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

Wil Wheaton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 387 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0596806310
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR3OE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,069 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
147 of 153 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for Star Trek fans September 6, 2004
Format:Hardcover
If you wish you could be a famous actor like Wil Wheaton, after reading this book you might understand that being a famous actor is not all cracked up to be. This is a guy who has had a hit movie and a hit TV show. Not many actors can claim one of each, and yet, he suffers the life of a "has been" and doesn't enjoy the riches we all think famous actors of hit stuff enjoy for a lifetime.

This guy has impressed me with his brutally honest autobiography. The people and industry he speaks of are the people you and I are likely to have heard of. It's the kind of stuff that could get you kicked out of Hollywood for good.

Why would anyone want to read an autobio about a guy on a couple of hit shows who is a blogger? I can't answer that, but I can tell ya it is great reading. The people who would like this book are geeks, bloggers, Star Trek fans, famous people fans, actor wanna-bes, parents with step-kids, and Shatner haters.

Despite his being celebrity, he's a guy who faces problems many of us do. Financial, a difficult ex who is no help with the kids, balancing a career and family, and finding the right job.

His writing style is candid, conversational and comes across like a friend who is talking to you. Since he and I are parents, must mention that he uses a few cuss words. If you like his blog writings, you'll like this book - without question. However, if you've read every blog entry he has done, you've read most of this book. Furthermore, if you've read Dancing Barefoot, you've caught about a chapter's worth of this book.

Trek fans, don't expect an entire book on his life as Wesley. Wheaton, the actor fans, don't expect an entire book about acting although it covers a bit. WWdN, you're getting exactly what you see in his blog.
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129 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what you would expect June 28, 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book is a frank, straight up look into Wil Wheatons life and transformation from actor, to writer (and believe me there is a lot that happens in between that transformation). I highly recommend this book, whether you are a Star Trek fan or not, its a book about simply being a loving, caring, individual.
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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Non-Trekkies Will Warm to Wil July 6, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Although Wil draws on his experiences during and after Star Trek for this book, it's not a celebrity memoir or similiar plea for attention. Just a Geek is a real-world story of one guy's struggles to be a good person/husband/father/actor/blogger/geek -- basically what we all deal with to some degree or another -- but funnier than heck. Wil Wheaton has great comic timing and a refreshing willingness to poke fun at himself and his mistakes.
And even though Trek isn't all this book is about, if you've ever attended a SF convention or watched Trekkies read this book for a glimpse of the actor's lives behind the scenes.
I never bother to get writers to sign their books, but if I ever get the chance to meet Wil, I'll ask him to sign my copy. Brilliant stuff.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just a Geek February 7, 2005
By dbltall
Format:Hardcover
The back cover of Just a Geek, by Wil Wheaton, says "Biography/Science Fiction", which makes it sound as if it were going to be something like "I, Robot". But this is not a book about Star Trek, although Wheaton does discuss the time he spent playing the character of Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation". It's not a typical Hollywood celebrity gossip book, either. For a former child star, Wheaton seems to have led a life remarkably free of drug problems and felony convictions. What it is, is an insightful, humourous, beautifully written look at Wheaton's journey from, as he puts it, "That Washed Up Guy Who Used To Be An Actor When He Was A Kid" to "That Guy With The Cool Weblog Who Is Just A Geek Like The Rest Of Us".

By turns hilariously entertaining and deeply moving, Wheaton with brutal honesty shares the pain of pursuing his increasingly unsuccessful acting career, and his coming to terms with what Star Trek meant to him. It's a funny and bittersweet account of his growing up, his discovery of the power of blogging, his love for his wife and sons, and his realisation that writing was what he really wanted to do. He intersperses excerpts from his weblog, ([...] a very effective way of showing us what he was thinking and feeling at the time. I found it thoroughly enjoyable to read, and I'll be looking forward to his future writing.

The back cover also shows Wheaton at his desk. The books visible include "Running Linux" and "Learning Perl", and there is a stuffed Tux perched jauntily on top. Writer, actor, poker player, husband and father, Wil Wheaton is also a Linux geek and proud of it.

Mariette
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wheaton has found his niche... August 4, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Yesterday I had a package from O'Reilly awaiting me on the porch. It was Wil Wheaton's Just A Geek. Since I've been doing little but reading and reviewing tech books of late, I decided to take a break and dive into this one. I am so glad I did. It's quite the read...

Wheaton, as many probably know, played Wesley Crusher in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation and starred in the movie Stand By Me. He was a teen actor at that time, and decided that TNG was holding him back from moving on to feature films. When he left the series, little did he know that his acting career would never be the same. He resented and hated how people defined him as Wesley, not as Wil, and struggled hard with what role TNG should have in his life. During that angst-ridden time, he got married, became a father to two stepchildren, struggled to find acting jobs, and most importantly, started a blog before blogs were all the rage. His site, [...] became a hit and attracted a loyal following. While many readers were trekkies, there was also a large audience of people who visited due to his writing, his comedy, and his ability to open up his life and share his feelings and struggles with others. This book tells the story, through blog entries and vignettes, of his transformation from child actor to budding writer.

The style is raw, comedic, emotional... While most of us don't come from his background, all of us can relate to the constant companions of Doubt and Self-Loathing, two creatures who question our every move and live to make sure they're having more fun than we are. I'm not a big Star Trek fan, and mostly got this book due to having some fellow colleagues who know Wil. After reading the book, I've added his site to my list of must-read blogs and look forward to reading his other book.

Wheaton has found his life's calling... he's a writer. And those of us who are his readers are better because of it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Wheaton's writing style is easy to read and I enjoyed the story. I learned about some of my favorite Star Trek actors in a way you wouldn't hear about otherwise. Read more
Published 13 days ago by A. Holden
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent insight into an actor that many people only know ...
An excellent insight into an actor that many people only know from one early role. He's much more than that. And a geek too.
Published 2 months ago by C. Levenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a geek - eloquent author and clever punster, too!
Wil Wheaton is a man for all seasons. I "knew" him from "Stand by Me". Then re-met him as Wesley on STNG. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. H. K.
1.0 out of 5 stars Entitled and Arrogant
I didn’t do my homework on this book and thought it would be a fascinating read about Will Wheaton’s early life, including behind-the-scenes stories from his days on Star Trek. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul
4.0 out of 5 stars Great peek into WW
This is a great book which gives insight into what drives Wil Wheaton to do what he does. He loves being able to share himself and open himself up to his fans. Good read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wil Lover!
I should preface this review by telling you I am a big Star Trek fan, I am also a Star Wars fan, yes it is possible to be both. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Whatwillshereadnext
5.0 out of 5 stars The Struggles of a Nerd Like Everyone Else
I'll start by being honest - I didn't ~read~ this book, I bought it, then discovered via Wheaton's Twitter there's an audiobook version, and then listened to that at work instead. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sparkey
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Enjoyable Read. :)
I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Wheaton's writing, but I am certainly a huge fan of his acting (predictably from Stand By Me & most of all as Wesley Crusher). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Melanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
One of the few books in my life that not only felt true but made me laugh out loud several times. After this read I kept my eye out for more books by Will. Read more
Published 7 months ago by oktarb
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare gem
It's not very often that I trip over a book, that drags me in like this one has.
You'll find yourself laughing, crying, scratching your head but most of all - smiling! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Casper Petersen
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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.

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