Whitney Pastorek
May 09, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

American Nerd

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Benjamin Nugent
publisher
Scribner
genre
Nonfiction, History

We gave it a B-

American Nerd Benjamin Nugent Nonfiction

Based on its genius subtitle (”The Story of My People”) and its blurb from Chuck Klosterman, you might expect American Nerd to be the latest in the recent spate of clever-yet-premature memoirs to spring from NYC literati. But Benjamin Nugent — who’s written for n+1, a sort of McSweeney‘s for the hyper-intellectual — aims a little higher, and the result is a choppy sociological text exploring the journey of the nerd archetype through history. Despite all the research, the book most succeeds when Nugent drops his wordy, scientific tone and allows humanity to seep through — his own, and that of others. B-

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