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!


    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.