Study Guide

Slam Summary

By Nick Hornby

Slam Summary

Here's what you need to know about Sam Jones: He loves to skateboard and rides the rails every chance he gets. Like most skaters, Sam loves Tony Hawk. In fact, he even has a poster of Tony in his bedroom and talks to it sometimes. Whenever he needs advice, Tony is there to help. Sam just asks, and then thinks about what Tony would do. Hey, whatever works…

So when Sam starts spending less time at Grind City, and more time at Alicia's house, Sam's mom knows something is up. Sam is head-over-heels in love—or so he thinks, anyway. His mom introduced him to Alicia since she met Andrea (a.k.a. Alicia's mom) at work. The two hit it off, and Sam and Alicia have been inseparable ever since.

Neither of them has been all the way with a boyfriend or girlfriend before. One night, they decide to go through with it, though. They keep everything hush-hush, but keep sleeping together whenever their parents aren't around. Then, Alicia thinks she might be pregnant. She goes to get a pregnancy test to make sure, and Sam visits the future (maybe in a dream) to see what it would be like. There, he and Alicia live together at her parents' house, and they have a son named Roof, which Sam thinks is a dumb name.

When he comes back to the present, Sam decides to ditch Alicia and the baby—just until his mom finds out the news. He doesn't want to run away from his responsibilities, but he can't be the one to break the news to his mom. He takes a train to Hastings, but after one night there, decides he's better off at home.

Naturally, Alicia and his mom are ticked that he skipped town. Since they were too busy calling the police to search for him, no one is any wiser about the bun in the oven. Alicia and Sam tell her parents first. They flip out and call Sam a bunch of names since they blame him. Next up? Sam's mom, who takes the news only slightly better than Alicia's folks. She's disappointed, especially because she had Sam at sixteen and doesn't want her son to make the same mistakes.

Fast-forward to the future again, and Sam doesn't live with Alicia anymore. He's back at home with his mom, her new fling Mark. Roof—or Rufus, as he's really named—is doing well. Sam comes back to the present and realizes he and Alicia don't need to be together in order for things to turn out okay. He moves in with Alicia after baby Rufus is born, but moves out soon after since they fight all the time.

Sam goes over to Alicia's pad often to pick up Rufus, and when he does, he and Alicia have a weird chemistry. They are on-again, off-again. Meanwhile, Sam's mom is knocked up and Mark has moved in. She gives birth to a daughter named Emily, whom Sam loves and helps take care of.

Once again, Sam visits the future. He sees himself with a girl named Alex and Alicia with a dude named Carl. Everyone gets along great. Rufus and Emily hang out with Sam a lot, and he has a job now, too. They are not a traditional family, but everyone is happy and healthy, so they all take it in stride.