Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

My Books:

Reviews

KLIATT - Starred Review, March 2007

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 is IQ of 165, he has no desire to go to college. Instead, he wants to write scripts but all of his cliché-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 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 Tilton, 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 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.

—Myrna Marler, Assoc. Prof. of English, BYU Lale, HI

 

VOYA - Starred Review, April 2007

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 Tilton, 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 and 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 council.

Written with short paragraphs, lots of dialogue, and many lists, the book will 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.

—Steven Kral

 

The HORN BOOK Magazine, May 2007

Beaudoin writes a funny first novel about a seventeen-year-old trapped in his own inertia and low self-esteem. Stan Smith is a high school graduate with a 165 IQ who clerks at the Happy Video store and has no prospects for a girlfriend, a car, or college (having failed to apply). He worries that Chad Tilton, A jock who once threatened him at school, is stalking him. He also harbors a vague plan to write a screenplay; cliché-ridden film treatments punctuate the chapters of the first-person narrative.

The broad caricature of Stan’s family life provides some laughs, as when Stan searches for his room in the lopsided house built by his inventor father. His six-foot vegan mother runs an organic food store with a smelly, sheet-clad man who lives on the property in a yurt. The full-on slapstick climax where the identity of Stan’s stalker is revealed is a bit over the top, and many of the secondary characters are depicted cartoonishly (or even, in the case of the three Guatemalan brothers all named Roberto, as unmistakable stereotypes), but Beaudoin succeeds in portraying the sweet relationship between Stan and his little sister (due homage paid to Holden and Phoebe) or in capturing an honest moment with his father. A romantic opportunity won and lost plays out believably, as does the satisfying ending.

 

FlamingNet.com - "Top Choice" Award

Going Nowhere Faster stars Stan, a boy handicapped by his name and the weirdness of his family, but with an extraordinary mind. Ask Stan any math question, or anything about the video collection of Happy Video, where he works, and he’ll blink, and in that time, come up with the correct answer. Still, though, Stan has a difficult time in life. He doesn’t have a girlfriend. He has one friend. He hasn’t even applied to college. He doesn’t know where he’s going with his life—or even if he’ll make it through the summer, as someone is out to get Stan!

Going Nowhere Faster is a well-written book. It’s very interesting, and I especially loved Stan’s very…unique family. Going Nowhere Faster is full of interesting characters, especially Stan himself. He gets into the most hilarious situations, too! It’s a funny, fresh, and wonderful story that’s well worth reading!"

—JPear

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