Popdose has teamed with Kirkus Reviews — the industry bible for bookstore buyers, librarians, and discriminating readers — to bring you the best (and sometimes the worst) in pop-culture and celebrity books. This week we look behind the painted smile of a beloved clown and discover that… well, that he’s a pretty happy guy, to be honest, and his memoir is one of the year’s sweetest and most entertaining reads …

In his new memoir Nerd Do Well, British comedian and actor Simon Pegg — best known to American audiences for the feature films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Paul, all of which he co-wrote—comes off pretty much as you’d expect, based on his screen persona — basically a nice guy, maybe a little too smart for his own good, improvising his way out of tight corners that are occasionally of his own making.

That’s key to the success of Nerd Do Well. Though the particulars of Pegg’s life — a dreamy childhood, the performer’s usual scrounging for work, a fraught relationship with his stepfather—are lacking in dramatic conflict, but he tells them with a winning fondness and intimacy. Pegg still has a clear line to the perceptions of childhood, and his reminiscences of teachers and schoolmates ring with affection.

There’s also plenty of pop-culture riffing, some genuinely smart cultural analysis, deep process geekery, unapologetic Star Wars love, and the sort of hot, sweaty Simon Pegg fanfiction you could once find only in the unsavory back alleys of the Internet…

Read the rest of this article at Kirkus Reviews!

About the Author

Jack Feerick

Critic at Large

Jack Feerick — editor, proofreader, freelance know-it-all, and three-time Jeopardy! champion — lives with his family somewhere in upstate New York, where he plays in a rock 'n' roll band and occasionally runs his mouth on local radio. You can listen to more of his work on Soundcloud, if you like.

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