Slam – Nick Hornby

June 30, 2008

This is the first book I’ve read by Nick Hornby, although About a Boy has been on my enormous to-read list ever since I watched this movie.

Slam is about a boy’s transformation from a child to a mature adult. The narrator is an 18-year-old Sam Jones who looks back on the past few years of his life. His mother had him when she was 16, and history repeats itself when Sam ends up becoming a teenage father himself when his ex-girlfriend, Alicia, becomes pregnant. Slam is about the hardships Sam faces which includes his relationship with Alicia and her parents.

Sam’s favorite thing to do is skate, and Tony Hawk is his idol. Sam has a poster of him in his room that he enjoys talking to. Tony cleverly replies with quotes from his memoir.  Hornby adds a twist when Sam asks Tony for advice on Alicia’s pregnancy, and Tony takes Sam into the future (just a few months) to see what his life will be like.

The novel is slightly predictable, although I suppose any book (or movie) about teenage pregnancy is. Slam’s strength lies in the witty narration, but even the narration could have been better. In the end I am left with only a feeling of disappointment.

Nick Hornby’s website.