We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

(yes it’s the one I cut into three pieces)
[review[7].jpg] 485 pages
Genre: Family Saga
Tone: smutty realism
Rating: NMP
Fav lines:
Nup didn’t have one
First Line:
His eyes still shut, a dream dissolving and already
impossible to recall, Hector’s hand sluggishly reached
across the bed.

Synopsis: Hector and his wife Aisha invite friends and family to athe slap BBQ and in the course of the backyard cricket match one small child is disciplined by an adult – not his parent – via a slap on the bum. The fall out from this event, told from the the perspectives of eight adults, is the plot of this book.

What do I think? Firstly, no one should take the disciplining of a child out of the parent’s hands even if said parent isn’t doing a good job unless, of course, they are putting the child’s life/health/well being in jeopardy. This is the main social taboo dealt with in The Slap. The others; teenage sex/drug use, adultery, smoking, homosexuality, wife beating, the nanny state, mixed in with the hot button issues of racism, dysfunctional relationships, culture clash & religion combine to create a world with which many will identify.

I didn’t like one single character in this book which made it a hard read for me. I don’t like graphic sex, expletive language or melodrama either, hence the low rating. This is not what the world is like for me and I’m grateful. This book has won a swag of awards…

  • Winner, Overall Best Book the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 2009
  • Winner, ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2009
  • Overall Book of the Year 2009Winner
  • ABA Book of the Year 2009
  • Winner, ALS Gold Medal 2009
  • Winner, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2009
  • Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Prize 2009 & the Colin Roderick Award 2008
  • so maybe it’s me who’s out of touch but you know what I missed most when reading this book? Australian ideology. Where is the she’ll be right mate laconic sense of humour, where is everyone deserves a fair go? When did we start taking ourselves so seriously?

    Maybe I’m too old to read this new young stuff. I just wanted to get them all together in a room and say get over yourselves and get a bit of perspective…a kid got slapped at a barbie, the adult apologised, it happens, that’s life move on – don’t make me wade through 485 pages of filthy swearing, unattractive sex, unpleasant internal monologues only to fizzle out to everybody living unhappily ever after in soap-opera Australia in the end.

    I would not have read this if it weren’t for bookclub so bookclub is doing it’s job - forcing me outside my comfort zone. It did generate some interesting discussion many really enjoyed it – they must think like the judges who have rewarded this book so handsomely. Hey it’s not the first time I’ve been in the minority!

    2 comments:

    Wanda said...

    485 pages is alot of book not to like, bummer! Earlier this year, I was in the minority with my not so favourable opinion of George Pelecanos so I totally get where you're at with this one. Many thanks for your honest review even if it means bucking against the popular opinion of other bookies!

    Rebecca said...

    Sorry, but I kind of like it when you hate the book - makes for better bookclub discussion! :)

    I'm sure you feel better that next month is both shorter and more to your taste.