Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise

by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  3,632 ratings  ·  536 reviews
Wil Wheaton has never been one to take the conventional path to success. Despite early stardom through his childhood role in the motion picture "Stand By Me," and growing up on television as Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Wil left Hollywood in pursuit of happiness, purpose, and a viable means of paying the bills. In the oddest of places, Topeka, Kansas...more
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by O'Reilly Media (first published June 22nd 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Shards of Honour by Lois McMaster BujoldLittle Brother by Cory DoctorowMachine of Death by Ryan NorthThe Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly BlackBoneshaker by Cherie Priest
Humble eBook Bundle II
8th out of 10 books — 11 voters
I Am Spock by Leonard NimoyI am Not Spock by Leonard NimoyStar Trek Memories by William ShatnerFrom Sawdust to Stardust by Terry Lee RiouxUp Till Now by William Shatner
Where No Man Has Gone Before
12th out of 20 books — 14 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Patrick

I've always known Wil Wheaton as one of the greater internet Powers.

That's how I think of people like Wheaton, Doctorow, Scalzi, and Jerry over at Penny Arcade. They are people who occupy the internet community on an almost deific level. They're actively engaged in discussions about things like creative commons, and web freedom, and other bigthink information-age issues. When they speak on a subject, the air shakes, people tweet and link and perform other media-appropriate types of adulation.

The...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

In case I've never mentioned it, since opening CCLaP I've had a growing amount of friends here in Chicago start to loan me older books on a regular basis, simply because they're interested in seeing what I have to say about them; that's how I ended up with Just A Geek, for example, the 2004 personal...more
Tripp
A friend of mine got me this book after one of my "why does anyone give a fuck about Wil Wheaton" rants. He is so pervasive in online and geek culture, I really just don't understand why.

Anyhow, the 1st half of the book was good --- it was basically like Paul Shirley's "Can I Keep My Jersey." You've heard the stories of people going to Hollywood to "make it" and end up waiting tables for a decade. You've heard about people being crazy famous. How about being kinda famous as a kid, then to be cha...more
Marisa
I knew Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation when I was growing up, but I had no idea he had grown up to be an actual writer. Just a Geek is a fantastic collection of essays and memoirs that chronicle Wil's evolution from unhappy actor struggling to get out of the shadow of The Franchise to happy writer, blogger, and all-around geek whose life is no less interesting for being fulfilling. For me, the most interesting part of this book was watching the blog entries (cop...more
Andrea
I was never much one way or the other about the Wesley Crusher character on TNG, but picked this up as part of the Humble Bundle and read it because Wheaton has a reputation of being an engaging writer, and because I quite liked TNG generally (though much of it doesn't hold up to a rewatch).

The book (a combination of blog posts made in Wheaton's late 20s, and later further commentary) is an easy, interesting read, giving the reader a very relatable look into the feelings of a former child star a...more
P. Aaron Potter
Alright, I owe Wil Wheaton an apology.

The structure of Wheaton's life parallels Romantic poet William Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience: a childhood period of perfect happiness, when everything simply falls into one's lap...then the difficult, painful transitions of adolescence and young adulthood, into an awareness of loss, of disappointment, anger, and an understanding of what fear really means....then, if one is fortunate and perseverant, a final transformation into what Blake scho...more
James
I'm not a fan of biographies or memoirs. I find them to be self-glorified, embellished tales written by ego-centric individuals looking to capture (or recapture) their fifteen minutes of fame. Wil Wheaton is not that guy and Just A Geek is not that kind of memoir. It is well-written, brutally honest, intriguing and filled with enough pathos that you truly care about this guy, and what he's been though - whether you know him or not.

For those that don't know Wheaton, he was the youngest cast membe...more
Ben Babcock
I am not in the habit of reading actor memoirs. In fact, I think the only actor memoirs I’ve read are from Star Trek actors: Shatner’s, one of Nimoy’s (I think I Am Spock as opposed to the more bitter predecessor volume), and now Wil Wheaton’s Just a Geek. I added this to my to-read list years back, when Wil Wheaton first surfaced on my social networking radar on Twitter and here on Goodreads. While I don’t regularly read his blog, I dip in here and there when one of his posts comes to my attent...more
Eric
Jul 23, 2013 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Trekkers/Trekkies, and other sci-fi geeks
I got this book as part of the latest Humble Bundle, and since I like the author, I thought I would give it a read.

Now, when I say I like the author, I don't mean from his child star years. I didn't watch Star Trek as a kid (I was all about Star Wars), and I'm pretty sure I've never seen Stand By Me, although I could have seen it when I was too young for it to have made an impression. I mean to say I like him as an "Internet Power" (as Patrick Rothfuss labeled him), and also as a writer, a book...more
Kim
I'm not quite sure what I was expecting when I read this. I had heard of Wil Wheaton through Star Trek and then over the last couple years popping up all over the net but never really looked further. I've never been a reader of his blog.

I think the reason I picked it up was because I was curious as to why I was starting to see him or references to him in all my favourite webcomics, etc. And after reading this book I'm still not sure why.

This book really felt like it was missing something. I kno...more
Sdluvingit
I was telling my sister I was reading this interesting book by Wil Wheaton. She goes "who"? "Wesley Crusher!" "Doesn't ring a bell." "He's been on The Big Bang Theory" "Oh, Sheldon's nemesis?" (Of course my sister is someone who if you say William Shatner, she thinks Denny Crane.) So, I don't know if Wil would think it bad that he's known for a role where he's known for being known rather than the reason he is known in the first place; sort of a meta-character. Anyway, I enjoyed his reflections....more
That70sheidi
Could be cut by about 67%. The parts that were good were REALLY good, and his reading of them is also great. I loved the asides. But...

After a while the angst is just really pathetic, especially when he whines about auditions. [Newsflash - being stuck in a room with 3-9 other people who are also bored silly hearing nearly identical readings the same goddamn script over and over again day after day to cast someone is not fun for them, why should THEY be responsible for making it "fun" or "relaxed...more
Sarah
Dec 29, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2006
*dreamy sigh*
i admit it, i have a girl crush on wil wheaton.
i read dancing barefoot a few months ago and really enjoyed it. i enjoyed this book too.
i think wil’s a pretty good writer, and i enjoy most of the stories that he tells. he writes on his own blog of course, but also on tvsquad, suicide girls, and a myriad of other online sites. i think it’s pretty cool that he’s been able to (successfully) move from actor to writer. he’s not an actor/writer or a writer/actor. i think he’s both. it s...more
Julie (Mom2lnb)
Sep 09, 2010 Julie (Mom2lnb) rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Fans of Wil Wheaton, Star Trek, Humorous Memoirs
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Although I've seen most of the Star Trek movies and several episodes of the various Trek TV shows, I can't really call myself a true Trekkie. I didn't even watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, so I became a fan of Wil Wheaton, the geek, rather than Wil Wheaton, the Star Trek actor. Several years ago, my husband told me that Wil was hanging out on Slashdot, one of his favorite sites at the time, and I couldn't help but think how cool it was that a celebrity was chatting w...more
Moira Fogarty
'Just a Geek' promises "Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise".
I'm very happy to say, it delivers on that promise.

In 1991, I was 13 years old and Wil Wheaton was about to retire from Star Trek at the ripe old age of 18. My friend Alyssa and I went to a convention in Toronto to hear Wil speak.

I was floored by the difference between the character I'd seen on TV - clean shaven, immaculate spandex attire, smiling, polite and drippin...more
Sofia
Jan 19, 2011 Sofia rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Trekkies / Wil Wheaton fans
Shelves: memoir
Posted on my book blog.

A little background on how I came to read this book: like many other people, I watched Star Trek when I was little. Because, in that time, tv shows would appear in my country 10 to 20 years after their debut, I managed to watch both the original series and the others in the same decade. However, I was pretty much indifferent to Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton's character on The Next Generation). And I didn't watch Stand By Me until much later in my life.

Cut to the year 2007....more
Joseph Szupiany
When Star Trek The Next Generation (TNG) came out, I was much aligned with the general populace as a "Wesley Crusher Hater". Seriously, the character added nothing to the show, and every time he had a scene, there was a collective "Shut Up Wesley" shouted by "haters" world-wide. Unlike some people, I did not hate Wil Wheaton. As a thinking adult, I knew he was not responsible for the lines he said, and it was the writers that really should have born my ire.

Fast forward to 2013. Wil Wheaton has b...more
Rhonda
I sort of bought this book on accident. It just happened to be included in a "Humble Bundle" I purchased and late one night when I couldn't sleep I thought, "Well, this ought to be quick light reading that won't keep me awake."

I was wrong.

I think I actually learned a lot from reading this book, not just about Wil but about connecting with people, online and in three dimensions. About holding back and about honesty. I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to and I'm quite likely to pick up W...more
Melissa
For Comic-Con? No, not really, but while I'm there I would really like to try to meet Wil Wheaton. I was a kid when ST:TNG was on tv & I because of my tender age, I never twigged to all the reasons that everyone thought Wesley Crusher was so annoying. It's hard to not feel that there really was some sort of conspiracy against his character; how can you have Denise Crosby & John De Lancie stand up while telling them how they were such an awesome, integral part of the show & let Wheato...more
Sheryl Olszewski
I'm familiar with Wil's work as an actor (before and after the publishing of this book) and he's great - but what I truly like is his writing. His presence on the interwebz is funny, informative, touching or even a combo of the above. His writing style is both polished and personable - as if you're having a conversation (but not as disjointed as my own!). I read it from cover to cover in one day and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sometimes getting a glimpse behind the facade of a performer leaves me wis...more
Camilla Hansen
Since this is not the usual book I read, I won't do the usual review.

It's a book filled with personal stories, website entries and general thoughts of Mr. Wheaton himself. What more is there to say?

It's thought-provoking reading his book, getting his take on his role in the acting-world and how he struggled with not only that, but also himself on so many levels.
Life is typically a battle against yourself in many ways, but it takes a lot more than willpower to win. I felt inspired and in awe afte...more
Naz
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 mist...more
David
Celebrities are people, just like us. Wil Wheaton is a people, just like us more than most. In a alternative universe in which I'd been a child actor who grew up as a cast member in Star Trek: The Next Generation, this could have been my story. I share many of Wheaton's non-acting hobbies. And I suspect I share a number of his personality traits, though the course of our lives could hardly be different.

Much of the content of Just a Geek comes from Wheaton's blog. But what I love about this book...more
Eva Nickelson
This book has a few different types of stories in it. There are the "Holy Crap, I can't believe that I get to hang out with " sections where Wheaton divulges his inner geeky thoughts while recounting his quickly passing time with different celebrities. I found these sections to be entertaining and enjoyable. There are the "I am such a good actor, but I can't get hired" stories that focused on what it is like trying to make a living in Hollywood, which I have no interest in whatsoever. There are...more
Robert
In this volume, Wheaton gives an entertaining and occasionally sobering look at what it is like to experience great success as a young actor and then find one's career arc toward obscurity not long after that. His candor in describing his struggles to find work, to deal with the humiliation of endless failed auditions, and to negotiate the shame he felt at his lack of success is admirable. He manages to write introspectively and honestly without drowning in self-pity.

In itself, the story of a a...more
M—
I’ve followed Wheaton’s blog off and on for years, certainly long enough to know he is both a geek and a cool guy. I enjoyed reading his biography. But I have to admit, it left me a little wanting.

Textually, I rather wish Wheaton had gone into more detail regarding his family. I liked reading about his wife and children – his wife in particular sounds like an awesome person – but there’s little background information given on their relationships. I would have liked to have learned about their co...more
Leanne

Just A Geek was a surprisingly interesting and personal memoir of a former child star and current geek. Normally, like other reviewers, I find autobiographies and memoirs to be self indulgent, but this was different. Wil Wheaton can actually write, and I cared about him as a reader. More than once, I was genuinely angry for him. That being said, I think he reprinted a little too much of his blog, and some of it ended up being repeated a few times in the non-blog portion. He stated in the beginni

...more
Ian Hewitt
"I got to take a pee right next to BILLY FREAKIN' IDOL!!!... I went into the bathroom and I'm doing my business and I notice the guy next to me is rather dressed up, like in serious rocker clothes. So I try to just glance at him, without getting all gay and weird and he looks right at me, sneer and all. That's when I realize that it's HIM!"

Wil Wheaton should need no introduction to the d20 crowd. He is, like the title of his memoirs declares, Just a Geek. Most famous for his portrayal of wannabe...more
Katy
From the second Humble eBook Bundle.

Okay so. Before I started reading this book, which is a collection of Wil Wheaton's blog posts and some extra autobiographical commentary, my opinion of him was on the positive side of indifferent: I watch his show Table Top and he's alright in that and I liked him in Eureka, but since his characters in that show, Leverage, The Guild and The Big Bang Theory all seem to have the same personality I didn't believe him to be a particularly good actor. So I didn't...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
I have reviewed this book; the review can be found here, on Booklikes, and here, on my blog. However, I will no longer be posting reviews on Goodreads, due to its recent changes to terms of service and, far worse, the boneheaded and incomprehensible way it is proceeding with the new policy. Deleting content, almost randomly, and without warning (whatever they may have said) is wrong, and a half-hearted apology later doesn't make it all better. Failing to provide a sitewide announcement is wrong....more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Invasion (The Secret World Chronicles #1)
  • The Most Dangerous Game: A Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Collection
  • Signal to Noise
  • xkcd: volume 0
  • To the Stars
  • Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die (Machine of Death #1)
  • I Am Spock
  • Penny Arcade Volume 1: Attack of the Bacon Robots
  • The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
  • Nerd Do Well
  • Pump Six and Other Stories
  • Anything Goes: My Autobiography
  • Hopscotch
  • Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded
  • Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz
  • Pirate Cinema
  • Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
  • In Hero Years... I'm Dead (Deluxe Edition)
37075
A worldwide audience may know him from recent roles as Evil Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Isaac Parrish on EUReKA, or Fawkes on The Guild, but Wil Wheaton’s successful acting career began in 1986 with acclaimed roles in Stand By Me and Toy Soldiers.

He continued to build his resume through his teen years as series regular ‘Wesley Crusher’ on Star Trek: The Next Generation and opposite...more
More about Wil Wheaton...
Dancing Barefoot Memories of the Future - Volume 1 The Happiest Days of Our Lives Hunter Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton's Hot Cocoa Box Sampler

Share This Book

“Sometimes we know in our bones what we really need to do, but we're afraid to do it. Taking a chance and stepping beyond the safety of the world we've always known is the only way to grow, though and without risk there is no reward.” 85 likes
“As an adult, getting paid thousands of dollars a week to say, “Aye, Sir. Course laid in” is a seriously sweet gig, but when I was a teenager, it sucked.” 4 likes
More quotes…