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3.26  ·  Rating details ·  24,044 ratings  ·  2,255 reviews
Bestselling author Nick Hornby delivers his first novel for young adults.

For 16-year-old Sam, life is about to get extremely complicated. He and his girlfriend—make that ex-girlfriend— Alicia have gotten themselves into a bit of trouble. Sam is suddenly forced to grow up and struggle with the familiar fears and inclinations that haunt us all.

Nick Hornby’s poignant and witt
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by G. P. Putnam's Sons
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Aly I may be mistaken, but my understanding is this:
First of all, it's a book about a guy who is passionate about skateboarding and to me it's a story abo…more
I may be mistaken, but my understanding is this:
First of all, it's a book about a guy who is passionate about skateboarding and to me it's a story about a very real life slam he experiences and slams that have happened previously to other people (without giving too much away)
I have always thought how this is a very fitting title as a lot of the plot and development is about how to deal with slams in your life(less)

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Average rating 3.26  · 
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 ·  24,044 ratings  ·  2,255 reviews

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(B+) 76% | Good
Notes: Its skateboarding theme adds nothing but a lazy veneer of youth culture and the facilitation of ineffectual gimmicks.
From the writer most noted for writing books about men that haven't really grown up, comes a book about a boy that has to grow up! 16 year old Sam, skateboarder and son of a lone mother, is without a care in the world, when he has his world turned upside down and adulthood forced upon him. With some interesting plot devices such as'whizzing' Sam into his own future for a day, I found all this a bit off kilter. As ever Nick Hornby captures the inner male voice really well, but it's not that disti ...more
Re: Slam
To: Nick Hornby
From: Bonnie Lumley
Sent: September 30, 2009

Hi Nick,

Glad to hear you’re back to writing adult fiction now; I hate to say it, but I don’t think writing young-adult fiction is your strength. Slam was a worthwhile experiment; but you’ve done better, and maybe could have done better here. Maybe if you’d written it from the POV of Sam’s mum instead of 16-year-old Sam, you’d have been able to offer your readers a more pleasing, polished novel. No offence, but it seemed to me as
Nov 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
Wow, this book was ATROCIOUS. It's like Nick Hornby sat down and thought of all the worst cliches about teen books and then decided he could write a teen novel. The main character is a teenage skater who's so obsessed with Tony Hawk that he dialogues with the Tony Hawk poster above his bed on a nightly basis. He asks the poster questions about life, and the poster responds with parts of Tony Hawk's autobiography that the kid has memorized from reading so many times. I didn't buy it -- c'mon, Ton ...more
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it
So it just may be that Nick Hornby is overrated. He did spark quite an interest (and I'm counting myself in this category, while everyone else was probably in the post Bridget Jones and Pre Stephanie Meyer stage). "About a Boy", though the movie surpasses book in myriad ways, was incredibly original. The duality of both the man-boy and boy-man was absolute perfection.

I have read only "The Polysyllabic Spree", which was about the love of books (pretty good, swift nonfiction to pass the time) and
Oct 19, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ages 15 and up (mostly up)
English author Nick Hornby has dutifully produced ‘vox populi’ fiction about contemporary men struggling to grow up, cope, and accept responsibility for the better part of fifteen years. Often these males are self-absorbed, id-driven, and change themselves for others. Readers respond with great enthusiasm; men read them as how-to manuals. His latest offering, Slam, follows the same formula – but it’s written in the sprawling vocabulary and context of a teenager.

Hornby’s writing style has always
Dec 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
I'm a big Nick Hornby fan but this was crap. Crapity crap crap crap - probably didn't help that i was pregnant when i read it - its main character is a teenage boy who gets his girlfriend pregnant and has a fit with his leg in the air then legs it. It uses a very annoying bollocks plot thing as well, and i can't remember the proper term so you won't know what i mean unless you read it but i seriously don't recommend you do but if you choose to you can have my copy cause i stupidly bought mine - ...more
May 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
There was a character in this book called "Rubbish", which would have been an apt title for the whole mess. ...more
Ian Wood
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teenagers of all ages
Shelves: nick-hornby
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 te ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015

I am an enthusiastic fan of Nick Hornby, having read most of his fiction and non-fiction books, with High Fidelity a clear favorite - both the book and the movie. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he is funny and smart and insightful. Which makes writing the review of Slam all the more difficult. Is this the same guy who penned Fever Pitch and A Way Long Down? Why is Slam such a trainwreck? It's not the Y.A. content, at least not on principle: I admire John Green, Catherynne Valente and I ha
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy, feel-good read and laugh out loud funny.
Nov 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Hornby fans
Just before he turned 16, Sam's life was going pretty well. His mother - who was only 16 years old herself when she had Sam - just dumped her terrible boyfriend, his teachers began encouraging him to seriously consider studying graphic design in college, and his skateboarding skills were slowly but surely improving after years of practice at the local skatepark in his working-class London neighborhood. He even met a really cute girl named Alicia at a party his mum dragged him to, and they began ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by The Compulsive Reader for

Sam figures that his life is going pretty well. He's doing all right in school, he gets along with his mom, he has a great girlfriend, and is getting good at skateboarding. He has aspirations of attending college, unlike his mom, who had to drop out of school when she became pregnant with him.

But all of his dreams come crashing down when his girlfriend, Alicia, tells him that she's pregnant. And she has no intention of getting rid of the bab
Jun 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who want to learn to write with a distinctive voice, Nick Hornby fans
I think I'd read a Nick Hornby Novel even if it were just his characters reading ads from a phone book. Part of it is the cool way that those Brits sound when they talk about anything, but the voices of a Hornby character will stay with you for a while. His Narrator in this book, Sam, like the narrators of High Fidelity and About A Boy, has many chuckalicious turns of phrase. But few writers are going to attempt the first person narrative if they can't manage to handle one distinctive voice.
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
2.5 stars

This book was okay, but only okay.

Slam is the story of Sam, a sixteen-year-old boy totally obsessed with skateboarding and the pro skater, Tony Hawk. Sam meets Alicia at a party and they quickly start seeing each other and almost as quickly stop seeing each other. Then it turns out that Sam and Alicia have got themselves into trouble, and Sam is suddenly looking down the barrel of having to grow up quite quickly.

The plot of the book was okay and centred around Sam coming to terms with
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written by: Nick Hornby
Narrated by: Nicholas Hoult
Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
Unabridged Audiobook

‘Slam’ was the 2007 contemporary young adult novel from Nick Hornby, and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since Hornby said this very intelligent thing about YA books:

“I see now that dismissing YA books because you’re not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you’re not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I’ve discovered a previously
Jan 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is incredibly bad. It's a giant cliché, it has unlikable characters and it just seems rushed, some parts are way too short and are just like "and by the way that is also a thing that happens" (not that I wanted it to be longer). But other parts could just have been left out completely, they don't contribute anything to the "plot". And the main character is just obsessed with Tony Hawk, it makes the main character look even more stupid than he already is when he quotes out of TH’s book ...more
Christina Fixemer
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sam is a skater. Not a roller skater, but a skateboarder. He loves Tony Hawk and working out new skateboard tricks. He also loves his mum, even though she's young enough to be an older sister. But everything changes when his ex-girlfriend delivers the news: she's pregnant.

Now that he faces fatherhood as a very young man, Sam must make adult-sized choices. He's determined to do the right thing. His father didn't, and he's grown up seeing how it has affected his mother. But sometimes doing the rig
Nov 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I loved the voice of Slam. I thought it was so fresh, and I can see how it would appeal to teens as well as adults.

This book deals with teen pregnancy and its aftermath in a way that's real - it's not just another morality tale for teens in which their lives are completely destroyed by premarital sex.

You get to go along with 16-year-old Sam as his (and his girlfriend's) lives are turned upside-down by her pregnancy. You get to experience her labor and the birth of their baby through Sam's eyes.
Jesus Nunez
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is very interesting becuase it almost connects to a real life situation that happening between you and the book itself. This book mostly talks about relationships problems. For example Sam and Alicia were facing some problems at the end of the book because Sam was relizing that he didnt know what got into him so was facing some tough times. But at the end he fixed their problem and they both contined their lifes together.
Ernesto Abrego
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think it was a good book because it shows what will happen to a teen in real life that actually gets a girl pregnant.Also because the boy goes to the future and sees his future with the child.
Oct 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: teenagers just to see what they thought
Someone - maybe Greil Marcus? - once said something to the effect of "I'd listen to a record of Bob Dylan reading the phone book." Well, I used to feel that way about Nick Hornby. I love his writing so much that I figured I'd read his children's books, his cookbooks, his YA fiction. Well, scratch the latter, for sure.

Yes, he gets inside his teenage hero's head and he captures the way teenagers probably think. But what's the fun in that? I loved his other books because they seemed effortless as
Marie Andrews
3.5 stars
Despite the mixed reviews, I found myself enjoying this book. I found it a funny read and really enjoyed the format it was written in when there were flash forwards to events in Sam's future, before flashing back and seeing how he got there. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the whole 'getting-advice-from-Tony-Hawk' thing, which was not only super unrealistic but it served no purpose and felt pointless (I also found myself skimming over this advice). I feel like this was
L.J. Shen
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Guess you could say that it's my favorite Nick Hornby book. Yup, I loved it even more than High Fidelity. I just adore Hornby's style and ability to deliver a story.

Slam is just a perfect example of how sometimes a writer can tell a very ordinary, every-day tale and make it completely extraordinary.

In one word: Epic.
Zeineb Nouira
Jul 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
I am writing this review while trying so hard to maintain my linguistic decency because this book was a flaming piece of human and animal waste( it is that bad).I was reorganising my bookshelf and,God knows why, I decided to pick this book up and give it a try.I feel disgusted and betrayed.

The first few chapters gave me a giggle or two, a few smiles and some approving nods,and that is it.I swear after the seventh chapter, I knew that I was going to enter the dreadful realm of stereotypical YA wr
Jun 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
This will have to be the worst Nick Hornby book and a most terrible novel I Have read in a long time.

Everything feels like a red herring but I will not call it so because that implies intelligent insertion of certain elements to misguide the reader for an eventual surprise. No. This book fails in many different ways and feels like the author did not quite get his act together and neither did the editor. I can understand a first person narrative can be slightly self-absorbed but the are so many
Yvhyel Tavizon
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This book I read in guidance was pretty good and I enjoyed it. There was some parts of the book that did have somewhat inappropriate. This book was bout a teenage boy who thought h would never fall in love with any girl that he met, but his mother disagreed. So they go to a party and he falls in love.
Thailyn De
Dec 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I didnt really like this book because it wasnt my type of book.
Anna B.C.
Jun 02, 2021 rated it did not like it
This is the worst book I've ever read. I wish I could erase it from my memory but it's too late. Don't make the same mistake I did. It will haunt you forever. ...more
Alexandre Payette
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
I had such high hopes for this book, I really did. Everything else I've read by Nick Hornby has been stellar (About a Boy, High Fidelity, and Juliet, Naked). But this one, well, like the title suggests, fell flat.

The problems with the story start right at the beginning. When establishing the necessary "quirky" trait of the main character, instead of being obsessed with music or just insanely shallow (like the characters in his best work), the main character talks to his Tony Hawk poster. He has
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Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as the editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. He is a recipient of the American Acade ...more

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