Simon Pegg's Nerd Do Well is a humorous (of course) memoir of his formative years and the events and artists that influence his work to this day. While it's easy for a memoir written by a professional writer to feel forced, Pegg uses the same wink-and-nod at the audience techniques that he often employs in his TV and movie work to make the readers feel that while they may be experiencing a performance rather than a confession, the performance is to an audience of one.
Pegg clearly knows that he is very lucky to be a grown-up working with the people he idolized as a child, and of course there is a decent amount of "can you believe I'm really here?" sentiment as he recounts working with George Romero or walking on to the set of Star Trek as the new incarnation of Scotty. It's the memoir of a fellow fan as much as it is the story of a successful artist, and this is what makes this book so infectiously joyful. Pegg is clearly satisfied in the extreme over how everything has turned out and wants to both share that joy and show how fate conspired to repeatedly help him find the people he needed in his life.
Before you start to think this is the touchy-feely memoir of the year, I have to mention the story interspersed between memoir chapters. It's sci-fi meets Bond flick and it features one Simon Pegg, international man of sexy, sexy mystery and also of guns and space ships. Assisted by his trusty robot butler sidekick, Pegg wrights wrongs, aims inside jokes at readers and references his own memoir in humorous ways. I found it to be a bid disruptive of the flow of the memoir, but read at the end all in one go it was perfect. Other highlights of the book include a shot-by-shot breakdown of the opening title of Starsky & Hutch (demonstrating the heterosexual man-love balance the show maintained) and a short and hilarious script written for Yoda, Obi-Wan and others after the death of Annakin and the birth of Darth Vadar.
Nerd Do Well will be available in July of 2011.