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Going Nowhere Faster

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Overview

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. ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
*"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 likeable...."—KLIATT (starred review)

"The book will appeal to many levels of readers...word of mouth will make it a favorite."
VOYA (starred review)

"A romantic opportunity won and lost plays out believably, as does the satisfying ending."—The Horn Book

"Fans of King Dork will find this a lighter and less demanding version of the same fare."
The Bulletin

"Going Nowhere Faster is a charming and heart-felt who-dun-it that never fails to surprise."
Ned Vizzini, author of Be More Chill

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—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.
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316014168
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 397,338
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Beaudoin is the author of Going Nowhere Faster, which was nominated as one of YALSA's "Best Books for Young Adults"; Fade to Blue, which was called "Infinite Jest for teens" by Booklist, You Killed Wesley Payne, which was a Booklist Editor's Choice; and The Infects, which was called a "wickedly unpredictable adventure" by Publishers Weekly. His short stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications. Sean's website is seanbeaudoin.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Hilarious

    One of the best books I have ever read even in the worst of moods. Stan proves to be an incredinly relatable character that never fails to have something funny to say. Oh, and listen to "the final countdown" when he is going through the yams. It geys pretty intense that way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Read This Immediately! It will change your life (ok, probably not but still a must read)!

    Randomly found it at the book store. Refreshingly sarcastic. Love the pop culture references. Great first book from Sean Beaudoin! Looking forward to more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    The book Gong Nowhere Faster is a must read book

    This book makes me laugh so hard on what they say I think that I was giong to wet myself. Also it has some drama which it made me feel sorry for Stan that he dosn't like his name and he also lost his girlfriend. He may be a genius, but people don't even like him for being to smart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    I'll admit I picked this because of the title, GOING NOWHERE FASTER. Aren't there times when we all feel that way? <BR/><BR/>Stan Smith has more problems than you can shake a stick at. One problem is his name - "Stan." Who names their kid Stan? But then his parents aren't exactly your normal, run-of-the-mill parents. They are another one of his problems. His dad is a crazy inventor and his mother is an over 6-foot-tall Amazon vegan who attempts to run an organic food market. <BR/><BR/>Another sore spot in Stan's life is Prarash, his mother's smelly yoga and meditation partner, who practically lives with them. There's also Chopper, the family dog who produces more "gas" than the oil fields of Kuwait. The only normal one in the family is Stan's little sister, Olivia. She's the one bright spot in his existence. <BR/><BR/>Stan should be thinking about college, but instead is working a dead-end job at Happy Video. It at least gives him the chance to watch endless videos in an attempt to prepare for what he hopes is a future in writing movie scripts. In the meantime, he is stuck riding his ten-speed, helping out in the family business, and hoping for a chance to date the girl of his dreams, Ellen. <BR/><BR/>As if Stan doesn't have enough problems, he believes he has a stalker. The victim of high school taunting and bullying, he was threatened by Ellen's ex, Chad Chilton. Now the evidence is mounting and points to Chad as the probable driver of the speeding car that almost ran Stan off the road one dark night, as well as the twisted mind that left a mutilated Barbie doll on Stan's steps. These acts of terror, plus slashed bike tires and vandalism at the Happy Video store, are sending waves of fear through the frustrated Stan. <BR/><BR/>Sean Beaudoin uses witty dialogue and hilarious descriptions to grab readers and get them cheering for poor Stan. The first person style helps readers understand Stan's above-average intelligence and his passion for movies and scriptwriting. This is definitely one I found difficult to put down once I started reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    Great

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2007

    Well worth the read!!!

    It feels like only a fraction of the books I pick up are readable. But, this? Beyond readable. It's a fun, clever, well written book that really moves. I think any adult (no matter the age) would appreciate the story and how very well it is delivered. It's a perfect summer read. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2007

    Too fun!

    I love this book! It's laugh out loud funny ... I never do that when reading a book. It's a coming of age novel with great characters and lots of laughs. I loved it and so did my eleven and fourteen year old kids.

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    Posted October 30, 2008

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted May 1, 2012

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    Posted June 1, 2009

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    Posted December 31, 2008

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    Posted September 22, 2010

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