Slam (novel)

Slam (novel)

Slam is a novel written by British author Nick Hornby, published in 2007. The book's main theme is teenage pregnancy and is written from the perspective of the teenage boy, Sam.

Main Characters

  • Sam Jones- A troubled 16 year old skateboarder, Sam is scared and unprepared to be a father. His idol is Tony Hawk. He has a poster of him to whom he talks to about skate tricks and his life. He has numerous dreams in which he is in the future,raising a child with Alicia.
  • Annie Jones- A depressed 32 year old mother of Sam. She has a hostile relationship with her ex-husband(Sam’s father). She struggles to raise Sam, and is devastated when she discovers his girlfriend,Alicia, is pregnant. She becomes involved with Mark,a man she once knew through work, and it is revealed later in the book that they have a child together.
  • Sam’s Father- An uneducated plumber, Sam’s father has no interest in raising his son.
  • Rufus Jones- Sam and Alicia’s unplanned child.
  • Alicia Burns- Sam’s girlfriend that gets pregnant and refuses to have an abortion.She and Sam meet at her mother's birthday party,though they get off to an awkward start due to Sam's obvious flirting.
  • Andrea Burns- Alicia's mother that is upset about the pregnancy. She is a counsillor alongside Annie.
  • Robert Burns- Alicia's father that is upset about the pregnancy. He is a college professor.
  • Mark- The new boyfriend of Annie. It is revealed in a "flash forward," that Mark and Annie will raise another child together.
  • Rabbit- Sam’s skater friend that apparently has sub human intelligence and reasoning skills.
  • Rubbish- Sam’s other skater friend that is apparently smart, with horrible skating skills.
  • Alex- Sam’s girlfriend after he and Alicia split up.
  • Carl- Alicia’s boyfriend after she and Sam split up.


A troubled 16 year old skateboarder, Sam’s mother, Annie, gave birth to him when she was just 16. He has a poster of Tony Hawk in his room that serves as his friend and confidant. Sam’s two best friends are Rabbit and Rubbish, two skateboarders. Sam’s father is somewhat estranged from the family, visiting occasionally to see them. After being introduced to Alicia at a party thrown by Annie’s co-worker, Andrea, Sam and Alicia start to go out. Within a few weeks time, Sam and Alicia have been intimate several times. In one encounter, Sam ejaculates prematurely while not wearing a condom. Alicia calls him to meet her so they can talk. Sam realizing what news she has has a prophetic dream of waking up next to Alicia in the future. She is ugly and heavy, and their baby, Roof, is loud and obnoxious. He attends the local college occasionally throughout the week, pursuing a career in art and design. Additionally, Annie is pregnant. Sam awakens the next morning and fearing the news from Alicia, he disposes of his cell phone and runs away to a near by town. Thinking he can make a permanent residence there, Sam goes to several attractions, only to be told there is no work. While in a seedy bed and breakfast, Sam meets a rude old man, Mr Brady, that hires him as a helper with various day to day activities (helping him up and down the stairs, and retrieving his remote control). In the middle of the night, Mr Brady barges into his room demanding he helps him find the remote that has fallen behind his bed. Sam grudgingly retrieves it, only to decide that he no longer wants to stay in the town. He returns home to Annie who has called the police. After spending some time with Annie, Sam and Alicia meet up and she reveals that she is in fact pregnant. Refusing to get an abortion, Alicia and Sam work up the nerve to tell Alicia’s parents, Andrea and Robert. Originally upset, Andrea and Robert try and convince Alicia to have an abortion. When Alicia refuses, Andrea and Robert lash out and blame Sam for ruining Alicia’s life. Sam, Alicia, Andrea and Robert march over to Sam’s apartment, only to find Annie with her new boyfriend Mark. When told of the pregnancy, Annie breaks down and cries, furious that Sam would ruin his life. That night, Sam has another prophetic dream in which he takes Roof to a doctor’s appointment. Again, Sam has no idea how to take care of Roof and no idea what is going on. Sam upsets his son Rufus, and he again, realizes he is not a suitable father. As soon as Mark moves into their house, Annie becomes pregnant. Sam moves into Alicia’s house only to find that he really isn’t welcome there. The story flashes forward presumably a few years, and Sam wakes up with a beautiful girl he doesn’t know. It is revealed she is his current girlfriend, Alex, as Alicia and he broke up. The two go to meet Alicia and her new boyfriend, Carl, in a restaurant. It is made clear that Alicia is the primary caretaker of the baby, but that she and Sam still have a friendly relationship.

Southampton's Reading Slam

In Southampton, UK copies of Slam have been distributed around the city and residents have been to encouraged to pick up a copy, read it and pass it along to someone.

External links

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