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The Slap: A Novel Paperback – April 27, 2010
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“Strikingly tender . . . it claws into you with its freshness and truth.” - Sydney Morning Herald
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
I only write reviews occasionally (although I read at least 100 books a year). I felt compelled to put this one up when I saw all the negative opinions here. This book may be a watershed. A must read for sure.
A guest at the BBQ, Hector, slaps a small, dangerously misbehaving child, Hugo - enraging Hugo's parents and setting off a chain of events that changes the lives of many of those present. Many of the other reviewers were put off by the author''s "gratuitous" use of sex throughout the novel as a mechanism for moving the plot forward. I was, as well. In fact, after a couple of chapters, I found myself skimming through the crudely drawn sexual episodes and the over-abundance of "c*nt" and "f*ck" and just getting on with the story. And it's a good one because it describes, better than any novel I've read recently, the effect that judgment and greed and jealously and anger have warped our modern day lives.
As you can see by the reactions of many of the reviewers, "The Slap" is a book that invites the reader's judgment of its characters, and one that also invites us to forgive them as we begin to understand the motives behind their actions. As I read through this book, I found myself. again and again, returning to earlier chapters as I began to see the characters in a new light. The Slap is a book I'll read at least once more.
I'm giving the book four stars because of my reaction to the author's overuse of crude sexuality and because the story redeemed it. Normally, I would have put the book down after two or three chapters, but the story propelled me forward through my desire to understand the characters more fully.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a glimpse into contemporary Australia with it's immigrant population, interracial, generational, and class relationships. Read morePublished 23 hours ago by EG
Worst book I have ever read. Please don't waste your time.Published 4 months ago by Mandeep K. Mahil
Rashomonesque, but unlike Rashomon, the multiple viewpoints complement rather than contradict each other. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Meedo
this book is brillntly written and i could not put it down. it certainly cintributed to lively duscussions amongst friends who generally ignore race and class issues in AustraliaPublished 7 months ago by Joanna K
I selected the slap for my book club read, and was very excited by the premise of the story, but in the end it was pretty awful. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Agony Tate