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Acceleration (Readers Circle) by [Mcnamee, Graham]
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Acceleration (Readers Circle) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Length: 242 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-Seventeen-year-old Duncan is haunted by the fact that he was unable to save a drowning girl a few yards away one fateful afternoon the previous September. This summer he has a job working underground at the Toronto subway lost and found where he uncovers, amid the piles of forgotten junk, an opportunity to exorcise his own guilty demons. When business is slow, Duncan spends his time rummaging through dusty shelves and boxes of unclaimed items. During one of these sessions, he uncovers a strange, leather-bound book that turns out to be the diary of a would-be serial killer. Unable to tear himself from the gory descriptions of tortured animals and arson, he discovers that the writer has started to stalk women on the subway. When the police seem disinterested, the teen takes matters into his own hands, and with the aid of his two best friends, tries to track and trap the murderer before he can strike. This chilling page-turner is all thrills, and the author cleverly manipulates readers' sense of disbelief by eliminating the possibility of police help or parental understanding. What results is one teen's self-conscious yet fast-paced journey into the mind of a cold-blooded killer, and the resulting manhunt will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. "Acceleration: escalation of increasingly destructive aberrant behavior," the stuff that serial killers are made of. That's what teenage Duncan finds out after he begins investigating a shocking journal that turns up in the Toronto subway lost-and-found where he works. When the police refuse to take it seriously, Duncan enlists the aid of two very different friends to help him find out the identity of the diary's author, who has apparently graduated from eviscerating animals and setting fires to tracking human prey. McNamee smoothly integrates snapshots from Duncan's escapades with a new buddy and his wild best friend, who lives teetering on the edge of the law, with information plucked from the diary. He never overexploits the sensational potential of the subject and builds suspense layer upon layer, while injecting some surprising comedy relief that springs from the boys' friendship. Less convincing is Duncan's guilt for a death not of his making, which is presented as the raison d'etre for his need to find the sick killer. Characters are more than stereotypes here, though it's the mystery and the boys' repartee that give the novel its page-turning punch. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 3332 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (December 18, 2008)
  • Publication Date: December 18, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001O1O7AS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,628 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jarrod T Thompson VINE VOICE on September 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Acceleration is a wonderfully written suspense novel. This book actually got my heart rate up. Finding out what acceleration means is an interesting part of this novel.

Some who are critical of this novel must not have read all of it because all of the preliminary facts and details suck the reader into the world of the main character, Duncan. By the time you realize you are totally immersed in the cold, dark, murky existence of Duncan and his nightmares, you are hooked.

McNamee does a tremendous job with the setup, which makes the climax a thrilling peak to the intriguing story of a lost soul who finds himself depressed by his recent past, and looking for a way to make up for mistakes he feels so much responsibility for.

The main character, Duncan, gets himself in WAY over his head and nearly drowns himself in a world of terror and PURE FEAR and adrenaline that moves this novel to a perfect conclusion.

Whatever the author did, he did it right because I forgot where I was and actually became immersed in the world that exists in the novel. I FELT the fear and the adrenaline rush that leads to the book's climax and resolution.

Fantastic book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a high school teacher of a class full of reading haters, I highly recommend this book. My students were sad when it was over, they couldn't wait to get to class to read this suspenseful thriller.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just read Acceleration with two classes of "reluctant reader" 7th graders and they were riveted. I had previously read it aloud with a ninth grade class, which also received i well, but the reaction of my 7th graders was amazing. They loved the smart alec, irreverent voice of the protagonist, the fact that the characters talk the way "real" kids talk, and the fast paced action McNamee delivered. Amazingly, the students actually burst into spontaneous applause when we finished it, and they carried on about the book and asked if the author has written anything else. I'll definitely be adding a couple more books by McNamee to my class "read aloud" list. Teachers should be sure to read the books through before sharing them with students though, especially if you live/teach in an area that is super sensitive about language in books. In Acceleration, McNamee's swearing was mild and certainly nothing 7th graders haven't heard before, but you need to be prepared for how to handle the hoots and howls as students find themselves actually allowed (and expected) to read things like, "Oh, hell, how was I supposed to know that?" in front of their teacher and their peers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
To me, it was somewhat plain. It wasn't a bad book, but I didn't feel overly drawn in at any time. The idea itself is interesting which is why I picked it up. It also takes place in a city I know reasonably well, so I thought it could appeal to me. However, the execution itself was average. I was hoping for more, or at least hoping for something else.

The way the story unfolded didn't really feel interesting. Too simple: find journal, read true crime books for help, use those tips to try and track him down, etc -- it had elements of a by-the-numbers story that didn't feel like it was leading up to anything.

(Warning: possible spoilers in paragraph below)

I found certain portions odd. For example: all of their detective work based on the receipt seemed silly. One, Roach could have found that receipt to use as a scrap rather than it being his. Two, the employee discount part felt way too easy. Three, the entire thing was basically unnecessary when Roach showed up to claim the journal. They spent a good chunk of the book on the receipt and following two security guards home, but that felt like filler.

(End of spoilers)

Duncan as a character didn't speak to me either. I never felt his voice. Vinny and Wayne... Duncan's parents... I didn't get a strong impression from anyone. It's harder to get into a novel when you don't care about the characters. I didn't care that he had that swimming phobia or why. In fact, those other parts? They made it worse. By 'other parts', I mean the parts involving his ex-girlfriend Kim or his nightmares... those elements felt like McNamee was trying to give the story other sub-stories to feel deeper... other things to focus on so that it wasn't one dimensional and fixated on the main story, but they felt tacked on.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good characterization from Duncan to Vinny, Wayne, and Duncan's boss Jacob. Even the parents have personalities without taking up valuable story time. McNamee is able to develop these people through his scenes without annoying pauses from the story to set down details. McNamee also establishes the mood through Duncan's job at the Lost and Found (the Morgue). Duncan himself belongs at the Lost and Found as he sorts out his failure of last summer. Is he a hero or is he just like everyone else? The mood also comes through with Duncan's father's work on the night shift--his vampire habits which come across with humor and realism--and their home in the Jungle. McNamee establishes Duncan's life, past to present, and shows how the 17 year old is in a rut. His discovery of the skin-covered journal revives him into action. With solid details about the true habits of serial killers, McNamee lends credibility to Duncan's tale.

The one flaw, which is the same flaw as Speak, is the tidy ending. However, changing the end would be a mistake. This ending allows for McNamee's theme to come through and allows us to cheer for the hero.

A great read. I had to read the thieving of the toilet scene out loud to my wife--very funny. The best book I've read this summer.
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