Day 39: Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin
Summary From Goodreads:
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.
I seem to be in a humor kick. Yesterday I read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson and today I chose Going Nowhere Faster by the always-guaranteed-to-be-hilarious Sean Beaudoin. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll read something creepy soon, I do like to mix it up!
Anyway, about the book. Going Nowhere Faster has all the classics of a teen movie where the loser guy that is smart but awkward socially and doesn’t have anything going for him likes a girl who doesn’t seem to care. Boring and overdone right? Wrong! The difference here is that the girl doesn’t stay in her “I’m perfect just like you imagined me to be” shell. The best friend turns out to kinda be a douchenozzle even though in the end it doesn’t really matter because woohoo friendship! Also don’t forget that someone wants to kill the main character, Stan, which throws another wrench into the mix that usually isn’t there. Did I mention the constantly gassy dog? No? See, there are so many elements here!
But seriously, Going Nowhere Faster is a short, funny read that I couldn’t put down. Beaudoin uses his unique brand of humor, just as with Fade to Blue and The Infects to keep you laughing and if you aren’t a movie buff, constantly using google. The characters are fantastic. Stan is a great main character, the kind you want to give a kick in the butt to get him in the right direction (in life and in general) but that makes you laugh enough to forget to do so. The little sister, Olivia was really well done and instantly makes you want to take care of her (a bit better than her brother does at least). The Amazon, I mean Stan’s mother, is sufficiently scary and the father is just enough off his rocker as to be both humorous and to feel embarrassment for. Also, the girl, did I mention she was kind of nuts too? No? Well it seems like everyone in this book is so I guess that got lost in the shuffle, oh well.
The plot is simple but it works. Mixing in a plethora of movie references and nerd humor, the book keeps you intrigued and the pacing smooth. It’s short enough so that nothing turns into a “gimmick” or is overdone and the twist at the end, though a bit odd, serves to wrap up all the loose ends sufficiently.
The book was good, though The Infects is definitely still my favorite of Beaudoin’s work (seriously check it out, I’ll even link you here). If you want a quick, light read, and especially if you love quirky humor and movies then this is the book for you. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 40!