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Slam by Nick Hornby
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Slam (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Nick Hornby

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2,3181112,725 (3.41)86
Member:shedel
Title:Slam
Authors:Nick Hornby
Info:Langenscheidt ELT (2008), Perfect Paperback, 296 pages
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Slam by Nick Hornby (2007)

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English (103)  Norwegian (3)  German (2)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
I expect a lot from Hornby...this book wasn't what I wanted. A book about teen pregnancy from the perspective of a teenage boy who got his girlfriend pregnant...and the immature aftermath of it all (denial, trying to run away, etc.).

It's not a book I would particularly recommend.... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I expect a lot from Hornby...this book wasn't what I wanted. A book about teen pregnancy from the perspective of a teenage boy who got his girlfriend pregnant...and the immature aftermath of it all (denial, trying to run away, etc.).

It's not a book I would particularly recommend.... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
So bad that I'm mildly embarrassed to have read it. I used to love Nick Hornby, so I'm taking this awful book as a personal betrayal.

If you need me, I'll be up in my bedroom, talking to a sentient poster of Tony Hawk that magically zips me into the future from time to time. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
If I was 16, I think this would be my favourite book, like, ever. Even if I wasn't all that into skating and stuff. It's real, you know, about sex and growing up and still wanting to be a kid sometimes, and wanting to be an adult other times, except not if it means making tough choices and that.

But I'm 50, and a Hornby fan, and this book really isn't aimed at me, but I still enjoyed it. I tore through it in no time at all, meeting once again that Hornby man - a slightly younger version, to be sure - at once sure of himself and baffled by the world, confident and insecure. Hornby knows us and he delivers Sam in a thoroughly believable way which teenagers and parents of teenagers will recognise immediately.

There's a whole McGuffin about being 'whizzed' (Sam's words, not mine) into the future, which I'm not sure works for me, and there is a little too much reliance on the life and world of Tony Hawk. But, like I say, it's not aimed at me.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be pressing it with some urgency on the teenage boys who live in my house, because even if it's not intended as a cautionary tale, it would certainly have put me off any risk of teenage pregnancy. ( )
  Watty | Nov 14, 2013 |
MINOR SPOILERS IN THE REVIEW

I have to admit, I am a big fan of Hornby. I love his writing style and his dialogue. This book did not disappoint on those two fronts because, 1) The writing style was his usual hilarious take on the world which had me literally laughing out loud on multiple occasion, 2) The dialogue was witty and sustained my interest.

The story was good, but not great because

1) Having read "High Fidelity" and "Juliet Naked" first, I felt that the plot was better in the story. Without getting too much into the plot, I found myself slogging through the parts of the story that employed deus ex machina where Tony Hawk acts as the higher being (God?) that sends Sam "whizzing into the future."
2) The last chapter, especially (STOP READING if you don't like spoilers RIGHT NOW), felt like a contradiction in terms because, on the one hand, the narrator suggests in the second to last chapter that this is not a story with an 'ending,' but with only a beginning and a long middle, but the last chapter, especially when Hornby again employs the Deus Ex Machina, it does feel, at least somewhat, like an ending.

The reason this upset me, I think, is because I had resigned myself in the second to last chapter to not expect a happy ending, but then the ending felt happy, so I didn't quite know how to feel.
3) The main character, typical to Hornby fashion, was quite unlikable. While this doesn't have to ruin a story, I felt that it ruined this one a bit because there wasn't a strong story behind it to make me want to keep reading. I did keep reading, however, and there were parts of the book that really spoke to me, but it felt like the book could have been much better in just 200 pages. The extra hundred pages felt a little bit like fluff, especially some of the deus ex machina scenes.

The thematic elements of the book, however, such as living in the present, the difficult cycle of family life, and dealing with social class were all things I quite identified with, so, in the end, it's not the first Hornby book I would recommend, but I have to say I don't regret reading it. ( )
  dkam136 | Jul 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
“Slam” slides by on its author’s enormous charm, however, and on its exploration of some hard-won truths, including this encompassing definition of what adult love really is: a project “full of worry and work and forgiving people and putting up with things and stuff like that.”
added by SimoneA | editNew York Times, Dwight Garner (Nov 11, 2007)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399250484, Hardcover)

Just when everything is coming together for Sam, his girlfriend Alicia drops a bombshell. Make that ex-girlfriend-- because by the time she tells him she's pregnant, they've already called it quits. Sam does not want to be a teenage dad. His mom had him at sixteen and has made it very clear how having a baby so young interrupted her life. There's only one person Sam can turn to--his hero, skating legend Tony Hawk. Sam believes the answers to life's hurdles can be found in Hawk's autobiography.

But even Tony Hawk isn't offering answers this time--or is he? Inexplicably, Sam finds himself whizzed into the future, for a quick glimpse of what will be . . . or what could be. In this wonderfully witty, poignant story about a teenage boy unexpectedly thrust into fatherhood, it's up to Sam to make the right decisions so the bad things that could happen, well, don't.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:52 -0400)

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At the age of fifteen, Sam Jones's girlfriend gets pregnant and Sam's life of skateboarding and daydreaming about Tony Hawk changes drastically.

(summary from another edition)

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