The Slap — July 2012


This is the first book in our new book club <excited face>.   Read it and then come back and comment, or write your own blog review and link up below. I will write my review in a month, when the link closes.


 Winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap is a riveting page-turner and a powerful, haunting rumination on contemporary middle-class family life. When a man slaps a child who is not his own at a neighborhood barbecue, the act triggers a series of repercussions in the lives of the people who witness the event-causing them to reassess their values, expectations, and desires. For readers of Jonathan Franzen and Tom Perrotta, this is a compelling account of modern society and the way we live today


My Review:

I hated this book.   There I have said it.   I struggled to start it and found it really hard to “get into”.   In fact if it had not been for the fact that I had to write a review for this at the end of the book I would have put it down on about page 50 and never picked it up again.

I felt the language was peurile in places and probably wasn’t accurate.  People just don’t talk like that in real life.   Even in Greek families.

There was no real story line, it just sort of started and just ended.   I didnt put it down thinking “that is that”, like it had all come full circle.   “Not plot driven” is how I think an expert might describe it.

And as for the characters.  They were all drunk, racists or a bunch of slappers.  Actually in some cases they were all three.    They all disliked each other and all seemed to be living double lives.   It was all a bit odd.

And was it just me or actually was “the slap” itself just a minor point?  It was what bound the eight stories together but actually didnt feature as prominently as the title implied.

Not often I dislike a book but bloody hell was I pleased when I got to the end of this one.

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  • Hi
    I read this book a few years ago and thought it was brilliant.
    Firstly it was nice to read a book that was based in Australia. Not many that I have read are.
    The book covers a very contraversial subject and it follows the opinions of the people involved in the incident.
    It was very well written and a pleasure to read.

  • I’m about a third of the way through. Is okay to have a running commentary as I don’t want to leave a really long post. What’s your protocol or preference?

    • Hi Jackie

      Nice to have a bit of a debate so by all means comment as you go along if you wish. Then others can do the same. I guess we don’t want any real spoilers for those that are not as far a long as the others but it is nice to all feel we are “reading it together”.

  • I read The Slap a few months ago and felt it started off really well. The topic of slapping a child is very pertinent today bringing forth very strong opinions from both sides of the argument.
    However there is a quite a large amount of “characters” in this book and to be frank I didn’t really like any of them. The story is told from the different characters perspective which was interesting to see the story from differing viewpoints. I did feel toward the end that the story had drifted “off course” quite a bit and the end left me with more questions than answers.

    • ooh thanks Caroline.

      I have to admit, I am struggling with all the characters in the build up to the actual “slap”. I have picked it up and put it down quite a few times. It is hard to get in to.

  • I agree, I don’t like any of them either, with the possible exception of Connie as I find her to be a typical teenager. I’m about 2/3 of the way through now.

  • Oh I really couldn’t be doing with this book but read it to the end just incase it got better. It really didn’t get any better.

    When I read a book I like to lose myself and feel part of the surroundings and know where they are. With this book I felt I was stuck in the dining room of my prep school in detention reading the Honours Boards. Dull.

    I read it whilst staying with an Australian friend and promised I would leave it for her. She’s not read it either.

    When someone says “oh you must read this book” I will steer well away in future and stick to books that I want to read not those I have been told to read to avoid disappoinment!

  • Okay, I don’t feel so bad now. I’m not any further in it than I was a week ago. I don’t really like anyone and I’m at the chapter about the father (can’t remember his name but it starts with an M). I have aquired two other e-books to read in the interim and may go to them and abandon this one.

    The language was coarse, but that didn’t bother me (I work in a commerical kitchen). There was nothing redeeming about any of them. I know I said I’d say more but there really isn’t much more to say. The “slap” of the title, was anticlimatic as was the “trial” about it. Almost like there was nothing else holding the book together.

  • I didn’t relate to any of the characters in the book and found it quite dull & disjointed. The author didn’t really address issues surrounding ‘the slap’. As a rule I prefer female authors and in the past have become irritated with the writing style & language of some male authors. This was no exception. I found some of the language too basic, coarse and unnecessary.