Published by Monolith Press on January 1, 2007
Genres: Biography & Memoir
Source: I purchased a copy of this book.
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Readers of Wil Wheaton’s website know that he is a masterful teller of elegant stories about his life. Building on the critical success of Dancing Barefoot and Just A Geek, he has collected more of his own favorite stories in his third book, The Happiest Days of Our Lives. These are the stories Wil loves to tell, because they are the closest to his heart: stories about being a huge geek, passing his geeky hobbies and values along to his own children, and vividly painting what it meant to grow up in the ’70s and come of age in the ’80s as part of the video game/D&D/BBS/Star Wars figures generation.
Within the pages of The Happiest Days of Our Lives, you will find:
● “The Butterfly Tree”: how one Back to School night continues to shape Wil’s sense of social justice, thirty years later
● “Blue Light Special”: the greatest challenge a ten year-old could face in 1982: save his allowance, or buy Star Wars figures?
● “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Geek”: why fantasy role-playing games are such an important part of Wil’s past – and his present
● “The Big Goodbye”: a visit to Paramount gives Wheaton a second chance to say farewell to Star Trek . . . properly, this time
● “Let Go”: a moving eulogy for a beloved friend
In all of these tales, Wheaton brings the reader into the raw heart of the story, holding nothing back, and you are invited to join him on a journey through The Happiest Days of Our Lives.
I love reading Wil Wheaton’s stories about his life. I can’t remember which book I read first, Just a Geek or Dancing Barefoot (which I wrote a bit about a couple months ago in a Sunday Salon post), but I always find myself connecting with what he has to say. The Happiest Days of Our Lives was no exception.
Admittedly, a former teen crush on Wesley Crusher sparked my interest in Wheaton’s books, wanting to know more about the actual person behind the character; but the Star Trek connection isn’t what keeps me reading his books (or his blog, or his Twitter feed). Wheaton isn’t much older than I am and we have similar geeky interests, so there’s plenty of “coming of age in the ’80s” nostalgia I can relate to. His reflections and observations from childhood have me nodding along in agreement. And there are times when I think about how weird it is that I’m a parent now… wait, I’m a grownup?!. His stories make me feel Wheaton understands that, too. There’s an author/reader camaraderie within the pages of his books.
If you enjoy memoirs and are looking for something novella-length, don’t miss The Happiest Days of Our Lives. It contains stories on being a geek, the joy that comes with passing your childhood interests along to your children, saying goodbye to parts of your past, and more. Wheaton writes about life openly and honestly, with thoughtfulness and humor. You can’t help but appreciate his insight and perspective.
You can also listen to the audio version for free on Wil Wheaton’s Bandcamp page.