Slam by Nick Hornby

2007
08.22

Slam When it came to his life, Sam was pretty easy going–like his idol, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. Basically, he intended to skate (as in board, not roller) his way through high school, get into a good college and make his single mum (who had him when she was a teen and therefore never got to go to college herself) proud. That was the plan anyway. Until he got slammed. But this wasn’t like all the other times he took a tumble off his board. This time it felt like, “The wheels had come off the trucks, the trucks had come off the deck, and I’d shot twenty feet into the air and gone straight into a brick wall…and there wasn’t even a mark on me.” That’s because Sam’s been slammed with the hard fact that his ex-girlfriend Alicia is pregnant. And no matter how much he’s like to run away (and does briefly, in a comic sequence that literally defines the phrase “in denial”) Sam knows he has to do the right thing. But when one of your main coping stategies is to ask your poster of Tony Hawk for advice, you know you aren’t ready for fatherhood. Sam couldn’t be more unprepared. But life isn’t about to wait around for him to catch up. Since one of my Top Ten Books of All Time is his slacker masterpiece High Fidelity, I couldn’t be more pleased to see that Nick Hornby has finally turned his attention to the teen peeps. Though his subject is serious, Hornby writes with a light and humorous touch that will have you laughing even as you feel for the poor guy. Like when Sam is actually confronted with the reality of birth: “Would Alicia make those noises? Could I ask her not to?” and “I’m still not sure what the cervix is. It doesn’t seem to come up in normal life.” If you enjoyed Judd Apatow’s riotously funny summer flick Knocked Up, you’re gonna love Hornby’s Slam. Though each writer approaches the topic of unplanned pregnancy in his own unique way, both stories share the same great sense of humor.

P.S. If you’d rather cry than laugh when it comes to baby drama, check out Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard instead.

6 Responses to “Slam by Nick Hornby”

  1. Nicole says:

    Don’t be fooled by this review. This book is awful. First off, I disliked the character setups, especially Sam. He’s a very dim kid, especially when it comes to the fact about how pregnancy happens. He and Alicia have a very rocky relationship–I don’t even think it should be considered a relationship. All they focus on is sex, not true love or anything like that. Alicia is also pretty sketchy, and she’s a big sleaze.
    Another thing to know is that this whole book is very dim. It’s not deep at all, and it’s full of bland humor. Also, Sam can get annoying; he uses too much of “er”, “like”, “dunno”, and he tends to get off-subject at times. He’s immature, and he can’t even have a rational conversation with a person.
    If you think this book is about skateboarding, then get this through your head–THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT SKATEBOARDING. The only skateboarder Sam mentions is Tony Hawk. Don’t get me wrong, Tony Hawk is absolutely awesome. But Sam just goes overboard with Tony Hawk. Furthermore, Sam isn’t even a real skateboarder. He doesn’t do anything pro. All he does is brag about doing multiple ollies while trying not to smash into the concrete.
    And still, this book is very sexual, and that’s pretty much the plot focus of this book. It does focus on other things, but they seem less important.
    So overall, this book totally sucks. It’s ultimately dimwitted when it comes to the facts about focusing on relationships, teen pregnancy, and more importantly, growing up. And I also find it a bit insulting–It gives me the impression that all English teens lose their virginity at age 15.
    This book is absolutely NOTHING like Knocked Up. I HAVE WATCHED KNOCKED UP BEFORE, BELIVE ME, I HAVE. And this book is nothing like it. Knocked Up is actually FUNNY, and it does focus on a TRUE, GROWING RELATIONSHIP.
    I don’t recommend this sad excuse for a teen novel, but I do recommend these:
    -If you’ve watched Knocked Up, then don’t be convinced that this book will be just like the movie.
    -Even if you’re dim and will run off to have unprotected sex, I don’t think you should read it.

  2. Jen Hubert says:

    Umm, wow, thanks for the different POV on this book, Nicole. Just goes to show that we all have our own passionate opinions when it comes to books. I appreciate you sharing yours, even if I completely disagree. With all respect, of course:)

  3. mitzi says:

    well first of all whoever this “nicole” is she must not have a sense of humor or was raised in a small black room, because most ppl i know who have read and/or rated this book love it and are either in/near/past the age of 15 and do not find it offensive. just because he doesnt anwser in complete sentences doesnt make him “dimwitted”-as you would say-for the most part it just makes him a normal teenage boy. and for the fact that all he does is brag about doing this in that, i think that you just read that in a certain section of the book, but not through out the WHOLE book. and as for the relationship between him and alicia it is not purely based on sex, it also revoles around the fact that they’re gonna be parents. also you are wrong about sam not even growing and maturing, because in his own way he does, maybe you’d know that if you werent just concentrating on the parts you dislike, and how else you can make this sound like a bad book. as for the book being “dim”, “not deep”, and “bland humor” well not all ppl choose to use 15 letter words in their books, and make the characters seem brain surgeon smart.

    i have to agree with jen, this book is funny, and really good, so nicole get out and live a little. and remember that just because you thought the book horrible no need to try to convince other ppl from reading it, maybe some ppl need a little extra “dimwitted” humor in their lives!! :p

  4. kenny palma says:

    i agree with jen this is a funny, but i think tony hawk should come back like ever body misses him

  5. Mauricico Garcia says:

    I think this book was awsome and nicole if you did not liked it it is your onw problem. SLAM RULES

  6. Mauricico Garcia says:

    SLAM was one of the best books i have read

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