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SLAM Poche – 6 mai 2010

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Extrait

So things were ticking along quite nicely. In fact, I’d say that good stuff had been happening pretty solidly for about six months.

• For example: Mum got rid of Steve, her rubbish boy¬friend.

• For example: Mrs. Gillett, my Art and Design teacher, took me to one side after a lesson and asked whether I’d thought of doing art at college.

• For example: I’d learned two new skating tricks, suddenly, after weeks of making an idiot of myself in public. (I’m guessing that not all of you are skaters, so I should say something straightaway, just so there are no terrible misunderstandings. Skating = skateboarding. We never say skateboarding, usually, so this is the only time I’ll use the word in this whole story. And if you keep thinking of me messing around on ice, then it’s your own stupid fault.) All that, and I’d met Alicia too.

I was going to say that maybe you should know something about me before I go off on one about my mum and Alicia and all that. If you knew something about me, you might actually care about some of those things. But then, looking at what I just wrote, you know quite a lot already, or at least you could have guessed a lot of it. You could have guessed that my mum and dad don’t live together, for a start, unless you thought that my dad was the sort of person who wouldn’t mind his wife having boyfriends. Well, he’s not. You could have guessed that I skate, and you could have guessed that my best subject at school was Art and Design, unless you thought I might be the sort of person who’s always being taken to one side and told to apply for college by all the teachers in every subject. You know, and the teachers actually fight over me. “No, Sam! Forget art! Do physics!” “Forget physics! It would be a tragedy for the human race if you gave up French!” And then they all start punching each other.

Yeah, well. That sort of thing really, really doesn’t happen to me. I can promise you, I have never, ever caused a fight between teachers.

And you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes or whatever to work out that Alicia was a girl who meant something to me. I’m glad there are things you don’t know and can’t guess, weird things, things that have only ever happened to me in the whole history of the world, as far as I know. If you were able to guess it all from that first little paragraph, I’d start to worry that I wasn’t an incredibly complicated and interesting person, ha ha.

This was a couple of years ago, this time when things were ticking along OK, when I was fifteen, nearly sixteen. And I don’t want to sound pathetic, and I really don’t want you to feel sorry for me, but this feeling that my life was OK was new to me. I’d never had the feeling before, and I haven’t really had it since. I don’t mean to say that I’d been unhappy. It was more that there had always been something wrong before, somewhere—something to worry about. (And, as you’ll see, there’s been a fair bit to worry about since, but we’ll get to that.) For instance, my parents were getting divorced, and they were fighting. Or they’d finished getting divorced, but they were still fighting anyway, because they carried on fighting long after they got divorced. Or maths wasn’t going very well—I hate maths—or I wanted to go out with someone who didn’t want to go out with me. . . . All of this had just sort of cleared up, suddenly, without me noticing, really, the way the weather does sometimes. And that summer, there seemed to be more money around. My mum was working, and my dad wasn’t as angry with her, which meant he was giving us what he ought to have been giving us all the time. So, you know. That helped.

If I’m going to tell this story properly, without trying to hide anything, then there’s something I should own up to, because it’s important. Here’s the thing. I know it sounds stupid, and I’m not this sort of person usually, honest. I mean, I don’t believe in, you know, ghosts or reincarnation or any weird stuff at all. But this, it was just something that started happening, and . . . Anyway. I’ll just say it, and you can think what you want.

I talk to Tony Hawk, and Tony Hawk talks back.

Some of you, probably the same people who thought I spend my time twirling around on ice skates, won’t have heard of Tony Hawk. Well, I’ll tell you, but I have to say that you should know already. Not knowing Tony Hawk is like not knowing Robbie Williams, or maybe even Tony Blair. It’s worse than that, if you think about it. Because there are loads of politicians, and loads of singers, hundreds of TV programs. George Bush is probably even more famous than Tony Blair, and Britney Spears or Kylie are as famous as Robbie Williams. But there’s only one skater, really, and his name’s Tony Hawk. Well, there’s not only one. But he’s definitely the Big One. He’s the J. K. Rowling of skaters, the Big Mac, the iPod, the Xbox. The only excuse I’ll accept for not knowing TH is that you’re not interested in skating.

When I got into skating, my mum bought me a Tony Hawk poster off the Internet. It’s the coolest present ’ve ever had, and it wasn’t even the most expensive. And it went straight up onto my bedroom wall, and I just got into the habit of telling it things. At first, I only told Tony about skating— I’d talk about the problems I was having, or the tricks I’d pulled off. I pretty much ran to my room to tell him about the first rock-n-roll I managed, because I knew it would mean much more to a picture of Tony Hawk than it would to a real- life Mum. I’m not dissing my mum, but she hasn’t got a clue, really. So when I told her about things like that, she’d try to look all enthusiastic, but there was nothing really going on in her eyes. She was all, Oh, that’s great. But if I’d asked her what a rock’n’roll was, she wouldn’t have been able to tell me. So what was the point? Tony knew, though. Maybe that was why my mum bought me the poster, so that I’d have somebody else to talk to.

The talking back started soon after I’d read his book Hawk—Occupation: Skateboarder. I sort of knew what he sounded like then, and some of the things he’d say. To be honest, I sort of knew all of the things he’d say when he talked to me, because they came out of his book. I’d read it forty or fifty times when we started talking, and I’ve read it a few more times since. In my opinion it’s the best book ever written, and not just if you’re a skater. Everyone should read it, because even if you don’t like skating, there’s something in there that could teach you something. Tony Hawk has been up, and down, and gone through things, just like any politician or musician or soap star. Anyway, because I’d read it forty or fifty times, I could remember pretty much all of it off by heart. So for example, when I told him about the rock-n-rolls, he said, “They aren’t too hard. But they’re a foundation for learning balance and control of your board on a ramp. Well done, man!”

The “Well done, man!” part was actual conversation, if you see what I mean. That was new. I made that up. But the rest, those were words he’d used before, more or less. OK, not more or less. Exactly. I wished in a way that I didn’t know the book so well, because then I could have left out the bit where he says, “They aren’t too hard.” I didn’t need to hear that when I’d spent like six months trying to get them right. I wished he’d just said, you know, “Hey! They’re a foundation for learning balance and control of your board!” But leaving out “They aren’t too hard” wouldn’t have been hon¬est. When you think of Tony Hawk talking about rock-n-rolls, you hear him say, “They aren’t too hard.” I do, anyway. That’s just how it is. You can’t rewrite history, or leave bits of it out just because it suits you.

After a while, I started talking to Tony Hawk about other things—about school, Mum, Alicia, whatever, and I found that he had something to say about those things too. His words still came from his book, but the book is about his life, not just skating, so not everything he says is about sacktaps and shove-its.

For example, if I told him about how I’d lost my temper with Mum for no reason, he’d say, “I was ridiculous. I can’t believe my parents didn’t duct-tape me up, stuff a sock in my mouth and throw me in a corner.” And when I told him about some big fight at school, he said, “I didn’t get into any trouble, because I was happy with Cindy.” Cindy was his girlfriend of the time. Not everything Tony Hawk said was that helpful, to tell you the truth, but it wasn’t his fault. If there was nothing in the book that was exactly right, then I had to make some of the sentences fit as best I could. And the amazing thing was that once you made them fit, then they always made sense, if you thought about what he said hard enough.

From now on, by the way, Tony Hawk is TH, which is what I call him. Most people call him The Birdman, what with him being a Hawk and everything, but that sounds a bit American to me. And also, people round my way are like sheep and they think that Thierry Henry is the only sportsman whose initials are TH. Well, he’s not, and I like winding them up. The letters TH feel like my personal secret code.

Why I’m mentioning my TH conversations here, though, is because I remember telling him that things were ticking along nicely. It was sunny, and I’d spent most of the day down at Grind City, which as you may or may not know is a skate park a short bus ride from my house. I mean, you probably wouldn’t know that it’s a short bus ride from my house, because you don’t know where I live, but you might have heard of the skate park, if you’re cool, or if you know somebody who’s cool. Anyway, Alicia and I went to the cinema that evening, and it was maybe the third or fourth time we’d been out, and I was really, really into her. And when I came in, Mum was watching a DVD with her friend Paula, and she seemed happy to me, although maybe that was in my imagination. Maybe I was the happy one, because she was watching a DVD with Paula and not with Steve the rubbish boyfriend.

“How was the film?” Mum asked me.

“Yeah, good,” I said.

“Did you watch any of it?” said Paula, and I just went to my room, because I didn’t want that sort of conversation with her. And I sat down on the bed, and I looked at TH, and I said, “Things really aren’t so bad.”

And he said, “Life is good. We moved into a new, larger house on a lagoon, close to the beach and, more importantly, with a gate.”

Like I said, not everything that TH comes up with is exactly right. It’s not his fault. It’s just that his book isn’t long enough. I wish it were a million pages long, a) because then I probably wouldn’t have finished it yet and b) because then he’d have something to tell me about everything.

And I told him about the day at Grind City, and the tricks I’d been working on, and then I told him about stuff I don’t normally bother with in my talks with TH. I told him a little bit about Alicia, and about what was going on with Mum, and how Paula was sitting where Steve used to sit. He didn’t have so much to say about that, but for some reason I got the impression that he was interested.

Does this sound mad to you? It probably does, but I don’t care, really. Who doesn’t talk to someone in their heads? Who doesn’t talk to God, or a pet, or someone they love who has died, or maybe just to themselves? TH . . . he wasn’t me. But he was who I wanted to be, so that makes him the best version of myself, and that can’t be a bad thing, to have the best version of yourself standing there on a bedroom wall and watching you. It makes you feel as though you mustn’t let yourself down.

Anyway, all I’m saying is that there was this time—maybe it was a day, maybe a few days, I can’t remember now—when everything seemed to have come together. And so obviously it was time to go and screw it all up.

--Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Revue de presse

“With Sam, Hornby has given us another of his perfectly imperfect male characters… Sparkling.” —Chicago Sun-Times
 
“We want to hear whatever this kid has got to say—the whole scary, hilarious story.… Hornby just makes it look easy.” —The Washington Post --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.


Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 294 pages
  • Editeur : 10/18 (6 mai 2010)
  • Collection : Domaine étranger
  • Langue : Français
  • ISBN-10: 2264051981
  • ISBN-13: 978-2264051981
  • Dimensions du produit: 11,1 x 2,7 x 17,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (11 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 93.323 en Livres (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres)
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Pol Macqueron TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS le 27 juin 2008
Format: Broché
Slam est un nouvel opus pop de plus pour l'auteur anglais le plus drôle du moment. Comme à son habitude, Nick Hornby nous délivre dans un style simple, mais bougrement efficace, une histoire qui a pour but principal de faire rire, et c'est bien réussi.
Non, il ne s'agit pas de faire un livre sérieux et dur, malgré les sujets abordés, mais il s'agit bel et bien de s'amuser des personnages.
On pourra reprocher à Nick Hornby de fournir toujours le même fond à ses romans: un adulescent ou un adolescent (comme c'est le cas ici) se retrouve confronté au monde adulte... et les conséquences qui en découlent n'ont pas d'autre but que de nous amuser.
Mais même si on connait les tenants et les aboutissants, on se laisse aller dans ce livre, dans lequel on rit aux éclats des aventures de ce anti-héros à la croisée des chemins entre les personnages de Judd Appatow et ceux de Friends.
N'ayez aucune crainte, la lecture en anglais se révèle aisée et ne devrait poser aucun problème.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Patrick le 29 août 2009
Format: Poche
Un adolescent Sam raconte comment il est devenu à 16 ans père d'un enfant dénommé "Roof" suite à la rencontre d'une jolie jeune fille de son âge Alicia. La mère du protagoniste l'avait eu également jeune, à 16 ans et elle est à l'initiative de la rencontre entre Alicia et Sam. On suit les péripérities de Sam, ses doutes, ses craintes, sa passion pour le Skate (le titre Slam vient de ce loisir) et son héros Hawk à qui il parle via son poster.

Le livre a un style "oral" et est plein d'humour face au tragique commun aux adolescents qui se retrouvent à avoir un bébé sans l'avoir choisi.
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5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Pierre-yves Champenois TOP 500 COMMENTATEURSVOIX VINE le 22 juillet 2008
Format: Broché
Nick Hornby est génial. Même quand il ne livre pas ses meilleurs opus (ce qui est le cas avec le présent "Slam"), il parvient à nous faire ressentir un flot de sentiments jamais larmoyants et surtout tellement réalistes.
Qui n'a pas déjà eu peur de voir sa copine enceinte sur un simple coup du sort? Qui n'a jamais galéré avec ses parents pour parler de "certaines choses"? Qui n'a pas eu d'amis imaginaires étant enfant, comme c'est le cas de Tony Hawk pour le héros du livre, Sam?
Et pourtant, il ne s'agit pas là d'un chef d'oeuvre. L'humour so "british" est quelque peu absent, et certains passages sont un peu redondants (les passages dans le futur principalement).
Mais Nick Hornby reste un formidable romancier, doué pour exprimer à travers ces livres des sensations que tout un chacun a déjà ressenti au cours de son existence. Les affres de l'adolescence du jeune Sam sont ainsi un parfait terreau pour l'oeuvre de Hornby.
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Format: Broché
Sam figures that his life is going pretty well. He's doing all right in school, he gets along with his mom, he has a great girlfriend, and is getting good at skateboarding. He has aspirations of attending college, unlike his mom, who had to drop out of school when she became pregnant with him.

But all of his dreams come crashing down when his girlfriend, Alicia, tells him that she's pregnant. And she has no intention of getting rid of the baby.

Sam spooks. He goes into denial. When that doesn't work, he tries running away, physically and emotionally. And then, an unexplainable thing happens...while he dreams at night, he gets whizzed into the future and is shown an unexpected life that will force him to face the facts and take responsibility for his actions.

SLAM is a frank, vivid, and highly realistic take on teenage pregnancy from a point of view that is completely different from what many are accustomed to. Hornby doesn't waste time by working in lectures of the consequences of premarital sex, but instead gives us Sam, who is a little selfish, very scared, a bit ashamed, but ultimately a strong character who, through many trials and despite his own feelings, manages to pull himself together and attempt to be the best dad he can be -- and is surprisingly good at it.

The more unbelievable element of the story, Sam's visits to the future, gives the story just the right dash of unique appeal without seeming too implausible. Hornby does more than just give us an intriguing account of teen parenthood; he reveals each emotion, thought, and feeling with startling clarity and humor, until you understand and empathize with Sam. SLAM is a fascinating, compelling, and even poignant read that won't soon be forgotten.

Reviewed by: The Compulsive Reader
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Par Peter Guizmo TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS le 10 août 2013
Format: Poche
A 16 ans, Sam aime avant tout... le skate..
Mais voilà, Alicia, une jeune fille connue grâce à sa mère et avec qui il a eu une courte relation passionnelle est enceinte...
16 ans pour devenir père, c'est jeune.
Quand votre mère vous a eu à cette âge là et qu'on a conscience des sacrifices qu'elle a fait pour vous, c'est inquiétant...
Et quand en plus vous etiez sur le point de rompre avec la jeune maman avant de découvrir que vous alliez être papa, c'est carrément la flippe totale...
Avec comme seule aide, le poster d'une star du skate (dont le livre sert de bible à Sam)qui lui sert de confident, il va pourtant falloir faire face..

Sur un ton simple et amusant, Nick Hornby retrace donc les mésaventures de ce jeune ado, papa avant l'heure..
Il n'y a évidemment rien de révolutionnaire dans ce récit, mais ce Sam est drôlement sympathique, les situations cocasses s'enchainent.. et on profite d'un joli moment de détente plein de sourires.
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