When Simon Pegg was offered the opportunity to write his first book, he really hoped to write fiction about a suave, handsome superhero (named Simon Pegg) and his robotic butler/sidekick, and was disappointed that his publisher wanted something more real and personal. But he managed to get what he wanted too. The opening lines of this book are from the first installment of Simon Pegg's adventures, and that story continues at intervals throughout Simon Pegg's memoir. It's a fun device that showcases the work Pegg is best known for.
I've enjoyed Simon Pegg's performances in movies like Hot Fuzz
, and Star Trek
, and I knew hed been involved in creating and writing a lot of the work he's done. I also knew, largely via his Twitter feed (my husbands a huge fan), that he was One Of Us - a proud card-carrying nerd. Other than that, I didnt know much about him before I read this.
The nonfiction portions of Pegg's book are more traditional autobiography than what we recognize as memoir these days, although they're not presented in a strictly linear chronology and they're mixed with observations and critiques of nerd-culture touchstones, most notably the Star Wars
movies. As a graduate of drama school and a university theatre program, Pegg's reflections on the production aspects of popular entertainment are well-thought-out and informed; I got the impression hed shared long, intricate discussions with like-minded friends on some of the topics he analyzes here, as nerds tend to do. Pegg clearly enjoyed the opportunity to reminisce about his early life and formative experiences; his affection for those who shaped his path - and those who continue to influence it - comes across. He's less chatty and more " just the facts" when it comes to the more recent stages of his career, and seems to know that when his stories begin to verge on name-dropping, it's time to wrap it up (although he does seem to retain genuine wonder at some of the names his own success has afforded him the opportunity to drop).
I call celebrity memoir my guilty-pleasure genre, but it's much more pleasure and much less guilt when one of the things the celebrity in question is known for is writing (hey, scripts are writing too). Nerd Do Well
is humorous and engaging throughout, occasionally poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny in spots; as nerds go, Simon Pegg has done well indeed. And I hope hell get the chance to continue writing the adventures of Simon Pegg and Canterbury the robotic butler; I'd definitely see that movie.