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The Slap Paperback – 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 485 pages
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin; First Edition (5th printing) edition (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741753597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741753592
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,089,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The graphic sex scenes and use of the c word feels like overkill.
Elizabeth Morales
I had to force my self to skim the last chapter just so I could say I finished the book (this is only the second book that I've started and never really finished).
Kaybee
I found myself not really caring about the characters or what happened in the book.
Bec

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Patterson on August 21, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has occasioned a lot of controversy with many people thinking that it is misogynistic. It's overly simplistic to see this story as full of misogyny, but even if the charge held, novelists are under no obligation to be politically correct.

This is in many ways an old fashioned novel. It has a beginning, middle and an end.
Christos Tsiolkas is giving us his version of social reality and satirizing the concerns of the middle class of the 21st century. Maybe there's more cursing and sex than readers of literary novels like, but it's not gratuitous cursing and sex. It does contribute to the picture he paints of his characters. The men and women are ambivalent about one another. The characters are not always easy to like, but Mr. Tsoilkas helps us understand them.

I found Rosie, the indulgent mother of the 4 year child that is slapped, only too believable. Her child menaces an older child with a baseball bat and later in the novel spits on an elderly man out of pure malice and--that most insidious of 21st century diseases--entitlement Yet Rosie oblivious to her son's faults, is walking around with dirty hair explaining to a friend that she and her husband are trying to teach him about water conservation. But I felt sorry for her as well. She is isolated from her narcissistic mother and overly protective of her difficult husband and her young son, but enraged when her friends seem to favor family loyalties over loyalty to her.

One of the more sympathetic characters in the book is Manoli the elderly uncle of he man who delivers the slap. Manoli struggles to understand why his daughter-in-law would side with Rosie, rather than with her family.
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56 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Sekou Shaffer on June 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read constantly. I read for information, for enlightenment, for pleasure. I read anywhere from 2 to 5 books a month, and have for some 45+ years. Never have I been moved to find a forum in which to voice my complete amazement with how utterly awful a book has been.

I was excited, as I often am, when I saw this title. As a person who shamelessly admits to sometimes judging a book by it's cover, I own to liking the look of the book, and the title just jumped out at Me. "The Slap"... Intriguing. The synopsis -- Someone slaps a child who is not their own... Oooh..., you've got Me.

A more apt title would have been "Slaps All Around", which is what I wanted to do to every character -- AND myself -- less than 40 pages in. If this author won an award that wasn't presented by his mother after a panel of close family members voted on a ballot with this single book as the entry, then I am stunned.

How can the entire premise of a book play such a minor role in the ENTIRE BOOK!? How do you manage to write a story with so many characters telling "their story" from multiple vantage points, and yet do so in such a way that the reader cares about NONE of them -- not the children, not the adults, not the seniors, not the dead, not the dying... No One. I, literally, got up from reading this book, logged onto my computer, and sought out reviews because I wanted to make sure I wasn't somehow missing something. I needed reassurance that my reading tastes had not all of a sudden left Me, and I couldn't recognize a good story, or good writing when I read it! And, by the way, for those who felt that this author was a "good writer" -- Read more.
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36 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Karie Hoskins VINE VOICE on June 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are different levels of knowing a character in a story. There's the upper level...where you know what actions a character takes - what happens to a character. There's the next level, where you know many of the character's thoughts and start to know how s/he is feeling, getting some sense of what the person might do next. And then there is the level that is reached in "The Slap". The reader knows what the characters do, how they feel...and what they really think. By that I mean even those nasty, fleeting thoughts that one can't control and that one rarely acts on...but that have settled down in the murky depths of our animal souls.

I am glad I read this book - it was interesting how my opinions changed of the eight characters the reader is given full access to as I experienced more of their thoughts and actions. In all cases but two, I went from liking them or only mildly disliking them to thinking they were truly awful people. Well drawn and realistic people, which almost made me like them even less.

The pivot point of the book is right there in the title - the slap that happens at a barbeque. Friends and family gather for what promises to be a pleasant evening, too much food but only the usual everyday human dramas...when everything changes. As the cover says, "a man slaps a child who is not his own..."

Each character has his or her own ties to the man and to the child, has their own opinion of the right and wrong of what happened. While not all of their lives are as deeply affected by the act and by the events that follow - they are all touched by this unexpected and shocking event.
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