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

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

4.5 33
by Simon Pegg
     
 

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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… See more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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)
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.
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.”
From the Publisher
"When the hilarious Simon Pegg asked for a quote for his book, I said no." — Ricky Gervais

“Simon Pegg is the nerdiest nerd ever to nerd out about nerdiness. Read this hilarious book, nerd!” — Michael Ian Black, author of My Custom Van

Nerd Do Well does the necessary job of telling Pegg’s story, but does so in an intimate manner.” — The Times (London)

"I read over 1 million books a year and this is the best book I have read in 15 years." — Kristen Wiig

“Hollywood’s go-to geek talks about the chronicle of his passage through the lower-lying lands of popular culture.” — Word magazine

“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.” — The Observer

“An anthology of childhood milestones and film analysis, Pegg's book isn't your run-of-the-mill celebrity tell-all.” — Time.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.” — Wired.com

“As promised in the title, Pegg lets his nerd flag fly, offering extended reflections on the inner workings of comedy and his own fannish obsessions. Sweet, funny and moving, Nerd Do Well is about what you’d expect from Simon Pegg. Yeah, it’s that good.” — Kirkus Reviews

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.” — Examiner.com

“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.” — Austin Chronicle

“A charming collection of stories” — Slate.com

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:
9781101529089
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/09/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
431,272
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

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."

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