From Publishers Weekly
These interlocking essays on everything from a sadistic gym teacher and geeky after-class pastimes to obsessive romantic tendencies and a prom that wasn't the best night of the author's life are terrifically entertaining, although undoubtedly imaginatively amped up for maximum readability. Feig is the creator of the late-'90s sitcom Freaks and Geeks, a sort of Wonder Years for the Dungeons and Dragons set. Much of the show was based on Feig's own childhood, and this memoir is, in a way, the show's literary equivalent. After Mr. Wendell, Feig's seventh-grade gym teacher, orders a bunch of big, mean classmates to pile on top of Feig and pummel him as he stumbles out of the locker-room showers, the author recalls, "They all started to get off me one at a time, laughing and congratulating each other on a job well done.... All I could do was stand there and think about the fact that this was merely the first day of gym class. Nine more months of pre-teen locker room torture awaited me." But Feig gets the last laugh. Blessed with the sensitivity that landed him in such trouble when young, he lightly slices and dices the social cunning of all the bullies unfortunate enough to enter his orbit. True to form, Feig's mini-hit was canceled after one season, leading to a futile mass uprising, including a full-page ad in Variety, from his fans, who were disenchanted by yet another of life's downers. It is that very audience who will adore this originally written, imaginatively comic missive.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Readers will find plenty to relate to in these true stories of teacher's pets, proms, and riding the school bus. The book succeeds because of the universality of the situations. Feig is not the first person to hate gym class, nor will he be the last, but he recounts his various experiences so vividly that a situation as common as snooping for presents in a parent's closet takes on an extra level of paranoia and humor. Most of the reminiscences are decidedly tame. The author panics when his school-dance date drinks a beer and panics again when he thinks that he might have to kiss her after the beer makes her sick-especially since he has never kissed a girl at all. Some of the stories read like a lighter David Sedaris-there is even one about Feig's stint as an elf, albeit in the first-grade Christmas pageant, rather than the Macy's of Sedaris's Holidays on Ice (Little, Brown, 1997). In fact, despite the subtitle, more than half the book takes place in elementary and middle school. Teens will find lots to laugh at and relate to in these tales of insecure geekdom, even though the events took place more than 20 years ago, in the time of Olivia Newton-John records and polyester pants.
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Jamie Watson, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.