Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century.
After reading this all I can say is that I am very glad that my experience of the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century doesn't remotely resemble those of the characters in this novel. So much violence, aggression, misogyny and unhappiness - and that's just from the three year old who was slapped!! The story is relentless and exhausting and I didn't really like any of the characters but there is no doubting Tsiolas' skill as a writer.
Rating - I give this 3/5
Not bad!
Reviewed by Sarah @ Hamilton library


Jan said...

Can't imagine why this book has been praised so much; the characters are all horrible. I loathed it!

Maree @work said...

I loved this book, not so much the characters (which I found quite abhorrent) but I know people like this.
I thought this book was an excellent discourse on contemporary australian society. It has provoked great discussion, not just on the main theme of the slap but of how people/families have changed, what is valued and whats not etc.
This book should be on VCE reading lists.