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Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise [Hardcover]

Wil Wheaton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 July 2004

Wil Wheaton has never been one to take the conventional path to success. Despite early stardom through his childhood role in the motion picture "Stand By Me", and growing up on television as Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", Wil left Hollywood in pursuit of happiness, purpose, and a viable means of paying the bills. In the oddest of places, Topeka, Kansas, Wil discovered that despite his claims to fame, he was at heart Just a Geek.

In this bestselling book, Wil shares his deeply personal and difficult journey to find himself. You'll understand the rigors, and joys, of Wil's rediscovering of himself, as he comes to terms with what it means to be famous, or, ironically, famous for once having been famous. Writing with honesty and disarming humanity, Wil touches on the frustrations associated with his acting career, his inability to distance himself from Ensign Crusher in the public's eyes, the launch of his incredibly successful web site, wilwheaton.net, and the joy he's found in writing. Through all of this, Wil shares the ups and downs he encountered along the journey, along with the support and love he discovered from his friends and family.

The stories in Just a Geek include:

  • Wil's plunge from teen star to struggling actor
  • Discovering the joys of HTML, blogging, Linux, and web design
  • The struggle between Wesley Crusher, Starfleet ensign, and Wil Wheaton, author and blogger
  • Gut-wrenching reactions to the 9-11 disaster
  • Moving tales of Wil's relationships with his wife, step-children, and extended family
  • The transition from a B-list actor to an A-list author

Wil Wheaton--celebrity, blogger, and geek--writes for the geek in all of us. Engaging, witty, and pleasantly self-deprecating, Just a Geek will surprise you and make you laugh.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (2 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059600768X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007683
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.8 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 755,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"A cleverly constructed and vivid collection of memoirs with flashes of brilliant wit, this title betters even Dancing Barefoot." - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, Nov (top stuff award)

About 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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True tales from an actor's life 20 Jan 2011
In the Hollywood world, you rarely hear about failure stories. Everyone is very careful to project an image of success, even if they're wallowing in a deep depression. In that sense, reading this book is invaluable. It takes courage to break through the mold of what everyone around you is doing.

"Just a Geek" is a memoir that chronicles actor Wil Wheaton's uneasy relationship to Star Trek (easily the project he's most famous for, together with the movie Stand By Me), his decisions as a teenager that influenced the course of his life, and how it really feels like to be an actor in Hollywood (apparently it sucks). But it's really much more than that. It's about making a big decision in your life and being haunted by the ghost of Proving to Everyone It Was the Right Decision. How badly would it suck to feel that the most professionally successful days of your life were when you were a teenager, too immature and stubborn to appreciate it? How do you deal with that once you finally become a (pretty cool) adult and find that no one wants to give you a job?

The only gripe I have about this book is that, in my opinion, he wrote it too soon. It was published in 2004, and when the book ends, it feels like the story is just starting. Since that year, he has achieved a lot of success. It would have felt more complete had he waited a bit beyond his late twenties to write this. Still, recommended for Star Trek / Wil Wheaton fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a lovely read 14 Jan 2010
By sherine
pretty much finished it in one sitting and believe that even if you arent a big star trek fan this would be interesting for you. this strips away the smoke and mirrors of hollywood and maneuveres around the realities of life.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank, honest, open and totally fascinating 1 Mar 2006
You have to feel sorry for Wil Wheaton at times. Here is a guy that seems to have been blighted by early success and fame only to be shot down to the ranks of just another actor in a field of thousands. This book covers a period in his life when he is reflecting on past glories and tells us of the inner emotional turmoil that he feels whilst trying to support his family and improve his Hollywood career. You really feel his pain at times when he recalls the many set-backs and rejections that he has faced.
The thing that impresses me most about this book is Wil's style of writing. It is frank and open, it peels back the veneer of an actors ego and exposes what he feels on the inside and you cannot help but feel for him as a result.
This is an excellent book, and I'd recommend it to geeks and non-geeks alike.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set phasers to: stunning! 3 Jan 2005
By A Customer
Whether you're a Star Trek TNG fan, a Stand By Me fan or simply a fan of the author himself, you owe it to yourself to buy this book. Wil's writing is deeply honest and self-deprecating. He's not afraid to show the reality of what it's like to be a struggling actor. Of having to make decisions that would mean the difference between the bills getting paid or losing his Star Trek credibility.
Ultimately, Just A Geek is a success story. It's about a man finding his place in world and allowing you to come along for the journey. I found myself laughing and crying in equal measure.
Thank you Wil.
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, genuine & well crafted read. 22 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wil Wheaton is just a great human being. If you liked him before you read this, you'll love him when you've finished it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars surprising! 5 Oct 2013
By Mouse
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a really good read! I liked stand by me, screamed shut up Wesley & love the cameos on Big Bang, but what a hoot of a book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read. 12 Aug 2013
By Jo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for a friend, but have to confess that I could not resist dipping in. The stories within are laugh out loud funny, touching and in some places just plain sob-worthy!. Loved it
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