by Nick Hornby
To be honest, this is the first book of Nick Hornby's that I've read. His books seem to be straight-to-movie (About A Boy, Fever Pitch, High Fidelity) and once I've seen the movie version of a book I hardly ever go the other way, so it was great to pick this one up from the office "read this" pile.
Hornby has a great, easy style. Although the central plot of the book is really teen pregnancy, he maintains the humour without ever making light of the situation. And the protagonist - 16 to 18 year old Sam - is as real and charming and frustrating as any beloved teenage male I know. Sam's mom has a life (YAY!), and what really made me smile was the relationship between Sam and his mom. HOrnby MUST have been raised by his mom on her own to have conversations as honest-to-my-life as those between Sama and his mom.
The intriguing conceit in this story - not to spoil too much - is skateboarder Sam's quirky relationship to his hero Tony Hawk (who Sam refers to as TH) - a relationship based on Sam's having read Hawk's book until he has it memorised, and speaking to TH's poster hanging on his wall.
Slam is not high literature, but it is great entertainment and a really fun, easy read.