Saturday, 19 March 2011
Slam by Nick Hornby
Unfortunately I was disappointed. This was by far the worst Hornby I have ever read. The plot was formulaic and contained no surprises. Sam was the only character with any character - the book contains no more information about Alicia, the girl who actually becomes pregnant, than that she once wanted to be a model (or maybe she just said that to impress Sam) and she's irritable. It honestly felt like Hornby had written this one in his sleep.
I think part of the problem is that I've read Malorie Blackman's Boys Don't Cry, which also deals with teenage pregnancy from the male point of view, and it was just so much better. The characters were believable and I actually found myself caring about what happened. Not so with Slam - I didn't care whether Alicia and Sam stayed together, or whether Sam grew up or not. And I think Hornby ducked out of the whole abortion issue by having Alicia so adament to keep the baby. I wanted that issue explored further.
The book's saving grace was that it was well written. Hornby got into the head of a typical teenage boy very well and it written in his usual engaging style. It was just missing that spark. And don't even get me started on the possible time travel!
Score: 3 out of 5