After watching Shaun of the Dead over and over again, I slowly but surely became a huge fan of Simon Pegg. In addition to Pegg’s role in the zombie film, he has also starred in other great movies like Paul, Hot Fuzz, Run, Fatboy, Run and Star Trek. When I heard about the actor’s memoir, Nerd Do Well, I absolutely had to read it.
Nerd Do Well is the story about Pegg’s rise to stardom, starting with some childhood memories (i.e. watching Star Wars for the first time and loving every second of it, participating in school productions, crushing on girls, etc.) and moving onto moments in his adult life that gave him the momentum to take Hollywood by storm. After reading this book, I learned that there’s a lot more to Pegg than an actor that plays with zombies and aliens. In reality, Pegg has a ton of experience under his belt, including years of writing and standup comedy. Knowing that Pegg does just as much (if not more) behind the scenes as he does on the screen makes me respect him that much more. It’s a wonder that he had time to write Nerd Do Well, but it also explains why it was written so well.
In addition to learning about Pegg’s life and career, I really enjoyed the fictional chapters that were sprinkled throughout Nerd Do Well. Fictional? That’s right. Pegg tells the (made-up) story about himself as a secret agent… he even has his own trusty sidekick/robot named Canterbury. It was actually really good! There were times when I was reading the memoir-type chapters and I couldn’t wait to get to another fictional chapter because I couldn’t wait to see what Secret Agent Pegg was up to next. It’s certainly different from any other memoir you might read, but I really enjoyed the unusual balance between fact and fiction.
Whether fictional or nonfictional, I found myself laughing out loud every time I picked up the book. As I was reading, I could hear Pegg narrating the story in my head, which made it that much better. I’d definitely recommend Nerd Do Well, whether you’re a die-hard Simon Pegg fan or you’ve only seen him in a movie or two. Either way, you’ll be a bigger fan after you’re through with it (I know I am).
I give Nerd Do Well 5/5 stars. Even if you’re not a huge fan of nonfiction (like me), this is still a very enjoyable read.