Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (Excerpt)

Geoff Herbach teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University - Mankato, writes novels (young adult-y at the moment), radio plays (from grubby to clean), and is working on musicals. His new young adult novel, STUPID FAST, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks Fire (June 2011) and will be followed in spring of 2012 by its sequel, THE WHOLE WARM WORLD.

Today we are featuring an excerpt STUPID FAST:

One night in early July, I came home from watching Aleah practice piano, which she let me do on occasion (I’d sit next to Ronald while he graded papers, she’d play, I’d get hit by giant waves of music, which blasted my Jew-fro down to my head…). As I biked over the hill on the main road above our house, I could see a glowing orange. I stopped and focused. It was a fire. A very large fire raging in the distance. It was obviously on our property. Oh crap. Oh no.

It had to be Jerri. Jerri burning. That’s all I could think. I pictured Jerri in her yoga clothes, soaking herself with gas like I’d seen an Indian monk do on TV. (Om shanti shanti shanti, she says.) I pictured her lighting herself up. (Good bye, boys…) Oh God.

I took off on my Schwinn, jackrabbit, towards the house. By the time I got to the end of our drive, I could see the huge fire was at least contained in our fire pit, which meant the house itself wasn’t burning, which was a relief. Still, the fire was too big, roaring, lighting the side of the house and the yard around it. It actually made a roaring sound like a windstorm.

Also lit by the fire was my little brother Andrew. He stood there in his glasses and his tighty-whitey underpants reflecting orange in the flame. He had no clothes on otherwise. He looked so skinny, bony. He poked a long stick, more like a tree branch, into the flames. I dropped my Schwinn and ran up to him.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“Getting rid of my baby clothes and other artifacts of my past.”

In the fire, I could see the collars of the dorky polo shirts Andrew always wore. I could see pairs of his little jeans burning. I could see all his striped socks and his Mozart sweater and also a picture he’d drawn in art class last year that Jerri really liked. There were other papers burning, too. “Jesus Christ, Andrew, you’re crazy! Is that all your clothes?”

“Definitely,” he said, stirring the fire from ten feet away.

“I’m telling Jerri.”

“Mother knows.”


I ran into the garage and into our dark house, not a light on, up the stairs into the hall and to Jerri’s room. She half-reclined, covered up in the bed, no light except from the TV (my TV) in front of her. She was half asleep.

“Jerri! Andrew’s gone crazy.”

“No,” she mumbled. Then she tried to look around me to the TV, which was playing some kind of crime drama.

“Uh, yes. He’s out there naked burning his clothes, Jerri.”

“I know.”

“You going to let him be naked? Is he going to school naked in the fall?”

“He bought new clothes today. Could you move a little to your right, Felton?”

“He’s not wearing them!”

“I’m trying to watch TV,” Jerri yawned.

“You’re crazy!”

“Get out of here, Felton,” she said, not mean, not angry. She was totally mumbling.

I turned and stomped out of the room and back down to the basement. Andrew was coming in from the garage. He had no hair on his head (to match his clothes-less body). Of course, I already knew about his hair. A couple of days earlier he’d shaved it all off.

“I’m getting a hot dog to cook,” Andrew said, which would’ve been a funny thing to say if I thought he was funny. “Do you want one?” he asked without laughing.

“Where’d you get hot dogs?” That’s all I could come up with.

“I bought them.”


“After I stole Jerri’s wallet and walked to the thrift store to buy some pants and a shirt, I went grocery shopping at Kwik Trip. The hot dogs will be quite good cooked on the fire,” Andrew said, again without laughing.

“They’ll taste like the bugs in your clothes.”

“Duh, Felton. Fire burns all the germs away.”

“I was making a joke.”

“Yes. I know,” Andrew stared at me.

I stared back then said, “I’m going to bed.”

I heard Andrew banging around for another couple of hours before I actually fell asleep. To relax, I tried to imagine Aleah still playing the piano, her dad still on the couch reading poetry essays. But, I didn’t sleep until the house was silent.

Follow Geoff:

Win a copy of Stupid Fast!!!

Open to US/Canada only.

Ends June 14th.

Fill out THE FORM to enter!!

Good luck!


  1. I keep seeing this book around the book bloggers. The premise sounds really interesting. I think my cousin would also like this book because he's finally going through a growth spurt his sophomore year of high school. Thanks for the excerpt!

  2. This sounds like a refreshing read. It's always great to get a break from the paranormal.

  3. I have seen this book a lot around the book blogging world, and I am very interested in reading it. Thanks for the chance to do so.

  4. This excerpt definitely has me hooked. I can't wait to read the rest of it. I have seen awesome reviews for it :)

  5. I have heard of this book before, I know the author is awesome (know of him). I would love to read it!

  6. Sounds like a good book! I would to read the rest of it:)

  7. I've seen this book around a lot, and it sounds so interesting! The excerpt was fabulous, and so I really hope I can get a copy to read :)

  8. Thank you for the chance to win!

  9. So many people have recieved this in their IMM last week (maybe even the week before), Ive read a lot of reviews on it too, and its sounds really good(:
    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

    Make sure to come to my blog and check out my current giveaways!:D
    Keeper Giveaway!
    50 Follower Giveaway!

  10. Now I'm hungry for a hot dog!
    This excerpt made me scratch my head. Funny!
    heatherpooh (hotmail)

  11. SOunds like a funny read
    Diane Baum

  12. i love to laugh and this would help
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com