TR Review: Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg


?I’m going to go out on a limb and say we’re all pretty jealous of Simon Pegg. It’s a short limb, admittedly. But unlike some stars who claim they’re nerds (whether they’re telling the truth or not) it’s 100% obvious that the man is a nerd first and foremost, and no matter what his successes are, whether he’s starring in a loving spoof of zombie flicks, being part of the new Star Trek, or working with Steven Spielberg, he’s pretty much as awed and delighted at what he gets to do as any of us nerds would be. And if there’s one reason to read his autobiography Nerd Do Well, it’s that — how clearly thrilled he is to be doing all these things that would have blown his mind if he could have told his teenage self.

Now, if you’re looking for behind-the-scenes stories about Shaun of the Dead or Spaced, or the funniest things Nick Frost has ever said to him, Nerd Do Well has none of that. More than two-thirds of the book is devoted to his childhood and early experience with acting and comedy. The first chapter is mostly about his first sexual experiences. Plus, he jumps willy-nilly around his life, even within each chapter, so it’s a bit hard to keep track of what exactly happened when. However, it’s still immensely readable and a lot of fun. Maybe it’s because so much of the book is about his childhood, but it really feels like the story of a — well, a nerd that’s done well (sigh) more than a celebrity autobiography. I mean, Pegg is obviously so thrilled to have had the experiences he’s had, and humbled to meet his childhood/nerd icons like George Romero and Spielberg and George Lucas — that it’s hard not to want to clap him on the back and say “Well done!” after reading the book.

Like I said, if you want sordid details of his life or crazy behind-the-scenes stories of his works (again, besides his teenage sexcapades), Nerd Do Well is not your book. But if you want to read a book about a nerd who through talent, perseverance and a bit of luck managed to fulfill his nerdy dreams, then Nerd Do Well is a hell of a good read. You can order it here if you’re so inclined.