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Aah, Simon Pegg. Never Change.
on 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.