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Nerd Do Well Paperback – 9 Jun 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (9 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099551551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099551553
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"hilarious, inventive and anarchic" (The Times)

"A beautifully written and very funny account of how a normal but very talented bloke who loves TV, comedy and films ended up a huge TV, comedy and film star. Truly heartwarming stuff" (heat)

"An enjoyable romp through Pegg's first stabs at comedy and theatre. And for fans of Spaced, his rant at George Lucas for messing up his Star Wars legacy will be worth the cover price alone" (News of the World)

"Extremely funny ... As charming as the man himself!" (Grazia)

"Fascinating ... an enjoyable read" (Observer)

Book Description

The unique life story of one of Britain's most talented and inventive comedians, star of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Star Trek

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Board VINE VOICE on 1 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Like most fans of Simon Pegg, I first discovered him and his work with the seminal sitcom "Spaced" he co-wrote and co-starred in with Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson), and ever since I've been delighted to see him and the phenomenally inventive director Edgar Wright create some of the funniest and best-made films around ("Shaun Of The Dead" and "Hot Fuzz"). With this autobiography, I was eager to read the behind-the-scenes journey of how Pegg ascended from fan to creator and how these beloved shows and films got made.

Let me first say that there's much about this book that I really enjoyed. The majority of it focuses on Pegg's childhood and school career and there are some fond, well-told reminiscences of his early influences in theatre and comedy, teachers who inspired and spurred him on, and even his first faltering steps into sex and romance (including a sweetly-told anecdote of his love for a French exchange student), along with a colourful general background of growing up in Gloucester.

We also get a few mini-essays, in which Pegg goes off on a tangent to share his often insightful thoughts on, say, the cultural significance of the original "Star Wars" trilogy or the symbolic meaning behind zombies in classic horror films.

However, there's also much about this book that disappointed / frustrated me, and will probably disappoint a lot of other Pegg fans.

Firstly, the narrative is wilfully scattershot, jumping back and forth a lot, which makes it hard to keep track of when we are in Pegg's life and what happened in which year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Party Marty on 13 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Perhaps I expected too much but I found this to be a bit of a disappointment. It's well-written, but the narrative is a little scattershot; bouncing around history, invariably repeating bits and pieces and never really concentrating on the stuff I suspect many of his fans want in focus. While autobiographies are, by their very nature, self-indulgent (a fact that Pegg admits early on), often I get the feeling that he wants to dwell too much on his childhood and not enough on the things that gave him a wider audience. I can understand that he'd rather reminisce about being a youngling than talking about the stuff he discusses all the time but, to be frank, his childhood isn't particularly out of the ordinary and is neither sombre nor hilarious. Plus, I got a little irritated by the frequent concept of "If I'd only known in 20 years time that I would get to meet the director of this film..." if only because it starts to get a little conceited.

Spaced, Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are skimmed over. What we get instead are sporadic chapters devoted to a "novel" that Pegg is, supposedly, writing. An interesting idea but, after a couple of entries, the jokes wears pretty thin and I invariably starting skipping them.

Don't get me wrong; there's some really nice stuff in here (a chapter on a frenchgirl he had a crush being the standout) but if you want Simon Pegg discussing "the things you saw him in", this isn't it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Over the last ten years Simon Pegg has risen from being a minor stand-up comic to one of the UK's most recognisable funny men, via the classic TV series Spaced and the movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. He's also become a sort-of ambassador and spokesman for geek culture due to his well-known love of all things SF&F (only don't mention the Star Wars prequels in his presence).

This autobiography is an interesting read but ultimately fails to entirely satisfy. Pegg himself seems to frequently cast aspersions on the project, pointing out that most celebrity bios are rubbish and a bit pointless. Whilst Pegg has certainly had an interesting enough career to cover in a book (moving from unknown stand-up to having Spielberg, Romero, Tarantino and Peter Jackson on his mobile phone contacts list), much of this 'interesting stuff' gets short shrift. Instead, the book focuses on Pegg's childhood, teenage years and upbringing in Gloucestershire.

Pegg writes engagingly, but eschews any type of chronological structure in favour of a thematic one, although this doesn't work well. As such the book bounces around the timeline of his life fairly randomly as he recounts various childhood incidents. Some of these are very funny, but the problem Pegg has is that he had a perfectly ordinary, middle-class upbringing in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite his strong geek credentials, he wasn't really a stereotypical geek at school either. Indeed, he was exuberant, out-going and arty, and even spent a brief period bullying younger and smaller children at school (until, not entirely unsympathetically, one of his victims grew up to be much bigger than him and eventually exacted revenge).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kane N. Lazenby on 7 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
having always been quite a fan of spaced, shaun and the like, i was quite excited to pick up simon pegg's biography, but its very insubstantial. i thought the first warning sign was when he mentioned he a, was very private and didnt like talking about himself, and b, he didnt have a burning desire to write a autobiography, it was more that the publisher offered.

a great deal (maybe 80-90%) of the book is based on his childhood, and uni years, and only a very slender amount towards the end actually covers the tv shows and movies that most people would be reading this book for. it just seems very sparse, yet padded.

i didnt hate it, it was funny, but i wasnt racing to pick it up either.
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