Book Review: Slam


Nick Hornby

Riverhead Trade

320 pages

Slam first came on to my radar after I read I Know it’s Over during the read-a-thon this past October.  Both books have the same premise, basically–a teenage boy gets his girlfriend pregnant.

It’s not out of the ordinary to find books written about teenage pregnancy from the perspective of the girl–it’s not often you read about the same issue from the perspective of the boy involved. 

Sam enjoys skateboarding and Tony Hawk.  In fact, he speaks to a poster of Tony (referred to as TH) when he needs guidance.  Sam’s mother is young–she had Sam when she was sixteen and tried to steer Sam away from her path in respect to becoming a teenage parent.  Her fear doesn’t resonate with Sam at the beginning of Slam because he isn’t dating anyone seriously and the thought of being sexually active has never seriously crossed his mind.  That all changes when Sam meets Alicia.

Alicia and Sam quickly embark upon a sexual relationship which results in Alicia’s pregnancy.  At the beginning of the relationship, Sam and Alicia were completely enamored with one another, but by the time the pregnancy is discovered Sam has grown tired of their relationship and their relationship has begun to taper out. 

Alicia decides to keep the baby and she and Sam attempt to work things out for the sake of their son, Roof (aka Rufus).  They have ups and downs and it’s obvious that they wouldn’t be together if not for their son, but I felt Hornby’s portrayal of the situation was very realistic.

Theonly part of the book that got under my skin was the fact that Sam twice had some sort of vision where he was able to foresee what would happen in the future.  At first I thought they were just scenarios that Sam imagined, but then they turned out to actually happen at the end of the book.  I really can’t figure out why Hornby chose to stray from how realistic the novel was with the exception of those two parts.

I can’t decide whether I enjoyed Slam more than I Know it’s Over.  They both rang true to me and although the relationships were different in the books, I could appreciate both scenarios.  Slam is the third book I have read by Hornby and although I haven’t really been wowed by any of them, I do think he is a talented author and it’s possible I will read more books by him.

Other Reviews:


Confessions of a Bibliophile

things mean a lot

I’m Booking It

Karin’s Book Nook

I borrowed this book from my local library.

5 Responses

  1. I haven’t read this one, but have read quite a few of Hornby’s books. I used to love them, but I think they are appealing less as I get older. Perhaps he writes good books for teenagers/twentysomethings that lose their appeal as we get past that age?

  2. I don’t know why, but Hornby scares me. I haven’t read any of his books, though I plan to start with About a Boy, which is on my shelf.

  3. I loved Hornby’s “The Polysyllabic Spree” which as you probably know is about his book reviews. So funny. I wonder if his novels show the same humor?

  4. Even though you haven’t been “wowed” Hornby’s work must be pretty good for you to keep going back for more. I really want to try one of his books.

  5. Nick Hornby is so popular – but I haven’t read anything by him yet. Even though you weren’t totally into this one, what do you think is the best of the Hornby books you’ve read?

    Happy reading!

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