Nick Hornby was born in 1957. First he graduated from Cambridge University and taught English and in 1992 his first book, a series of critical essays on American novelists, was published. When he started to work as an author he was already very successful: In 1999 he was awarded the E. m. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and letters. In 2002 he won the W. H. Smith Award for Fiction and in 2003 he was honored with the Writers’ Writer Award at the Orange Word International Writers Festival. His second novel, “About A Boy” was adapted, starring Hugh Grant as the main character. “Slam” was published in 2007 and became a popular reading for students. Nick Hornby lives and works in Highbury, north London.
“Slam” was written by Nick Hornby in 2007. It is about an average British boy whose life is ticking along nicely. When he gets to know a girl his life suddenly changes.
The narrator, Sam, is 16 and lives for skateboarding. He lives with his divorced, very young mother; she likes to say that she’s only three years older than David Beckham and four years younger than Jennifer Aniston. At one of his mum’s parties he gets to know a girl, Alicia, a beautiful girl which would never have looked at him if she didn’t have to because Sam was the only other young person in the room. Surprisingly, they become a couple and soon they start having sex. After a few weeks he doesn’t meet Alicia anymore because he thinks their relationship was too boring. Everything is the same as before until his ex girlfriend tells him that she got pregnant and wants to keep the child. Sam being a father? No way …
Nick Hornby tries to keep the language level low so the reader can understand the content very easily. In the beginning it can be confusing who exactly TH (Tony Hawk) is and why Sam is talking to him but after some time you get used to it. Though Nick Hornby doesn’t always write about is actual topic – teenage pregnancy and teenage parents – I never got bored reading it because it is very real how he lets Sam and Alicia go their ways.
I would recommend the book to all young people, especially to those who are learning English because it is not only a good book, it can also be a good reading exercise. I enjoyed reading it but I don’t think I would read it again in 5 years.
Rewrite one chapter:
I have to confess, things are going on quite nicely. My mom got rid of her stupid boyfriend, my art teacher has never been more content with me and I learned two new skating tricks. I am worried now that you are a bit confused … Skating = skateboarding. And the most important thing: I had met Alicia. But I’ll tell you about her a bit later; first you should know me better. My mum and my dad don’t live together since I was very little. They only agreed in one thing: I should give up art and learn physics. But I don’t want to learn physics because of two reasons. First, I like art better (which I think should be enough to convince my parents), the second reason is that physics is similar to maths and I hate maths.
There is a strange thing about me. I talk to Tony Hawk and I think he talks back to me. Tony is the best skater in the world. Actually I don’t have to tell you because everyone knows him, at least I hope so. I’m talking to him about the problems I am having or about the tricks I’d pulled off. I’m telling him everything I can’t tell my mum. I don’t want to diss her but I know that if I told her about some things she’d just try to look enthusiastic but I would know that she only wanted to be polite. If you believe it or not, Tony helps me to get through life.
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