Review: 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. I had been playing World of Warcraft since its beginning, so when the webseries The Guild came out, I was hooked. And when Wil Wheaton showed up playing Fawkes (the nemesis), I remembered his role on Star Trek and decided to check out his blog and see what he had been up to.
Reading his blog, you can see he has a very honest, no-nonsense way of writing about his life, Hollywood and being an actor. He is involved in a bunch of very cool, mostly geeky things which he writes about extensively.
Now, about the book. It’s a memoir that chronicles his uneasy relationship to Star Trek (easily the project he’s most famous for), his decisions as a teenager that influenced the course of his life, and how it really feels like to be an actor in Hollywood (it sucks). But it’s really much more than that. I admit, I related to his story a lot because I have also made a Big Decision in my life and ever since I’ve felt haunted by the ghost of Proving to Everyone it Was the Right Decision (with the obvious difference that I wasn’t a wildly successful and famous teenager). How badly would it suck to feel that the most professionally successful days of your life were when you were a teenager, too immature and stubborn to appreciate it? How do you deal with that once you finally become a (pretty cool) adult and find that no one wants to give you a job?
In the Hollywood world, you rarely hear about failure stories. Everyone is very careful to project an image of success, even if they’re wallowing in a deep depression. In that sense, reading this is invaluable. It takes courage to break through the mold of what everyone around you is doing.
The only gripe I have about this book is that, in my opinion, he wrote it too soon. It was published in 2004, and when the book ends, it feels like the story is just starting. Since that year, he has achieved a lot of success, with roles on The Big Bang Theory and Eureka (and a bunch of other stuff I won’t list here). It would have felt more complete had he waited a bit beyond his late twenties to write this. Guess this leaves room for a sequel, right?
Recommended for Trekkies / Wil Wheaton fans.