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Book Review of American Nerd: The Story of My People

American Nerd: The Story of My People
Leigh avatar reviewed 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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