The Slap Paperback – Jul 20 2010
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"What makes this novel a winner are its originality and the amazingly wide range of its characters. . . . Like canada's Mordecai Richler, tsiolkas is unflinching in depicting the hypocrisies of his own community, but his portraits are never one-dimensional." --Winnipeg Free Press
About the Author
CHRISTOS TSIOLKAS is the author of four previous novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head On; The Jesus Man; Dead Europe, which won the Age Fiction Award and the Melbourne Prize for Literature Best Writing Award; and The Slap, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (South East Asia and South Pacific), the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, and the Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year. The Slap was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Tsiolkas is also a playwright, essayist and screenwriter. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
As another reviewer points out, despite being set in Australia, this story could just as easily take place in Canada or the US. An easy read, interesting, fun, and suitable for both men and women.
As the novel digs into the lives of these individuals, the actual slap gets sidetracked as Christos Tsiolkas deftly concentrates on Australia's multicultural relations, balancing tensions, animosities, fissures and relationships. Certainly, his prose sometimes reads awkwardly and some characters pique more interest than others but, on the whole, this edgy book constantly pushes boundaries and questions assumptions. From racism to the contradictions of liberalism to the crisis of masculinity, "The Slap" invokes unease while providing a gripping read.
I found the characters to be very complex, not at all the black or white / good or evil type, which I appreciated a lot.
So, yes, I would recommend this book and advise anybody interested in a good writing to be patient and keep reading. It's going to worth it!
Moreover, I felt manipulated throughout the whole piece, like the author was trying to make us pick a side. Didn't work for me. I disliked everyone equally. What a horrible portrayal of Australians. I'm embarrassed for my Aussie friends that this book got all the press it did.
I think I'll probably remember the book for awhile. But I don't think there's really much else to recommend it other than it being memorable for being so antagonistic to the reader.
Another reviewer, who definitely didn't like the book, used this description .."Let's see... teenage sexuality, Muslim conversion, racism, child rearing, breastfeeding, assault and child abuse, adultery, drug taking, alcoholism, selling out to popular culture, family, role of parents, multiculturalism, John Howard's policies, Aboriginality... " to enumerate "The Slap's" plot points. And she was dead-on right. Author Christos Tsiolkas takes on almost every issue in today's society in Australia - the good along with the bad. Does he do a good job at it? I think he does, but, boy, I can sure see why other readers didn't think so.
"The Slap" is told in eight different voices; those of eight people who had been guests at a Melbourne picnic where a man slapped a naughty child who he thought threatened his own child. Lives were changed because of this slap, some minor, others major. The center of the book, does someone have the right to discipline another person's child? In this case, the three year old child, "Hugo", was receiving no parental guidance. He was allowed to run wild and had upset many guests at the party. This child was just cruisin' for a bruisin'!
The book has overt sexual scenes and obscene language. I can see how that might offend some readers. But, I didn't think the sex and language was used in a gratuitous way. It seemed intrinsic to the story. Tsiolkas writes very well and movingly about relationships. Relationships of all sorts; between parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. Even between bosses and employees. No main character gets off easy in Tsiolkas's telling. All have faults - some more grievous than others - and most are not likable.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
What could be more enjoyable than a good old-fashioned BBQ with extended family members in the backyard of some modern Australian suburb? Well, this author has news for you. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ian Gordon Malcomson
No, my expectations were not met. I found the book difficult to get involved with and after 3 ( yes, that's three... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice
I purchased this for my loved one and if she is happy then I am happy too! Thanks!Published 16 months ago by James Navarro
Well this book was a bit of a disappointment. I really thought it was going to be a lot better. In fact i stopped reading it half way through. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Nadia
I felt that there was far too much bad language and sex that was completely un needed. I felt like i had to take a shower and scrub my brain after reading it for only a few... Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2013 by Amazon Customer
I bought this book because I thought the premise would bring up interesting points of view and human dynamics, which it did. Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2013 by Sarah
I was unable to finish the book. The characters were generally so unattractive that I could not care what happened to them, And I like Australians.Published on May 21 2013 by John F. Brinckman
The first few chapters were very engaging and I really wanted to know more about the other characters. But by the end, that interest faded to mild curiosity. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2012 by Who the hell is Natalie Varios