“From starring in Stand by Me to playing Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation to playing himself, in his second (third?) iconic role of Evil Wil Wheaton in The Big Bang Theory, to becoming a social media supernova, Wil Wheaton has charted a career course unlike anyone else, and has emerged as one of the most popular and well respected names in science fiction, fantasy and pop culture.
Back in 2001, Wil began blogging on wilwheaton.net. Believing himself to have fallen victim to the curse of the child actor, Wil felt relegated to the convention circuit, and didn’t expect many would want to read about his random experiences and personal philosophies.
Yet, much to his surprise, people were reading. He still blogs, and now has an enormous following on social media with well over 3 million followers.
In Still Just a Geek, Wil revisits his 2004 collection of blog posts, Just a Geek, filled with insightful and often laugh-out-loud annotated comments, additional later writings, and all new material written for this publication. The result is an incredibly raw and honest memoir, in which Wil opens up about his life, about falling in love, about coming to grips with his past work, choices, and family, and finding fulfillment in the new phases of his career. From his times on the Enterprise to his struggles with depression to his starting a family and finding his passion–writing–Wil Wheaton is someone whose life is both a cautionary tale and a story of finding one’s true purpose that should resonate with fans and aspiring artists alike.”
If you haven’t read or heard any of the buzz, this book is full of all sorts of trigger warnings.
Still Just a Geek (Abebooks) (Amazon) (Audible) is more than an updated memoir, it’s a revelation. I read Just a Geek several years ago because I have fond memories of Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation; after all, it was rare to watch someone on screen that was the same age as me, and if I did, it was always someone uber-gorgeous like Alyssa Milano. And due to my husband’s fandom of The Big Bang Theory, I got to watch Wheaton play “himself” on the popular sitcom. But I had no idea the heavy baggage he was carrying.
The first half of the book is an annotated look at his book Just a Geek and all the apologies he offers for horrible behavior and writing. That book was a compilated series of blog posts; Wheaton has been blogging since 2001. While I appreciated the apologies and updated political correctness at first, after a while, it did get kind of old. Look, we now know how you feel about let’s say, your former objectification of women. One simple apology would be enough. Luckily, Just a Geek and all the footnotes only takes up a portion of the book. I’m not saying the first half of the book isn’t important, because it is. Wheaton reveals the lies he was telling about his “perfect Hollywood life” and the reasons why he did that.
The second half of the book is another series of blog posts published after the release of Just a Geek up to the present and is also annotated. I just have to say a few things. Wil, if you read this, I’m sorry you had such a terrible upbringing. I’m sorry your parents used and abused you and left life-long scars. While I’m a fan of your work, I’m more a fan of you as the human being you project to the public right now, more than I liked Gordy or Wesley (and let’s face it: I’m not a HUGE Star Trek fan, but did enjoy watching the show when I caught it on TV.) The fact that Wheaton can talk about his life open and honestly and was able to find a lasting relationship and family of his own is a testament to the thousands of hours of work he’s done to become a better person and break the cycle of abuse inflicted upon him.
Witty, poignant, revelatory and real. That’s what Still Just a Geek is. Even if you’re not a memoir fan, not a Star Trek fan, try this book out.
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