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The Slap Paperback – Jul 20 2010

3.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (July 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554686466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554686469
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #113,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Slap is a very modern tale of families, relationships, careers, lifestyles, and coming of age. Told from 8 different perspectives, including high school students, a single unmarried woman, married women and men, and an elderly grandfather, we see the struggles that each face in their own life and in their interactions with each other. At times, the dialogue, sexual conduct, drug use and alcoholism are shocking, but yet also utterly believable and even relatable. I found myself comparing my own feelings to those of the characters - sometimes completely opposed, and other times completely understanding.

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.
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Format: Paperback
In "The Slap," a small incident turns into a big novel: the slapping of a four-year-old brat at a BBQ in suburban Melbourne balloons into 500 pages that follow the lives of eight witnesses. Hector, a civil servant of Greek origin, and his Indian wife, Aisha, host the event while Hector's cousin, Harry, administers the slap to Hugo, spoilt son of ex-hippy Rosie and alcoholic Gary. Hector's parents as well as Anouk, a Jewish, single, 40-something friend of Aisha's round out the cast of main characters.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I hated and loved this book. I almost gave up reading it, but I kept going and I'm so happy I did. It's not that the book improved towards the end, but because I could get a better understanding of the whole view and approach of the author. He did an amazing job describing the reality of this world in regards of oh so many modern taboo subjects. Yes, I did find it vulgar and disturbing at times, but unfortunately this is a very realistic picture of the actual society. It would be much more comfortable to read fairy tales.
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!
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Format: Paperback
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. Such effusively warm and friendly family gatherings often come with one fatal flaw: the incapacity of those in attendance to truly empathize with each other. On the surface they might pretend to like or even tolerate each other, but deep down they distrust each other's personal feelings on the important things in life. Conversations may initially appear polite and genial, but scratch the surface and you will discover a morass of ill-feelings, belonging to wounded souls who don't relate well to problems outside their own narrow existence. So much for family loyalty and trust. All it will take for this personalized hurt and alienation to become a firestorm of fear and loathing will be one untimely slap of a naughty child by an overreactive adult. What was supposedly a pleasant get-together turns into a deep-seated family feud that reveals how vulnerable the family institution is to irresolvable differences. Tsiolkas takes us through the painful unravelling process which invariably becomes the antithesis of everything an extended family ought to be: dysfunctionality at its worse. The eight different perspectives on this one triggering incident all reflect lives that have experienced the indignity of being 'slapped' themselves by an unloving or inconsiderate family member. "Slap" is a novel that doesn't hold back on what is truly the darker side of humanity: hatred, distrust, infidelity, promiscuity and abuse. Each personal story emerging from one small moment in time pulsates with a raw passion that speaks to what is most important to the individual: seeking vindication for being wronged. Unfortunately, not much of a chance of reconciliation here because where do you start?
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Format: Paperback
What a vitriolic novel! I've never read a novel where all the characters were so superficial and lacking in empathy. Supposedly divided into eight unique voices, it's just a repetitive cacophony of self-indulgent, self-centered horrible people. It's also lacking in the voices that I think would have been more interesting: Bilal and Shamira, Gary, even one of the kids Hugo or Adam. Instead, again and again, eight chapters of awful people.

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.
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