I usually don’t read a lot of autobiographies, especially not when the subject is way too young to have enough material for a book. I got this book through a Tor campaign for Pay-What-You-Can Humble eBook bundle and thought, “hey, why not. I like Wil Wheaton. He’s irreverent and witty.” What I didn’t expect is to devour the book within hours—hours that should’ve been spent working on a manuscript I’m editing. For all those who complain about Wil’s writing style, or his typos and grammatical mistakes, yes, there are some minor issues. They are few and far between, and honestly? It doesn’t even matter. And this is coming from someone who copy edits for a living. It doesn’t matter because his story is so beautifully poignant, so touching … so real. I have to confess that even though I’m a self-professed geek myself, I was never a huge fan of the Wesley Crusher character on Star Trek. I didn’t actively dislike him (like some people do); I just didn’t care either way. He was a minor character, with minor story lines that didn’t really contribute or take away anything from the plot. So for me, Wil Wheaton was just the actor who played a minor role in a show I loved. This book opened my eyes to his side of the story: how it feels to be hated—absolutely HATED—by people who didn’t even know him, just because of a character he played—for like a minute—on a popular show. His story gives you a glimpse into the life of the struggling actor, trying to hone his craft, and sharing his creativity with the world. The raw emotions coming through brought tears to my eyes. Here’s a man whose struggles in life are just the same as the rest of us: he wants to provide for his family, and do what he loves to do. And yet, because of the many illusory, and frankly shallow and ridiculous, perceptions of an industry built on shallow and ridiculous illusions, he’s prevented from doing just that. Here’s an artist (admittedly, I never thought of Wil Wheaton as an “artist”) who is denied the use of his craft, who faces rejection constantly, and has to put up with ridicule on a daily basis from people who don’t even know him. The fact that he manages to keep his sense of humor, and keep his integrity intact says a lot about him. Bottom line, this is a great book and I now have a great deal of respect for Mr. Wheaton. Hey, maybe I should drag out my TNG DVDs and revisit the Wesley episodes.
Categories: Book Reviews