Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy's Journey to Becoming a Big Kid

( 33 )

Overview

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

Zombies in North London, death cults in the West Country, the engineering deck of the Enterprise — actor, comedian, writer, and supergeek Simon Pegg has been ploughing some bizarre furrows. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his enduring appeal and rise to ...

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Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy's Journey to Becoming a Big Kid

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Overview

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

Zombies in North London, death cults in the West Country, the engineering deck of the Enterprise — actor, comedian, writer, and supergeek Simon Pegg has been ploughing some bizarre furrows. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his enduring appeal and rise to movie stardom 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Word magazine
“Hollywood’s go-to geek talks about the chronicle of his passage through the lower-lying lands of popular culture.”
The Observer
“How did a geeky kid with a love of Star Wars end up a cult film hero working with Steven Spielberg? Simon Pegg reveals much more.”
Austin Chronicle
“Overflowing with alarmingly bang-on analyses of geek/nerd iconography from the Enterprise to the Death Star to Comic-Con, the Pegg's Tale, so to speak, is the kind of personal history you wish all your four-color heroes would write but generally don't.”
Ricky Gervais
"When the hilarious Simon Pegg asked for a quote for his book, I said no."
Michael Ian Black
“Simon Pegg is the nerdiest nerd ever to nerd out about nerdiness. Read this hilarious book, nerd!”
Kristen Wiig
"I read over 1 million books a year and this is the best book I have read in 15 years."
Word Magazine
“Hollywood’s go-to geek talks about the chronicle of his passage through the lower-lying lands of popular culture.”
The Times (London)
Nerd Do Well does the necessary job of telling Pegg’s story, but does so in an intimate manner.”
Time.com
“An anthology of childhood milestones and film analysis, Pegg's book isn't your run-of-the-mill celebrity tell-all.”
Slate.com
“A charming collection of stories”
Examiner.com
Nerd Do Well makes an ideal summer read. Pegg’s discourse on the merits and shortcomings of the Star Wars movies are worth the price of the book themselves. It’s everything that Patton Oswalt’s Zombie Spaceship Wasteland could have been but wasn’t.”
Wired.com
“Anyone over 13 who ever wrote middle-school-aged standup comedy, filmed stop-motion movies with their action figures, storyboarded Star Wars: Episode VII or mixed fake blood using corn syrup and food coloring will probably find a certain kinship with the writer of Nerd Do Well.
Publishers Weekly
In this memoir, Pegg, the British comedian-writer-director of the zombie film spoof Shaun of the Dead, admits that he is offering an account of his "journey from ordinary nerd to nerd participating in the world that made him nerdy in the first place," with an emphasis on the irony of how his childhood passions (Star Trek) have reappeared in his adult career (a role in the most recent Star Trek movie). But Pegg doesn’t even discuss Shaun—the film that brought him to the attention of U.S. audiences, and which most readers would want to know more about—until more than three-quarters of the way through his book. Up to then, his book is, unfortunately, a standard-issue celebrity bio: early childhood experiences (kissing), discovering a love for comedy and film, his college-era comedic efforts, etc. Between chapters, Pegg offers a fake autobiography—the one he says he really wanted write—about his life as a superhero with a robotic butler. But the fake story isn’t really that funny, and the real anecdotes aren’t really that interesting. (June)
Library Journal
This is the latest contribution to a proliferating and increasingly annoying genre that this reviewer likes to call (g)eek lit, in which famous nerds like Kevin Smith, Olivia Munn, and now Pegg write memoirs for their San Diego Comic Con entourage because, well, because they can. English comedian, actor, writer, director, and producer Pegg may be the most talented of the lot. Best known in this country for starring in the cult favorite Shaun of the Dead and in Hot Fuzz and for playing Scotty in the 2009 Star Trek, Pegg here indulges fans with his preoccupation with zombies, Star Wars, and comedy and stories of working with Nick Frost, Jessica Hynes, and Edgar Wright. Interlaced throughout Pegg's text is an incredibly lame sf story featuring Pegg's superhero alter ego and his robotic butler. Interestingly, this is probably the only (g)eek lit with footnotes. VERDICT Sure to be popular with the phalanx of fanboys who will don full Shaun and Scotty regalia in Pegg's honor at this year's Comic Con; still, "Scotty, we need more power!"—Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX
Kirkus Reviews

The book debut by the comedian and actor responsible forShaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz is likely to please the author's following but not necessarily expand it.

Too many books from those known for their comedy seem to recycle standup routines and collect miscellany. By comparison, this reads like an actual memoir by an actual writer—albeit one who intersperses more conventional memoir with chapters in which he recasts himself as a futuristic superhero with a mandate to save the world. While the chronological hopscotch through Pegg's memory provides plenty of insight into and evidence of his comedic sensibility, his focus on his childhood, and the rites of passage that most experience, makes the results somewhat less compelling than a memoir with more of his professional experiences might have been."I'm just not that interested in dishing the dirt, and besides, I don't really have that much dirt to dish," he writes, before concluding that "the truth is, the most interesting stuff to write about, and hopefully to read, took place as a prelude to the whole showbiz malarkey." Readers needn't be obsessed with "dirt" to suspect that "the whole showbiz malarkey" might have involved experiences more revelatory than the typical accounts of prepubescent romance and adolescent sexuality, and quite a bit about swimming pools and life guarding. Beyond the chronicling of his decades as a "zombie virgin," there is plenty of evidence that the filmmaker is also a film geek, from his boyhood crush on Carrie Fisher through his acknowledgment of not only George Romero but Mel Brooks, the Coen brothers and Woody Allen as seminal influences.

Pegg acknowledges his editors for "helping shape my somewhat shapeless train of thought into, of all things, an actual book," and this proves to be an actual book with a voice that sounds authentically like its author's.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592407194
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 274,146
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg is an actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and author. Best known for his roles in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced, and Paul, he also played Scotty in Star Trek (2009). Simon lives in London with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

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(25)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2011

    Great+read+for+any+fan

    I%27m+a+fan+of+Mr.+Pegg+and+this+is+a+great+addition+to+the+impact+he%27s+left+on+the+world.+A+great+read.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Great Insight to a Great Mind

    Wonderful storytelling as per usual with Simon Pegg. A must for any fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Fun read, but not what you would expect

    An interesting look into Pegg's childhood but those looking for Shaun of the Dead memoirs should check out the special features on your blu ray instead. This is more of a background into Pegg's past, mostly childhood, and a neat look at growing up in England which I found to be interesting. The fiction bits with Pegg as a secret agent are great and should be a standalone product.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Best Bibliograpy I've Read

    Really interesting story, as a geek I could totally relate! Following two plot lines, Pegg's fantasy and real story, he balances humor and seriousness perfectly while providing educated insights. Truly a good read!

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    great

    Very entertaining and a great read for anyone who likes Simon Pegg.

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  • Posted December 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    Loved this book. Laughed out loud throughout. Anyone who is a fan of Simon Pegg, his movies, the culture of sci-fi geekdom, and/or various bits of BBC comedy from the last decade or so will enjoy Nerd Do Well.

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

    Posted June 29, 2011

    Amazing Book

    I love Somon Pegg and this book completes me, when i first read the book i laughed so hard and it stuck with me fir the whole time, if you love Simon or wish to meet him and get into his mind this is the book to get!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

    Fantastic!

    Really enjoyed this. I'm a huge fan of his, and it was interesting to read about what brought him to the world of comedy and film. I always suspected he was smart, I just didn't know HOW smart he is. Be aware: even though this is an autobiography, he still remains a bit private, which I can appreciate. I found myself wanting to read more when I got to the end. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

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    Posted December 2, 2012

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    Posted June 18, 2011

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