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Slam by Nick Hornby

Slam (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Nick Hornby

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2,3511112,676 (3.4)86
Authors:Nick Hornby
Info:Langenscheidt ELT (2008), Perfect Paperback, 296 pages
Collections:Your library

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Slam by Nick Hornby (2007)


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English (104)  Norwegian (3)  German (2)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
Nick Hornby's Slam is about Sam, the teenage son of a single mother who had him too young. Sam, unfortunately, in the course of book, is about to follow in his mother's footsteps. Sam's a pretty normal teenager, into skating (that's skateboarding for the uninitiated), preparing for the possibility of studying art at college, and, of course, spending all kinds of time with his superhot girlfriend, Alicia. Everything is going along quite nicely, that is, until Alicia gets pregnant.

Slam's kind of a weird book. Sam himself is, for the most part, a very normal teenage guy. When faced with the staggering revelation of his girlfriend's pregnancy, he doesn't really know how to be supportive and kind of irrationally just wants to run away from the whole thing. In short, he's inarticulate, obsessed with Tony Hawk, and he's kind of irritating - just like you would expect him to be at his age. Then there's this weird plot thing where he consults with a poster of Tony Hawk for tidbits of life advice, which are tangentially related quips from Tony's book reproduced by Sam's overactive imagination, and the part with the supposed time travel (dreaming?) that reveals to Sam the various courses his life might follow as a too-young dad.

By turns bizarre and painfully realistic, Slam makes for some interesting reading. Hornby seems to be spot on when he digs into the issues of teenage parenting, how unprepared kids are for the responsibility, how the parents eschew helping for debating over which kid ruined the other's life, as well as how quickly kids can age when they are forced to take on big responsibilities. I liked these parts. I liked that even though Sam's very colloquial narration reveals a character that, from a female perspective, is, on the whole, kind of aggravating, Hornby doesn't shy away from a creating a character who has very real and believable reactions to a very real and drastic turn of events in his life.

I could very well have done without all the weird Tony Hawk stuff, but even that, kind of points to Sam's immaturity that obviously doesn't go away just because he's about to become a father. On the whole, being inside the head of a character I often couldn't decide whether I'd like to give a hug or a shove made it a little difficult to love this book, but Slam is definitely an interesting and rare look inside the male perspective on teenage pregnancy. ( )
  yourotherleft | Feb 7, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 104 (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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