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Dancing Barefoot 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596006747
ISBN-10: 0596006748
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Short but sweet, a highly recommended addtition to anyone's bookshelf - Trekker, Trekkie, geek or otherwise - we can't wait for his next book!" - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, July - Linux Format Top Stuff Award

From the Author

There are five stories, spanning 30 years, in these pages. They originally appeared on my website, WIL WHEATON DOT NET.

I liked them so much, I intended to include them in Just A Geek, but they didn't fit. So they get to live here, with some wonderful illustrations to keep them company.

Some of them are funny, one is very sad, one is pretty damn sentimental, but they are all true. I wrote them shortly after my 30th birthday, as I looked to my past in an attempt to understand my present, and not fear my future.

I gave birth to this book when I wrote it. By reading it, you give it life. Take good care of my babies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596006748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596006747
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wil Wheaton's successful acting career began in 1986 with acclaimed roles in Stand By Me and Toy Soldiers. He continued to build his resume through his teen years as series regular 'Wesley Crusher' on Star Trek: The Next Generation and opposite Robin Williams in Flubber. But Wil is much more than just an actor; he's an author, blogger, voice actor, widely-followed Twitter user, and a champion of geek culture.

Wil currently splits his time between acting and writing. In 2010, he joined the cast of Eureka as Doctor Isaac Parrish, and recurs as Sheldon Cooper's nemesis, Evil Wil Wheaton, on The Big Bang Theory. He's published three acclaimed books: Just A Geek, Dancing Barefoot, and The Happiest Days of Our Lives. His latest books are Sunken Treasure, The Day After and Other Stories, and Memories of the Future, Volume One. All of his books grew out of Wil's immensely popular, award-winning weblog, which he created at WIL WHEATON dot NET and currently maintains at WIL WHEATON dot NET: in Exile.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you've read the other reviews, you've probably noticed that a lot of them plainly admit that they gush about Wil's book because he's "one of us." But I personally put more stock in comments such as, "he's a very compelling writer." So the question is, is he?
The answer I have for you is this: if you can rip out the sentimental, sugary 4th story -- which is only 2 pages long -- it's a fine, fine book. That story, titled "We Close Our Eyes," is cliche and hamfisted. But even it reveals some talent: Wil paints a picture well. He might make a good screenwriter.
What about the rest of the stories? Yeah, there is a bit of cliche, rosy-colored-glasses fawning over his lost youth (sigh), but he does have a talent for words. I actually cried a little as I finished the first story, and it didn't feel cheap, as if he'd deliberately tried to get that reaction. Instead, it felt like I had read something real, and persuasive, and I felt genuinely affected by what I read.
The Spongebob Vegaspants story is much hyped, and doesn't fail to entertain. But there are also parts that tire me. For example, after William Shatner snubs Wil Wheaton, Wil talks to someone about it, and that person says nasty things about Shatner. Then Wil talks to someone else, who also says nasty things about Shatner. Then Wil talks to someone else, on an on, each person taking a pot-shot at Shatner. In the end, after Wil has written about how 10-15 of his friends think Shatner is a jerk, I had to wonder: am I reading a funny story or an attempt at character assassination? I was able to get through it, and there really IS a great story in there. But it took a bit of effort to overlook the more petty parts.
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Format: Paperback
The hardest thing to believe about "Dancing Barefoot" is that these are stories jettisoned from his upcoming book "Just a Geek". They scan like they were intended to be read together. The first four stories, vignettes really, tell of the universal feelings of love, loss, embarassement and acceptance. While the last story, "The Saga of SpongeBob VegasPants", brings it all together at a Star Trek convention.
"SpongeBob VegasPants" is the highlight of the book. It lasts more than half of the book's 117 pages and reveals more about the author than some autobiographies have done in five times as much space. Wil really has it all out here and the result is an honest, touching portrayal of a man coming to terms with a cultural phenomenon he loved and then betrayed him.
Wil grew up loving Star Trek. Just imagine being cast on a television show that puts you on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. For a geek, not many things can match that. In fact, your character, is the only one that legendary Star Trek creator ever named for himself (Wesley was Gene Roddenberry's middle name).
And yet, the writers couldn't really do much with your character. He soon became a 1 dimensional intergalactic know-it-all who would serve as a Deus ex Machina everytime the writers wrote themselves into a corner. The fans that didn't hate you at the start quickly join the chorus of "I Hate Wesley" and boo you offstage at Star Trek conventions.
This is where Wil came from. But it's not what Wil Wheaton is. He has become a very powerful writer, one who transcended his past and is now earning the respect of the people who booed him long ago while also picking up new fans.
That's the true power of Wil Wheaton.
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Format: Paperback
I have to admit, I love Star Trek the Next Generation, but didn't warm up to the Wesley Crusher character until got to know Wil Wheaton a little through his website....
Wil is a very funny, interesting, thoughful person with a fantastic wit, and an approachable writing style. "Dancing Barefoot" is a fantastic work, filled with interesting moments from a very interesting life. I laughed my guts out many times while reading Wil's book, and other times found myself in tears.
If you haven't read this book. you should. This book is a positive addition to anyone's life.
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Format: Paperback
(...) Tracing the loss of a favorite aunt, the awkwardness of teenage attraction, moments of stepfatherhood joy in a game of hide-and-seek, and a cold walk in the rain in the heat of newlywed bliss, the first four stories are well-written, a little too saccharine, and gave me pause to wonder what I'd spent my money on. The last story, "The Saga of SpongeBob Vegas Pants, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Star Trek" made me laugh out loud in public. It is clearly the strongest entry in the book, and indeed, takes up the majority of the slender text (about 70 of its 110 pages). Wheaton's sarcasm, vulnerability, and natural agility with the written word shine through the last story, and thoroughly justifies the purchase of this book. Whether you are a Star Trek fan (which I am not, but have friends who are...), a voracious reader of memoirs or aspiring memoirist (admitted), a Gen-Xer on the precipice of your 30s (which I am), or a fan of Wheaton's Blog (which I've become), I recommend "Dancing Barefoot."
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