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.
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