Just a Geek: Unflinchingly Honest Tales of the Search for Life, Love, and Fulfillment Beyond the Starship Enterprise

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Overview

The story begins in the summer of 2000. When asked by a waitress, "Didn't you used to be an actor?" Wil Wheaton realized that he'd become what he'd always feared: "I was a has-been. I 'used to be an actor' when I was a kid!" In the spotlight for nearly his entire childhood, Wil starred in the movie Stand By Me at the tender age of 12 and grew up on television as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But after Star Trek, the roles he expected didn't materialize, leaving Wil to grapple with the big ...
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Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise

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Overview

The story begins in the summer of 2000. When asked by a waitress, "Didn't you used to be an actor?" Wil Wheaton realized that he'd become what he'd always feared: "I was a has-been. I 'used to be an actor' when I was a kid!" In the spotlight for nearly his entire childhood, Wil starred in the movie Stand By Me at the tender age of 12 and grew up on television as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But after Star Trek, the roles he expected didn't materialize, leaving Wil to grapple with the big questions: could he avoid the pitfalls that typically befall a child star, create a real life, and define success on his own terms? Just a Geek is the story of how Wil faced down his constant companion, the ghost he calls "Prove To Everyone That Quitting Star Trek Wasn't A Mistake." The key to banishing that ghost turned out to be the weblog, or online journal, that he launched in 2001 at wilwheaton.net. On his weblog, Wil shared -- with stunning and fearless honesty -- his real life: the struggles of being a working-class actor, the joys of being married and raising two stepchildren, and the experience of growing up on the Starship Enterprise. The kid actor was now a writer too, with an audience of nearly a million readers a month. Not the usual celebrity biography, Just a Geek fleshes out the stories that started on the weblog. Wil takes you with him to auditions, to Star Trek conventions, to his living room, and into the deepest reaches of his soul. Along the way, he realizes that he's happy to be...Just a Geek! Both funny and poignant, the book chronicles Wil's journey to rediscover himself and come to terms with what it means to be famous, or, ironically, famous for having previously been famous. Engaging, witty, and pleasantly self-deprecating, Just a Geek will surprise you and make you laugh.

From the author of "Dancing Barefoot"--blogger, geek, and "Star Trek: The Next Generation's*" Wesley Crusher--comes his own personal story, to be promoted in both traditional "geek" and entertainment and sci-fi circles.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596806316
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 298
  • Sales rank: 551,674
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Wil Wheaton may be one of the most unusual celebrities of our time. Born into stardom with the movie "Stand By Me", and then growing up on television as Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", Wil was in the spotlight nearly his entire childhood. Instead of burning out as a child star, he left fame behind and became a computer specialist in what Hollywood might consider the middle of nowhere: Topeka, Kansas. Now, Wil considers himself "just a geek", and both Dancing Barefoot and the forthcoming biography Just a Geek are about his journey in rediscovering himself and coming to terms with what it means to be famous, or, ironically, famous for being previously famous.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
A Note to the Reader xvii
Introduction: This Monkey's Gone to Heaven xxi
Act I
1. Where's My Burrito? 3
2. WIL WHEATON dot NET 26
3. SpongeBobVega$ Pants 41
Breaking News: The World Has Turned 67
Act II
4. Stop Me if You Think That You've Heard This One Before 71
5. Last Place You Look 79
6. Balance 85
Act III
7. A Sort of Homecoming 93
8. April's Fool 132
9. Alone Again, or ... 137
10. "You're Gonna Be a Great Writer Someday, Gordie" 156
Act IV
11. The Wesley Dialogues 175
12. All Good Things 185
Epilogue: Hooters 2: Electric Boogaloo 223
Appendix A. The WWdN FAQ 225
Appendix B. Selected Interviews 237
Acknowledgments 263
Further Reading 267
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2004

    Wheaton writes for Everyman

    Wil Wheaton is best known for his teenage role as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek - The Next Generation. But after several seaons, he left. In part, as he explains here, because he wanted to branch out into other acting roles. Probably unlike most of you, I'd only seen a few episodes of TNG. I was familiar with his role and had assumed that he'd made a packet and was now quite well off financially. But this book disabused me. Wheaton gives a searing autobiographical narrative that expands upon his earlier work, 'Dancing Barefoot', and is far better written. In 'Geek', he fleshes out a lot of the backdrop to the first book, which in many ways is a set of disjointed essays. This book describes his travails in trying to find acting roles, especially back in TNG. Very revealing of how, even for someone with an accomplished record, rejections are so common. I've known people in Los Angeles who've dreamed of becoming professional actors, and also a few SAG members. None has even remotely equally Wheaton. Yet even at his level, it can be heartbreaking. He chronicles a series of failed auditions. All the while struggling to help support his family. Also poignantly, he regrets many times not staying with TNG for its full run. At the very least, it would have let him build a nest egg and so enabled less hardship later. In retrospect, his decision to leave was one of those fateful junctions in life. (The moving hand having written, cannot now unwrite, and all that.) Many readers will find much to identify with here. Even if you have nil interest in acting, his experiences speak to broader issues in life that so many have encountered and endured. Wheaton writes for Everyman.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2005

    One of the best biographies I've read

    I'm almost at a loss for words about this book. It truly is unflinchingly honest, and I think the amount of times I've laughed out loud and the times I've basically been reduced to tears because of it are about equal. It's an outstanding book, and I'd recommend it to anyone at the drop of a hat. If Wil Wheaton has any difficulty landing acting roles, he should feel safe knowing he could easily make a living as an author. Five stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2004

    Just A Great Book

    This book kept my interest so well that I read it in one sitting, something I've only done once before, with Stephen King's Misery. The book was funny, inspiring, sad and wonderful, all at the same time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Truthful, Telling, and Together

    Wil Wheaton's truthful tale in his blog and behind Star Trek: The Next Generation leads readers down the struggling reality of outliving past shadows. Honest and open, he let's us see what really happens behind the scenes and growing up during and after the Enterprise. This autobiography is certainly worth a read, even those that aren't Star Trek fans. Only four out of five because writing style was a little repeatitive after time, but still a delight none-the-less.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    A nerd's reveiw of wil weaton's 'just a geek'.

    Being a proven nerd myself. (Ecleast evreyone ive ever known or maybe not known has siad so.) I can relate to wil. And when i read this book ive found a number of sad and funny parts that i think you can relate to as well. This book is not just for us geeks as well. (Is there a diffrence beetween nerds and geeks
    ? Anyways.) I think other peaple can relate it more beacuse he is very 'down to earth' but very funny at the same time. As the cover tells this book tells boyond than just the USS enterprise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    Good

    Great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Honest and eye opening

    I really enjoyed this book. Well written and honest tales of life in the lime light and being a nerd

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Awesome!

    Great book, awesome stories!

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Book!

    Wil Wheaton's stories are excellently written and very touching. It's a great peak into the life of an actor as he changes roles to father and writer.

    My only complaint is that the ebook is not compatible with the Nook 2nd Edition.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 4, 2011

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    Posted June 6, 2011

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    Posted March 10, 2011

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    Posted September 14, 2011

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    Posted January 24, 2011

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    Posted July 16, 2011

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    Posted February 6, 2011

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    Posted August 12, 2009

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    Posted February 4, 2012

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    Posted August 22, 2011

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    Posted February 9, 2011

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