I seem to be super-bloggy today — probably just procrastinating, which is particularly dumb this week, since it’s a short week in the office.

Anyway, I read this book pretty much in one sitting (or, really, over the course of one day), which is unusual for me lately. I’ve liked Hornby since High Fidelity, and again with About a Boy, although his more recent work hasn’t captured me as much. One of the things he’s very very good at is writing with a distinctive, clear point of view, and Slam does a great job with that. It’s written from the viewpoint of an 18 year old boy who deals with a challenging few years from 16 to 18. Wonders whether you’re doomed to repeat the same patterns as your family, how to grow up, etc. I really enjoyed it, and think Hornby’s done a fine job.

I’ll contrast it with The Gum Thief, Douglas Coupland’s new novel, which I’m mired in the middle of. POV is Coupland’s great strength, too, and in his new book, it’s exceptional as usual — but it’s just a little depressing & slow, and so has taken me a couple of weeks to get through the first hundred pages. (FWIW, if you haven’t read Coupland’s Hey, Nostradamus, you should — very underappreciated book by him.)

2 Replies to “slam, by Nick Hornby”

  1. The new Hornby sounds good. Personally, I am doing a mini blogothon on Coupland’s latest, and will be posting as I read it. Both authors are similar in some respects – they take on unique (though often shifting) perspectives that reflect very contemporary themes. Like Kerouac, they are very much products of their time. Many of their pop-culture references are so embedded in our present context that they may be lost on future readers. Anyways, I would like to hear your thoughts on The Gum Thief when you finish.Cheers!

  2. The new Hornby sounds good. Personally, I am doing a mini blogothon on Coupland’s latest, and will be posting as I read it.

    Both authors are similar in some respects – they take on unique (though often shifting) perspectives that reflect very contemporary themes. Like Kerouac, they are very much products of their time. Many of their pop-culture references are so embedded in our present context that they may be lost on future readers.

    Anyways, I would like to hear your thoughts on The Gum Thief when you finish.

    Cheers!

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