Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Mcnamee, Graham. Acceleration. New York: Laurel Leaf, Division of Random House Children’s Books. 2005. Print.


How does a punk like Duncan go from unsuccessfully stealing a $600 toilet to trying to catch a serial killer? 


How Graham Mcnamee manages to cram one big cardiac arrest into a mere 210 tense pages is worth the price of admission on to one very fast subway train. Let’s see if the acceleration kills you.

Characterizations: Human, flawed, funny, tragic, complex across the board. And the protagonist is so very relatable to other teens today. Duncan is just a 17-year-old punk, living in the low-rent part of town, with little future but petty crimes and crappy jobs, but at his core, he’s struggling for more. A haunting past failure acts as a spur to his subconscious flank, making stopping the psycho all the more important to who Duncan is going to ultimately be.

Pacing: Builds and builds, ratcheting up the speed and tension until you want to pop. I literally started this in the morning and read it all the way through without stopping. I haven’t done that with a book in fifteen years.

Plot: Masterful. Every time you think you know where it’s going, it takes a sharp curve. Every scene, every thought, every move accelerates the story to it’s explosive conclusion. 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Coming-of-age, Realistic/edgy fiction

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