Customer Reviews: Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy's Journey to Becoming a Big Kid
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on October 19, 2011
I consider myself a pretty hardcore Simon Pegg fan. I, like many Americans, discovered him through Shaun of The Dead and ended up watching the majority of his other work and always enjoyed it (especially Spaced, which i believe is his best work).
As far as the book goes, it's pretty much for devout Simon Pegg fans (the kind that has listened to all his audio commentaries and still want more). The book is average. It has some funny stories and interesting info i never knew about the guy but like many mediocre biogrophies, the book focuses far too much on his childhood/teenage years (about 50-60% of the book actually). And i also found his chapter intros involving his robot servant to be more annoying than funny, although it had a few funny bits i guess.
I certainly dont regret reading the book, its a quick read as i easily finished it in 2 days. But I wish it focused more on his thoughts on the film industry and his career.

So all in all a decent read, but if you only know Simon from Shaun of the Dead or you're just a casual fan, you'll probably want to avoid reading this, however you should pick up the Spaced DVD.

Simon is a great actor/writer and i'm glad to see he's been getting more mainstream attention in America. Hes a intelligent/hilarious guy who's done some great work and i hope his success continues.

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VINE VOICEon August 10, 2011
While not exactly what I expected, Simon Pegg's memoir "Nerd Do Well" was an enjoyable read.

First off, it focuses on his earlier life. There is not a detailed recounting of the making of "Shaun of the Dead" or "Hot Fuzz" or even that much on his time working for the BBC pre-SotD. Those films, and others, are touched upon here and there, but only briefly and usually just to highlight the oddly coincidental things that Pegg connects from his childhood to his blossoming career, such as enjoying "Star Trek" as a youngster and then shooting a scene with Leonard Nimoy who tells him, "You are Montgomery Scott." Now if there were only some way he could go back in time to tell himself as a child that these things will happen...

I really enjoyed all the coincidences he points out. He makes it okay to geek out by example. One of my favorite aspects about "Shaun of the Dead" is all the foreshadowing or parallelism between the first twenty or so minutes of the flick and the rest of it.

Rather than stick to a strictly linear narrative tract, Pegg's stories or tangents really follow themselves to their logical end, jumping around in time from his childhood to wearing a motion-capture suit for a movie and back to his earlier life.

It seems Pegg is an intelligent, thoughtful, regular guy. Good news for his fans like me who imagine someday we'll get to hang out even though I don't attend ComicCon and won't ever be in the same building with him so there's no way I'd even be able to buy him a Cornetto, or Drumstick, as we say in America. Perhaps this book is only for his fans and then only for really big fans, and maybe that's intentional. I'm fine with that.

But wait. There's more: there is a sci-fi/super spy/mystery piece of fiction that is interspersed throughout the book every few chapters that is hilariously, intentionally bad and over-the-top. Pegg is the main character, an incredibly rich, muscled, handsome spy with a robot sidekick, a love interest who is bad but not totally bad, and an arch-enemy whose identity comes as a shock. As they say, it's worth the price of admission on its own.
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on June 13, 2011
If you're familiar with the cult film hits "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," seen him act in the mainstream flicks "Star Trek" and "Paul," or even heard of the TV series "Spaced," then NERD DO WELL will appeal to your senses since it is penned by none other than the star of these titles, Simon Pegg.

What Mr. Pegg has done with this work is blow everything you thought you knew about him out of the water. His love of entertaining people is present throughout this memoir, complete with a totally true life story where he is an action hero. Told with that "dry British humo[u]r," things you always wanted to know (making up hilarious scenarios or when he met his comedic partner in crime, Nick Frost) and a few you didn't are revealed in this pages as we travel with Mr. Pegg on his quest to become a comedic actor. But you're most likely reading this to relish in your inner nerddom, because, as the title does suggest, Simon Pegg is one of the biggest nerds out there. Think you have the knowledge about the real deal behind Luke Skywalker? Or have the know how on action movies? Chances are, Mr. Pegg and his dear friends know more than you.

Prepare to check real life out the door when you pick this book up as we travel to the final frontier, to a galaxy far, far away, all the way to a mystical place called England, where an adult boy waits for his next adventure.
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on January 8, 2011
Nerd Do Well does a nice job of giving a straightforward, autobiographical overview of the man behind many great comedies (like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz); above all else, I appreciated that it was written in a way that was both informative and hilarious. I have always enjoyed watching Simon Pegg in interviews because he is the kind of celebrity that is so missing today: down-to-earth, intelligent, polite, and genuinely funny as hell. Well worth reading.
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on July 22, 2011
I couldn't wait to enter into the controversy that surrounds this book, all due to someone's comment on the price. I'm not necessarily a 'Nerd' type, or a Sci-Fi 'Geek', although I do have an appreciation for the genres. (...and I love Simon Pegg's work.)
I discovered Simon Pegg through twitter. I had seen him in films, but it was through twitter that I truly became a fan. (Don't ask. It's too complicated and has little to do with this book.)
I purchase the hard cover print version, as opposed to the digital version, because of all the controversy. I'm glad I did, as there are pictures of Simon taken throughout his life. And I don't know if they're available in the digital version. (If they are, please leave a comment below.)
Shortly into the book, you get the idea that this is an entertaining Love Letter from Simon to all his childhood heroes. His self effacing nature only serves to endear him to you. He's the kind of guy you'd want to have a few drinks with at your local watering hole. He's clever and smart. And he treats his readers as equals. By that, I mean he doesn't dumb things down. He assumes that his American audience is now familiar with British sensibilities (by way of PBS's broadcasting of popular BBC programming here in the States)
I like that he tries to keep his films 'British'. For example, Shaun of the Dead forgoes any attempt to seduce American audiences with Hollywood-style tricks. And because of this, Shaun of the Dead is a better, more original movie.
It's a good and fun read for everybody. And if you've seen his films and TV shows, all the better for you.

Even if you've never seen a Simon Pegg's performances, you'll be entertained by this tale of a young boy who grows up to live his dream. Much to his own surprise!
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on August 20, 2011
I'm a huge fan of Simon Pegg's TV and movie work so I picked this up both out of interest and to support an artist I admire, so I'm sorry to give this a half-n-half review. The actual biography elements are interesting and well-written if a little bit disorganized. He still keeps you engaged and it's linear enough to track despite some time-line looping. My only real 'meh' moment with this book is the chapters that take up about half the total volume and are a fantasty novel, basically, written by Pegg. I think I can blame not being a boy, but the humor and style in the fantasy writing, where Pegg imagines himself to be a larger-than-life super spy sort of world traveling adventurer who gets girls by showing up, are completely uninteresting to me. The first few chapters I read through, willing to give them a try but they just aren't appealing to my sense of humor so by halfway through the book, I stopped bothering and skipped them all for the actual biographical content. Some women might think it's hilarious but I'm not one of them so be warned, ladies: you might be paying for half a book. On the other hand, that half is pretty darn good and while I've skipped half the pages, I don't actually feel cheated. You'll have to decide for yourselves if that's a fair deal.
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on June 21, 2011
There are very few television shows or films these days that I actually find amusing, most straying too far into lowbrow high jinks centered around arrested adolescence. Everything of Pegg's I've seen, however, manages to strike just the right balance between intelligent and irreverent, clever and crass. In Nerd Do Well Pegg gives readers a look at the upbringing and influences that shaped the sense of humor and talent we've all come to know and love through his work in films such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, and the rebooted Star Trek.

Early on Pegg notes that he doesn't find it easy to talk about himself and his family, yet he does so in such a candid, disarming way that the book reads much more intimately than I think Pegg believed he was capable of writing. Far from coming across like a stuffy memoir, Nerd Do Well has the feel of a casual conversation held while downing a couple of pints discussing shared experiences and influences.

As we were born the same year, it was fascinating to take a trip down memory lane and see how Pegg viewed many of the same movies (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Thing) and TV shows (Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky & Hutch) that I also grew up watching. Who'd have thought at the time a show like Starsky & Hutch would actually have such a deep impression on Pegg that he credits it with shaping his attitude toward the open display of affection between heterosexual men - what is now commonly referred to as the "bromance" - an attitude that anyone who's seen the films knows features prominently between the lead characters played by Pegg and Nick Frost in the films they've appeared in together.

It is also fascinating to read about the experiences Pegg, a self described super geek, has had over the years as his own star has risen meeting and interacting with childhood film heroes and actors he watched on television. From playing trivia in a pub with Gillian Anderson of X-Files fame, to finding himself living next door to Rob Morrow, whose show Northern Exposure Pegg was hooked on, to actually being asked by Steven Spielberg himself if Pegg wanted to appear in Spielberg's film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Pegg has had one overwhelming experience after another for someone who at heart is still just a fanboy.

And as if the wonderfully engaging biographical portions of Nerd Do Well weren't entertaining enough, interspersed throughout the book is a story penned by Pegg that follows the adventures of a billionaire philanthropist superhero and his robot butler/sidekick. I'm sure it's just a coincidence the hero's name is Simon Pegg. ;-)
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on February 2, 2013
I really enjoy the work of Simon Pegg and as such I enjoyed the book. However, if you at looking for a very detailed recounting of his experiences in Hollywood, movies, and television only you could probably skip the first half or more of this book. I found his recounts of his childhood to be heartfelt and entertaining as well as critical to understanding a fellow nerds obsession with sci-fi and fantasy. But the really entertaining stuff occurs in the recounting of his friendship to Nick Frost, his dealings with Hollywood elite, and the inspiration for certain things in Shaun of the Dead. It was entertaining and made me a bigger fan than before as well as making me feel a little bit awkward about my growing man crush on Mr.Pegg.
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on May 30, 2016
I read Nick Frosts memoir first, and just finished Simons. I love them both, and the memoirs too. Amazing in so many ways, their journeys in life and where it took them. I would have loved to have been at their favorite pub during those days, just to sit and watch. Looking forward to ordering
the Spaced DVD's...and other brit shows mentioned in Simons book. And now I understand Simon wrote the script to the coming Star Trek movie?
GOOD GAAD....Envy is not good, but I do for both of these men. Makes one wonder about PreDestination. and Quantum as Simon says....and it seems Simon and Nick are starting another collaboration. Brilliant movies they have made. The Cookie Cutter was thrown out. I wish both men
all the best in their life. One of the best Bromances ever.
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on November 16, 2015
The sometimes funny, sometimes hard story of how Simon Pegg became Simon Pegg.
Pegg does a very great job in telling his story in a very interesting and immersive way. Makes you want to know more but at the same time afraid to ask for details.

If you'd like to know more about the guy who created Shaun of the Dead (among other excellent things) this is the book for you! And it has pictures!
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