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American Nerd: The Story of My People
American Nerd The Story of My People
Author: Benjamin Nugent
Most people know a nerd when they see one but can't define just what a nerd is. American Nerd: The Story of My People gives us the history of the concept of nerdiness and of the subcultures we consider nerdy. What makes Dr. Frankenstein the archetypal nerd? Where did the modern jock come from? When and how did being a self-described nerd ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780743288019
ISBN-10: 0743288017
Publication Date: 5/13/2008
Pages: 240
  • Currently 2.1/5 Stars.

2.1 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed American Nerd: The Story of My People on + 378 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had high hopes for this one, personally identifying so closely with the titular group of people. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Nugent definitely has a sense of humor to name the chapters what he does and label the afterword "My Credentials." This humor doesn't translate well in his prose; it's simply unengaging and a little dry. It would seem that discussing the culture of nerddom would include lots of nerdy phrases and over-the-top explanations about obscure objects depicted by the said nerd in a way that is too technical and deconstructionist. I expected "nerd humor." The lack of Star Trek references put me off, too; those folks (of which I am one) are the quintessential nerds.

Nugent doesn't delve deep enough into what being a nerd means. He offers a decent definition at the beginning of the book (scientific vs. intuitive/feeling) but abandons it as he discusses l33tspeak, D&D (far too much writing about that, btw), W of W, and SCA (that chapter was pretty interesting, actually).

I wanted more from this book. A good description of it is: "An adolescent male growing up in a segmented group of boys gets obsessed with D&D and plays the game too often."
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