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Slam [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Nick Hornby , Nicholas Hoult
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Oct 2007
'There was this time when everything seemed to have come together. And so obviously it was time to go and screw it all up'. Sam is sixteen and a skater. Just so there are no terrible misunderstandings: skating = skateboarding. There's no ice. Life is ticking along nicely for Sam: his mum's got rid of her rubbish boyfriend, he's thinking about college and he's met someone. Alicia. Then a little accident happens. One with big consequences for someone just finding his way in life. Sam can't run (let alone skate) away from this one. He's a boy facing a man's problems and the question is - has he got what it takes to confront them?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (16 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143142836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143142836
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 14.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 800,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Hornby was born in 1957, and is the author of six novels, High Fidelity, About a Boy, How To Be Good, A Long Way Down (shortlisted for the Whitbread Award)Slam and Juliet, Naked. He is also the author of Fever Pitch, a book on his life as a devoted supporter of Arsenal Football Club, and has edited the collection of short stories Speaking with the Angel. He has written a book about his favourite songs, 31 Songs, and his reading habits,The Complete Polysyllabic Spree. In 2009 he wrote the screenplay for the film An Education. Nick Hornby lives and works in Highbury, north London.

Product Description


Truthful and funny (Sunday Times )

Hornby takes the raw ironies of life and gently rubs away at them to reveal gems of bittersweet truth (Observer )

A moving read for anyone (Elle )

Touching, very funny (Guardian )

Hornby gets his point across with the subtlety and skill of a born novelist who always deserves to be read (Independent )

Warm, witty and wise (Arena )

Hornby's writing is hilarious (Cosmopolitan ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Nick Hornby was educated at Cambridge and began his career as an English teacher before going on to write the internationally bestselling novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, How to be Good and A Long Way Down. He has written three works of non-fiction: the hugely popular Fever Pitch, 31 Songs and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree. Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy have all been made into successful films. Nick has won many awards and is a huge pop-music fan. He lives and works in Highbury, north London. Slam is his first teenage fiction novel. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Too Young 17 Oct 2007
I've been a huge fan of Hornby's since the early days, including his non-fiction, and this step into YA lit feels totally natural. After all, so many of his protagonists (including himself) are young men struggling to come to terms with adulthood and the responsibilities of "growing up." Here, the dilemma is much the same, however it's much more direct, and instead of a young man grappling adulthood, it's a teenage boy grappling with the implications of a monumental adult responsibility.

I'm guessing there have been a number of good YA books about teen pregnancy -- and if that's the case, add this one to the list. The simple story is narrated by 18-year-old North London lad Sam, reflecting back over the past two years. While it's pretty bare bones -- the cast doesn't really extend beyond Sam, his girlfriend, their respective parents, and two skater acquaintances -- things are made livelier though the device of having Sam discuss his problems with a poster of legendary pro skater Tony Hawk (whose responses are passages Sam has memorized from Hawk's autobiography). There are also a few jumps into dream sequence/time-travel which break up the straightforward narrative, although they don't actually add up to that much.

The book's real strength comes from Hornby's ability to capture the inner life of a teenage boy while avoiding all the usual pitfalls. Sam is neither too articulate nor too dense, and he's basically a well-adjusted, pleasant teen who hasn't gotten into any trouble -- until now. His narrative is full Hornby's trademark observational wit, although without nearly as many pop culture trappings as usual. The book certainly carries a cautionary message about teen sex, but it's never hectoring or reductionist. There's a strong sense of hopefulness for Sam, despite the deep hole he's dug himself. It's not an amazing book, but certainly a cut above the average.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teenage Kicks 18 Jan 2008
I wasn't particularly looking forward to reading Nick Hornby's `Slam', his first teenage novel. It was nineteen years since I was last a teenager and even then I think I was probably too old for the term to really stick. However this was a novel by Nick Hornby whose `High Fidelity' is my favourite novel; whose `Fever Pitch' is my favourite memoir; I think you get the idea, I like Nick Hornby, I don't however like teenagers. Anyway there was nothing for it, I had to roll up my sleeves, grit my teeth, grasp the nettle and take the book by the spine.

I'm so glad I did, what a fantastic and painfully funny book. Certainly Hornby's best since `About a Boy' with which it sets a fairly consistent tone. This is quite remarkable as `Slam' is written in the first person as a teenage boy. Although `About a Boy' was very insightful into the mind of an adolescent boy and his relationship with the adults around him it didn't have to do it in the boy's voice. `Slam' is written in a very convincing voice of a fifteen year old boy, although the language and passions for music and skating very much tie the novel to the present the spirit in which it is written ties it to teenagers of any generation and consequently I can feel a certain empathy for a teenager I could obviously have fathered.

I don't want to tell you anything of the plot as it would spoil the book to hear about it in my voice rather than `Sam's', trust me it's better than the blurb which relies too heavily on the Tony Hawks fandom to give a balanced appreciation of the book.

I think that the reason that Sam's voice in `Slam' works is that it still resonates with the same passion as Rob's did in `High Fidelity'.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
I expected more from Nick Hornby in his first YA book. The subject of teen pregnancy has been done to death but there isn't a great deal out there that looks at it from the father-to-be's angle and it's something that ties in with Hornby's perennial theme of men (read: teenage boys) finally being forced to take responsibility and display maturity. A writer of Hornby's talent could write a book about that in his sleep and it seems that he did.

Sam has a stereotypical background (raised by a single mother who had him whilst herself a teenager and emotionally distant from his father). The central character device of having him talk to a Tony Hawk poster reminded me of BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM but Hornby has researched skater terminology and slang and Sam's relationship with his friends is entertaining.

However the book suffers because Hornby wants Sam to be a bit of everything. He's inarticulate about his own feelings but is perceptive as to the emotions of those around him and explains them. It's a tension that does not come off. Hornby makes a lot of Sam's wanting to be a good dad, but it comes too late in the text for it to have the emotional impact it needs.

I didn't believe in his relationship with the middle-class Alicia as it's unclear what she saw in him other than that he was there and a way of getting at her snobby parents. Alicia is two-dimensional (all we learn is that she wants to be a model and is a little arrogant) and it's disappointing that Hornby avoids any discussion of her aborting the baby as this could have led to some interesting emotional development on both her and Sam's part.

Hornby's time-travel device is a problem. He hedges on whether it is actually happening, which makes it difficult to suspend disbelief in these scenes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Must read for young, single fathers and all their family and friends. Funny and sad and hopeful. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to everyone.
Published 9 days ago by Lynne
3.0 out of 5 stars Do you still talk to Tony Hawk? And does he still talk back?
For, I would guess, fifteen to sixteen year olds, and up, this is a non-preachy warning as to what can happen when your feelings run away with you. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Fantastic character development as ever from Nick Hornby. Slam is a coming of age tale told in Nick Hornby's brilliantly dry style. Very entertaining.
Published 2 months ago by Ms. L. A. Coutts
3.0 out of 5 stars Grand Slam
Slam is about a guy called Sam Jones (could the author have a picked a more boring generic name?) who gets a girl he sort-of-maybe-loves pregnant. And that's it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by George Kelly
2.0 out of 5 stars noramlly enjoy Nick
Having enjoyed 'A long Way Down' and 'Juliet Naked' I expected to enjoy this too. Sadly I was disappointed to the extent that I struggled to get half way through this book and then... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Toni M
4.0 out of 5 stars About a Baby
This is standard Hornby fare - the middle classes of modern England. Sam Jones is 16, he is an average to bright London kid, he likes skateboarding, he meets the dishy Alicia, his... Read more
Published 16 months ago by gerardpeter
5.0 out of 5 stars Slam
well told and with a vital twist! Really enjoyed seeing the world through his eyes. Reccommended for young and old.
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars daft
Teenage pregnancy lost its shock value forty years ago..... the young couple are the ONLY unmarried youngsters at pre-natal sessions, spend a bit of time in the real world Nicko! Read more
Published on 20 May 2011 by diane
2.0 out of 5 stars Was it worth it? Not Really!
I picked this up cheap in a charity shop mainly on the basis of having seen the Fever Pitch and About A Boy films which I quite liked and I'd been aware that Hornby seemed to have... Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2011 by M. A. Cossins
4.0 out of 5 stars IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT....
Sam Jones, 16 - the age of his mother when he was born. Skateboarding is his passion - champion Tony Hawk his guru, autobiography his much thumbed Bible. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2011 by Mr. D. L. Rees
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