Skip to content

Book Reviewing: A Contact Sport

April 14, 2009

Sunken Treasure: Wil Wheaton’s Hot Cocoa Box Sampler
Wil Wheaton
Monolith Press April 2009
90 pages $13.00, paperback ($5.00 download)

When I started reading this, I walked right into a mailbox.   Whack!  Okay, backstory.  I’d been wanting to read it for a while, met up with Mr. Unhipster and borrowed his copy, but then had to scurry off to The Day Job.  Except I really wanted to start reading the second I got it.

So I engaged in the risky, but usually navigable, exercise of reading while walking to the subway.

Cue the mailbox.  Thunk!  Rubbing bruised legs and slightly sprained dignity, I slipped Sunken Treasure into a pocket, and continued on my somewhat more alert way to work.

What does this tale of reading-as-contact sport have to do with my review of the actual text?  Maybe nothing.  Or a compliment, to some fine, attention-grabbing essays.  I’d been looking forward to reading the collection.    I said goodbye to Mack, flipped it open, and buried my nose in “The Trade,” relying on my peripheral vision.  I’d read “The Trade” before.   But still.  Tra la la la walking- clunk!

The entire collection is absolutely worth whacking my knees on a mailbox.  Wheaton offers some vignettes that will be familar to his blog readers.  I recognized “The Trade” and “You’re Gonna Be a Great Writer Someday, Gordie,” from Just a Geek. Those stories, and the rest of the volume’s 90 pages pack good, honest, heartfelt writing.  Wheaton doesn’t have an easy task- navigating through fame, memory, identity, acting craft, and the strangeness of an acting childhood as part of a legendary science fiction machine.  The collection tracks the process from a variety of angles.

Wheaton has a graceful touch with self-deprecating humor, and his honesty comes with warmth and very clear love for his family.

And that’s exactly what makes the collection so frustrating.  While it’s a good survey and introduction to Wheaton’s excellent prose, these tantalizing bits of larger works are maddening.  Must get myself copies of Dancing Barefoot and The Happiest Days of Our Lives.

It was sheer dumb luck that I read Just A Geek a few years ago, and learned what a great writer Wheaton can be.  Although I have geeky leanings, in my reading and viewing tastes, I am, compared to many of my friends, a dabbler.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation with Wil’s character, Wesley Crusher.

One of the features of this sampler is an episode guide Wheaton wrote for the episode “Datalore.”  Howlingly funny, even though I’m pretty sure I never caught this specific episode on late night television.  Piqued my interest in a closer viewing of the series, especially if Wheaton writes and releases a more comprehensive viewer’s guide.  That, and Wheaton’s filming diary for his episode of Criminal Minds made me excited to see the shows he described, and also eager to read more of his thoughtful, behind-the-scenes analysis.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2015 11:02 am

    Hello, my name is Cory and I run a web design agency. I came across your site and I would like to know if you are looking to convert more sales from the web? I saw a few things on your site that my company and I could do for your sites that have made a big impact on our clients website sales.

    I thought I would reach out to you to see if you would be interested in hearing my ideas and seeing what we could do for you and your site?

    If you are interested I would be happy to speak with you and show you a few things you can do now that will help your site. I can also show you some examples of what we have done for our clients that have helped them achieve their goals with their websites.

    Let me know the best time and phone number to reach you to discuss this further.

    I look forward to speaking with you.

    Cory Goolesbay

    I always want to make sure you are receiving value from my e-mails. Should you be not interested in obtaining my emails then just tell me that you would want to be eliminated from my database.


  1. Booking Through Thursday: Multitasking « Elizabeth Willse: Writer For Hire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,403 other followers

%d bloggers like this: