has been ploughing some bizarre furrows in recent times. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his enduring appeal and rise to movie star with a dedicated following has been mercurial, meteoric, megatronic, but mostly just plain great.

From his childhood (and subsequently adult) obsession with science fiction, his enduring friendship with Nick Frost, and his forays into stand-up comedy which began with his regular Monday morning slot in front of his twelve-year-old classmates, Simon has always had a severe and dangerous case of the funnies.

Whether recounting his experience working as a lifeguard at the city pool, going to Comic-Con for the first time and confessing to Carrie Fisher that he used to kiss her picture every night before he went to sleep, or meeting and working with heroes that include Peter Jackson, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino, Pegg offers a hilarious look at the journey to becoming an international superstar, dotted with a cast of memorable characters, and you're rooting for him all the way.  

Mini-Review: An autobiography that's as endearing and hilarious as Simon Pegg himself. A must-read for geeks everywhere. 

My Thoughts:

First, let me just say that I don't usually read non-fiction. It isn't one of those things I go looking for when I go to the bookstore, not because I'm not interested, I love history and learning about other things, but I tend to gravitate toward fiction and escapism when I read. That being said, I love Simon Pegg too much to not read a book about about him, especially one in his own words, and, boy, was it worth it. I don't know that I'd recommend it to people who don't geek out over movies like Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, and Paul just because he's a geeky guy and you'd have to know and love his work in order to fully appreciate the book, but if you're a fan, I'd definitely give it a read.

The book is mostly about how he came to fame, rather than a look at what he's done since becoming so popular (in his home country and here across the pond), and I like it even more because if it. We get to see who he was as a child and how he came to be a hero to geeks everywhere, working with his long time idols. It's a great story, and hilarious as well. Not just because Pegg is a comedian, but because he felt the need to work a little fictional version of his life in as well, an alternate Pegg who is really a rich bachelor and superhero in disguise with a robot butler/best friend.

If you know Pegg and know his humor, then this book is exactly what you would expect from him. And, yes, it comes with pictures. So for those of you who geek out over Simon Pegg, whether it be as Shaun or Detective Angel or even Scotty from the new Star Trek reboot, I highly suggest getting to know him a little better and picking up a copy of this incredibly comical autobiography. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Visit the author online.
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


Alexandra Shostak said...

OMG Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are two of the funnest movies I've ever seen. I don't usually read nonfiction either, but when I do pick it up I gravitate towards things like this, or up-beat memoirs. I'll have to give it a look. Thanks for posting about it or I never would have known this existed! :)

Amanda J. said...

I know, right?! Hilarious! You should watch Paul; it's the same guys doing a scifi movie hehehe. :)


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