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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook is read by the author.

Risky Business. Revenge of the Nerds. Better Off Dead. Moonlighting. Supernatural. American Dad. New Girl. What do all of these movies and television shows have in common?

Curtis Armstrong.

A legendary comedic second banana to a litany of major stars, Curtis is forever cemented in the public imagination as Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. A classically trained actor, Curtis began his incredible 40-year career onstage but progressed rapidly to film and television. He was typecast early, and it proved to be the best thing that could have happened.

But there's more to Curtis' story than that.

Born and bred a nerd, he spent his early years between Detroit, a city so nerdy that the word was coined there in 1951, and, improbably, Geneva, Switzerland. His adolescence and early adulthood were spent primarily between the covers of a book and indulging his nerdy obsessions. It was only when he found his true calling, as an actor and unintentional nerd icon, that he found true happiness. With whip-smart, self-effacing humor, Armstrong takes us on a most unlikely journey - one nerd's hilarious, often touching rise to the middle. He started his life as an outcast and matured into...well, an older, slightly paunchier, hopefully wiser outcast.

In Hollywood, as in life, that counts as winning the game.

©2017 Curtis Johnathan Armstrong (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

If you could sum up Revenge of the Nerd in three words, what would they be?

Very well done

What did you like best about this story?

Thorough coverage of a solid career

Any additional comments?

Curtis is sharp, articulate and I really enjoyed the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Revenge of the Nerd - not bad, could be better

Mr. Armstrong’s memoir is like a mass produced light beer, if you’re really looking for something to quench your thirst, I guess it’s not too bad, but it’s not particularly satisfying, especially in a world jam-packed with better offerings. In the first part of the book, Curtis describes his formidable years at a level of detail that is just too much; you may discover a level of boredom that borders on painful. Not a lot happens and you get to hear all about it. But do not abandon hope, because the second half of the book is a vast improvement over the first. You’ll know things have taken a turn for the better when he starts dishing the dirt on Tom Cruise and detailing his experiences on the set of Risky Business. The remainder of the book has lots of insights into the back door deals and shiny/smarmy environment that pretty much defines Hollywood. The nerd portions of the book seem pretty compartmentalized, For example, either he is a nerd, like in the Revenge of the Nerds chapter, or he isn’t, like when he discusses Moonlighting. There isn’t a lot of overlap. But overall, all of the dialog about show business is enjoyable.

The only time I rolled my eyes or felt some embarrassment is when Curtis discussed politics. There were multiple times he referred to himself as a feminist; it was like he was saying, “Look, I am one of the good ones!” This is especially poignant and sad when you consider the sycophantic climate that defines the current entertainment community. He, like so many others, was silent when terrible things were happening. He also beats up on a few show business individuals strictly based on their political leanings, which, in all honesty, seems to go against the whole nerd ideology, which adamantly rejects censuring and castigating someone based on who they are or what they believe. But, between these pages, you’ll see that he does just that.

Anyway, if you are a nerd, child of the 80’s, a fan of Supernatural, or you just love B-movie actors (I count myself as all of these things) and you are looking for something to occupy 10+ hours, you could do worse, but you could probably do better too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim Wright
  • LONG BEACH, CA, United States
  • 09-16-18

The Jerry Lewis of Generation Nerd

Listening to this memoir, my mind kept wandering to memories of the Animaniacs, whenever they decided to lampoon Jerry Lewis. Like the Jeckyll and Hyde of comedy, Jerry could be the clown on camera and the stentorian Voice of Wisdom on the Subject of Comedy. If all you know of Curtis Armstrong is on screen, this will be a revelation. Armstrong is a serious actor, serious about acting--however goofy his roles. This isn't the Booger You Know. The over-enunciation and earnest eloquence of the narration takes some getting used to; there's a bit of the Uncanny Valley going on (is this really the same guy? It kinda sounds like him, but ...)

Armstrong's early years in Europe and Detroit may interest you, but I suspect most will choose to skip to the juicy parts once Tom Cruise and other 80s superstars enter the narrative. Armstrong doesn't disappoint. He's candid but not cruel (mostly), and is better than many at empathizing with others. He shares his (progressive) politics and causes repeatedly, but not too obnoxiously, and he has met at least one Republican-leaning person he doesn't dislike (no spoilers).

If you want celebrity dirt, it's here in spades, though it's more confirmation than revelation, though he writes from his journals so the new-to-me feel is retained. It's a surprisingly melancholy book for someone who's spent so many years making people laugh with iconic characters. But "the tears of a clown" isn't a recurring historical theme for nothing.

At times entertaining, at times...less so...this was a selection I don't regret, but it's not destined to be a classic. But as Armstrong's career attests, you can make a decent living by reaching base consistently. As a serious actor taking even unserious characters seriously, he has injected even "Booger" and "Snot" with a life that resonates for generations. The book may tell more than show that life, but it's enough to call it money (or a credit) well spent.

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it's ok I guess

not my favorite book, seems a tad not true if you ask me. hell I could be fully wrong but he brags about his amazing theater skills.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story of a American Treasure

This audiobook is a treat. Curtis seriousness as an actor provides a very interesting insight into the method he approached some not so flattering roles. He takes a long time to get to the movies, but to his credit he also says feel free to skip ahead if that’s all you’re interested it. If you like character actor memoirs, then this is as good as they come.

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Better than I expected, and I expected a lot

This is a smart, sincere, funny book by someone who has paid his dues. I didn't need to know the uncomfortable details of his going through puberty, but I'll be there are a lot of teenagers who will connect on exactly these parts of the story. And maybe the teenagers won't connect the way I do to the parts where merely continuing in a long career feels like a kind of failure because you don't get top billing. But I'm old enough to get that.

Anyway, it's a good story. The odds are against anyone making a living in the arts, whether you write, sing, paint, or whatever. And very few end up with top billing. So, Mr. Armstrong often feels like a failure despite being a working actor for many decades.

For me, the great suspense was in wondering how he would get his first success. It turned out to be a series of small successes and then an incredible lucky break. I also really enjoyed hearing about the various problems in film shoots. You never know what will end up sabotaging a movie. He's not a mean guy, and actually really quite forgiving, but I kind of like hearing about jerkish behavior by the A-list actors he crossed paths with.

I mostly look for a voice and personality to keep me company during my work commutes, and this I am grateful for Mr. Armstrong's company.

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Nerdtastic!!

Wonderfully read and enthralling! Curtis doesn't so much read it as bring it to life. What a joy!

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A Masterpiece

Where do I begin? So much love and passion went into this book. Mr. Armstrong is one of the most underrated performers today. His multifaceted career is made bare in this memoir that's thoughtful, funny and often laced with self-deprecating humor. Not afraid to name names, Mr. Armstrong details his career and all the celebrities that came up along the way. From his love of the Beatles to his passion for the works of P.G Wodehouse and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this memoir will take you on a journey behind the curtain. There is so much more to Mr. Armstrong than just his oft to referred to role as 'Booger' that any true fan owes it to themselves to read this beautifully written book. Fans of his voice over work should get the audiobook as Mr. Armstrong does an excellent job of conveying the feelings behind every word in every chapter.

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Enlightened

Curtis Armstrong has enlightened this nerds view of his favorite nerd Booger. Way to go you supernatural king.

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Excellent listen!

Curtis has always been the oddball in his movies. I mean seriously, Charles Demar.... One of the strangest, and greatest, characters ever. This book reinforces the fact that in order to look THAT strange on film, your craft has to be THAT good. Curtis IS that good, and his story is very compelling.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hannah
  • 09-01-17

Simply wonderful!

Fantastic to have this memoir narrated by the author. Entertaining, intelligent, highly enjoyable and most definitely recommended!!