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Book cover of Going Nowhere Faster

Going Nowhere Faster

by Sean Beaudoin

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256
Paperback
ISBN: 9780316014168






Available to Buy

Overview of Going Nowhere Faster

Stan Smith has the world's dullest name, and the world's dullest life to go with it. At 17, the former junior chess champion turned "Town's Laziest Register Monkey at the Town's Only Video Store" has no car, no college, and, of course, no girl. If that weren't pathetic enough, he's got an organic-food-freak vegan mother, an eccentric inventor father, a dead-end job, a dog with a flatulence problem, and a former classmate threatening to kill him. With a 165 IQ, Stan was expected to Be Something and Go Somewhere. But when all he has is a beat-up old bike that keeps getting vandalized, he's going nowhere, faster.

Synopsis of Going Nowhere Faster

Stan Smith has the world's dullest name, and the world's dullest life to go with it. At 17, the former junior chess champion turned "Town's Laziest Register Monkey at the Town's Only Video Store" has no car, no college, and, of course, no girl. If that weren't pathetic enough, he's got an organic-food-freak vegan mother, an eccentric inventor father, a dead-end job, a dog with a flatulence problem, and a former classmate threatening to kill him. With a 165 IQ, Stan was expected to Be Something and Go Somewhere. But when all he has is a beat-up old bike that keeps getting vandalized, he's going nowhere, faster.

KLIATT

Poor Stan Smith. Aside from his unfortunate name and his compulsion to make lists, he has a spindly body—fodder for bullies. He won a chess tournament in junior high school, and despite his IQ of 165, he has no desire to go college. Instead, he wants to write scripts, but all of his cliche-filled treatments end up in the trash. He is currently employed by the town's only video store and lives at home with his 6'2" tall mother, a militant vegan, who runs an organic food store and is best friends with an overweight and phony guru, and a bearded inventor-father whose inventions never quite work: everything tilts to the left, and he fills up his car from the fryer at fast food joints. Stan is also convinced that Chad Tilford, the boyfriend of his heart's desire, is out to kill him, and indeed, strange and menacing events do keep occurring. Yet no one believes he's in danger: not his cool best friend, not his court-ordered psychiatrist, and not his beer-guzzling and over-permed boss Keith. Written in a comically manic style, this narrative goes from one unlikely scenario to another. And, the reader goes right along with it because the story is both compelling and hilarious, the main character neurotic but likable, and his dilemma like everyone else's: trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to be. Recommended for mature younger teens and older teens.

About the Author, Sean Beaudoin

Like Stan Smith, Sean Beaudoin spent his childhood in a small town. He later earned a B.A. in photography, which he used as a springboard into a variety of jobs: construction laborer, bus boy, used book buyer, hotel desk clerk, camp counselor, statue repairman, dealer of jazz records on eBay, and reluctant telemarketer. He now resides in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

Reviews of Going Nowhere Faster

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Editorials

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung

Seventeen-year-old Stan Smith with an I. Q. of 165 is unsure of where he is heading after the summer, since there are no college applications or acceptances in the works. Currently, he is employed at Happy Video and knows his movies. He wants to write movie scripts and shares with the reader a number of treatments for his drafts of film ideas. Stan feels that his life is rather simple and plain, or so he believes. He is in love with Ellen who happens to be the former girlfriend of Chad Chilton. To complicate matters, Stan happens to set Chad's locker on fire and that is why Stan has sessions with Dr. Felder, a psychologist, which was the better choice compared to expulsion. The close encounter with a car while Stan is riding his bike leaves him a bit rattled; he suspects that Chad is after him and is seeking revenge with a number of threats. The story has a number of amusing surprises and twists as Stan begins to figure out his life and how things sometimes are not exactly what they seem from the outside.

KLIATT - Myrna Marler

Poor Stan Smith. Aside from his unfortunate name and his compulsion to make lists, he has a spindly body¬ófodder for bullies. He won a chess tournament in junior high school, and despite his IQ of 165, he has no desire to go college. Instead, he wants to write scripts, but all of his cliche-filled treatments end up in the trash. He is currently employed by the town's only video store and lives at home with his 6'2" tall mother, a militant vegan, who runs an organic food store and is best friends with an overweight and phony guru, and a bearded inventor-father whose inventions never quite work: everything tilts to the left, and he fills up his car from the fryer at fast food joints. Stan is also convinced that Chad Tilford, the boyfriend of his heart's desire, is out to kill him, and indeed, strange and menacing events do keep occurring. Yet no one believes he's in danger: not his cool best friend, not his court-ordered psychiatrist, and not his beer-guzzling and over-permed boss Keith. Written in a comically manic style, this narrative goes from one unlikely scenario to another. And, the reader goes right along with it because the story is both compelling and hilarious, the main character neurotic but likable, and his dilemma like everyone else's: trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to be. Recommended for mature younger teens and older teens.

VOYA - Steven Kral

Years ago, Stan Smith won a chess championship. With an IQ of 165, he seemed destined for a life of greatness. Now seventeen, Stan works at a video store, deals with his extremely eccentric parents, and tries to avoid being beaten up by Chad Tilford, the local bully. Comfortable but hiding a feeling that he is wasting his potential and with a lifetime of disappointment expressed in sarcasm, he spends his free time writing screen treatments. When Chad's ex-girlfriend Ellen begins to show an interest in Stan, he must decide whether he is ready to move out of his cocoon and risk trying to achieve his potential. Writing in first person, Beaudoin expertly captures the adolescent who has always been told that he is special but must now come to grips with the fact that potential does not equal greatness. Beaudoin's breezy, conversational style quickly invites the reader to see the world through Stan's jaded, hypercritical eyes. Alternately hilarious and poignant, the novel is over far too soon. The characters are well drawn, and their eccentricities seem to arise naturally out of the character and not artificially from the author's conceit. Written with short paragraphs, lots of dialogue, and many lists, the book will be appeal to many levels of readers. Although it might require some initial pushing, once the novel begins being circulated, word of mouth will make it a favorite.

Kirkus Reviews

A self-absorbed underachiever drifts through typical teen issues before arriving at a pat resolution. Stan Smith (17), hoped his IQ of 165 would propel him toward greatness, or at least move him away from his embarrassing parents. Stuck working in the small-town video store, he distracts himself by lusting after Ellen Rigby and writing film treatments, while Chad Tilford's specter periodically attacks Stan's bike. When the video store is vandalized, suspicion falls on Stan and he finally addresses the malaise of his life. Interestingly, the Salinger-inspired internal musings are most effective and funny when Stan is staged with other characters. Outlandish and eccentric, Stan's caricatures of parents contribute little to the story, but do increase the pace. The school-bully thread borders on nonsensical-only addressed when the plot slows or the author vacillates between writing either a coming-of-age or a suspense novel. Beaudoin's annotated chapter and film titles are creative enough, but the derivative lists lack the same humor. Vivid characters and bursts of genuine humor notwithstanding, an uneventful storyline prevents this first novel from gaining any real traction. (Fiction. YA)

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