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Accelerated: A Novel Hardcover – October 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

What starts off as an entertaining romp through the world of privileged parents and private schools, spins itself into a harrowing tale. A deftly, unexpectedly terrifying first novel. (A. M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven)

A fast-paced, crystal-clear, and funny exploration of a subject that, thanks to Hruska, can finally be openly talked about. A kind of Kramer v. Kramer meets Erin Brokovich in a dark dystopia with baby pharmaceuticals packed in lunch boxes set in the most treacherous world there is: New York City private schools. (Jennifer Belle, author of High Maintenance and The Seven Year Bitch)

A smart, sexy thriller balanced on top of a real-life horror story: the irresponsible over-medication of our children by our schools. (Madison Smartt Bell, author of The Color of Night)

A compelling story about families in a particular segment of society that illuminates the larger human condition. (Library Journal, starred review)

Page turning, socially compelling, and ringing with truth. layered between the stories of a private school over-medicating their students, celebrity journalism, and a crumbling marriage, lays the tender love of a father for his son. (Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer's Daughters)

About the Author

Bronwen Hruska, the publisher of Soho Press, has worked as a journalist and screenwriter for twenty years. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, the Village Voice, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has sold an original screenplay to Columbia Pictures and an original television pilots to NBC, CBS, Lifetime, and Sony television. She lives in Manhattan with her two sons.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605983799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605983790
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Before becoming the publisher of Soho Press, Bronwen Hruska worked as a journalist and screenwriter for twenty years. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, More magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Chronicle, and others. Her screenplays have sold to Columbia Pictures, CBS, NBC and Lifetime. Accelerated is her first novel. She lives in Manhattan with her two sons. For more fun facts, reviews and events, please visit www.bronwenhruska.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Accelerated is a novel in search of an identity. The first half is a cross between a character-driven literary novel and a cheesy soap opera. The second half tries to be a thriller, while the overall theme suggests that Accelerated is a message novel. Although some aspects of the novel work reasonably well, none of its ambitions are fully realized.

Sean Benning beats himself up because he's not Wonder Dad. He doesn't take his third grade son Toby to Sight Training or to Occupational Therapy to improve his pencil grip. He can't pay for Toby's pricey private school, the sort of place that caters to the overprivileged, but his in-laws are picking up the tab, a circumstance that (like most of his circumstances) leaves Sean feeling humiliated. The school thinks Toby should be medicated because he engages in the sort of "distracting" behavior that is common among boys, but Sean initially resists the idea of turning his son into a drugged zombie.

For no apparent reason other than the need to drive the storyline, Toby's mother, Ellie, has disappeared for three months, occasionally phoning in her regrets. She resurfaces with a desire to take Toby over his Christmas break, which would give Sean the time he desperately needs to prepare for an art show that he scored on the basis of a mere three pieces. Ellie later proves to be such a self-absorbed ninny that it's impossible to take her seriously.

Parts of Accelerated hint at Bronwen Hruska's talent. Sean's concern for his son and struggle with parenting feels authentic.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dmitry Portnoy VINE VOICE on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Accelerated" reminds me of Ira Levin's "Rosemary's Baby" and "Stepford Wives": it is a sharp, lean, funny, savvy thriller about class, family, and societal pressures. A low body count and a delicate authorial touch may disappoint some readers, but the core conspiracy is plausible and timely, and its larger implications scary as hell. Parents everywhere overschedule and medicate their kids because schools force them to. This book may give them ammunition to fight back.

Even if you don't care about schools and children, the book is a delight. The story is suspenseful and packed with sex, both rousingly boisterous and hilariously awkward and embarrassing. Hruska has been to the best and worst parties in New York, and has a clear eye for the city and its people. The flawed protagonist is affectionately drawn, and is for once sympathetically clueless, not unbelievably stupid. His actions and relationships ring true, especially the one with his son, which is both the reason for and driver of what happens. Bravo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NYbelle on April 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased the Kindle version of this book to read while traveling. It was such a good book that I ended up finishing it in just 3 days. It's a very easy read and will definitely keep your attention. I found it hard to put this book down after starting it. I highly recommend purchasing this book ... I can see myself reading it again ... it was that good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on April 4, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a teacher so the subject matter caught my attention. I hoped for a well written juicy story, and I wasn't disappointed. A fictional story, yes, but as you read it becomes apparent that this could really happen. Or worse yet, has already happened at countless schools across America.
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By whiskersandtales on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Accellerated

This book is a timely look at a controversial subject that is being discussed and considered all over the country: the over-medicating of children and young-adults. It takes place at a top-level private elementary school in New York City, presumably a fictional school, though I'm sure similar schools can be found in many communities throughout the United States.

The story makes use of caricatures of virtually every stereotype you can imagine, from the rich, lonely, over-sexed mother who makes passes at every father she takes a fancy to, to the mothers who are willing to put their children through virtually anything to try to give them an edge -- in this case occupational therapy to learn how to hold a pencil properly and eyesight training to strengthen eyesight and thereby improve SAT scores in their child's future, to the mother who can do nothing but scream and sob hysterically when her son is rushed to the hospital, while her big-shot husband blusters and orders and demands answers now. I could not decide for the longest time whether I loved or hated the use of caricatures, or even whether it was intentional. Ultimately I decided not only that it was intentional, but also that it was a very effective way of showing just how ridiculous people will act in the misguided interest of giving their children an edge in life, whether that is by unnecessary and ridiculous therapy, or by giving their children prescription medication (for ADHD, depression, etc.) at the first suggestion that they might be not quite as focused at school as mom and dad would like, to placing ridiculous expectations on young children -- suggesting that they are somehow lacking or inferior or behind their peers because they act like a normal kid.
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