The Slap

The Slap

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Christos Tsiolkas

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  • Publisher: Tuskar Rock
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 212mm x 38mm | 558g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1848873557
  • ISBN 13: 9781848873551
  • Sales rank: 4,254

Product description

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009, this title is an international bestseller. At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own...The reverberations call into question the relationships between all those who witness it. At a suburban barbecue one afternoon, a man slaps an unruly 3-year-old boy. The boy is not his son. It is a single act of violence, but this one slap reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it happen. In his controversial, award-winning novel, Christos Tsiolkas presents an apparently harmless domestic incident as seen from eight very different perspectives. The result is an unflinching interrogation of our lives today; of the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century, a deeply thought-provoking novel about boundaries and their limits...

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Author information

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of four novels: Loaded (filmed as Head-On) The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. The Slap won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009 and was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.

Customer reviews

By Nutchi Chairuangvit 09 Jul 2014 4

This book stirs and perturbs the senses. You have to read the book for what it is worth and no more than that. The author gives his reader a taste of what it would be like to be a fly on the wall, meant for benign entertainment.
It gives you a microcosm look at "Australian society". Worth a read to broaden your reading genre.

By Leonie Lewthwaite 12 Apr 2012 5

I can't help but think that the other reviews who cannot relate to the characters miss the entire point of the book - This book is written by a an Australian Greek who has obviously spent time in the greek community - I would not relate to that world because I am not from it - not would I relate to Diostoyevskis Anna Karenina I am not Russian...

I think the characters are entirely plausable and quite frankly I would have slapped the child and his parents too!

By Trevor Stace 29 Oct 2011 1

As a secondary English teacher I am always on the lookout for texts that inspire and challenge readers. The only challenge I found with this novel, was to somehow connect it to the society in which I live. True, it reflects that we are a multicultural society. However, I know few people who are so deeply misogynistic or so openly and unnecessarily foul mouthed. I must admit that I don't live in a Greek enclave, but I feel it beggars belief that, given the many Greek/Australians I have known, the Greek characters in this novel reflect the typical member of the Australian Greek community. Overall, I think its debatable as to whether Hugo deserved a slap (I think his parents would have been more deserving) but I have no doubt that Tsiolkas does. I am so glad I only paid $10 for my copy. Even that was too high.

Trevor Stace, BA Grad Dip Ed.

By Nicole Woodward 22 Dec 2010 5

As other reviewers have said, it's hard to have any empathy for any of the characters in this book, however that's beside the point- the insights and storyline are fantastic.

As an Australian who comes from a community rich in Greek migrants, I felt like Tsiolkas was writing about people I actually knew. Fantastic book!!

By Lauren 12 Sep 2010 1

I could not relate to a single character in this book. Also, I am not a prude, but the never ending sexual references, and excessive use of vulgar language made me cringe on nearly every single page that I read. The book rarely focuses on the incident of the actual slap at all. There are constant racist stereotypes throughout the book that I don't feel are a true representation of Australia at all.

Overall, I did not enjoy the book at all.

Review quote

"'With The Slap, Tsiolkas secures his place as one of Australia's most important novelists.' The Age"