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10 thoughts on “The Slap

  1. says:

    Thank you Christos Tsiolkas you finally made my mind up for me and I have flung your horrid novel away from me in a graceless convulsion which mixed repulsion and depression in eual parts with a dash of glee Because for many pages I was desperately seeking a casus belli Something I could put my finger on I was a closet Slap hater at this point I couldn't uite admit the horror of this novel to myself I needed to find something definite a line in the print where I could say thus far and no fartherOn and on I read And finally one such moment arrived on page 225 The scene is the grimy household of Rosie and Gary and their son Hugo who is somewhere between three and four years of age Hugo is the slapee of the story Now one of the things about Hugo is that he's still suckling at his mother's breast which everyone thinks is a bit gross because he's nearly four you know and I was agreeing with this since every single time Hugo hove into view he was like a nipple seeking missile aiming straight at his mum's brassiere and we would get another description of the act and everyone's reaction to the act Every timeSo now here on p225 we have Gary the sex starved husband wrestling with his young son for control of the breasts She was feeding Hugo on the couch when Gary walked back into the room He came and stood over them He watched his son suck contentedly from Rose's tit 'I want some of that' Rosie frowned 'Don't Gaz' 'I do i want some of your boobie' Hugo dropped his nipple and looked mutinously at his father 'No It's mine' 'No it isn't' Hugo looked at her for encouragement 'Whose boobies are they? 'They belong to all of us' she said laughingThen the atmosphere turns nasty and Gary and the kid begin to suabble viciously about the breasts At this point I murmered Thank you Christos At last I knew you had it in you placed the novel down upon my reading desk and prepared for the traditional flinging at wall ceremony PREVIOUSLY ON PAUL BRYANT READS 'THE SLAP'P 150 The thing is I have seven seven books I really actually do want to read coming my way very soon I hear the tramp tramp tramp of the feet of several burly postmen This book not so much But you know the feeling when you walk out of the shop and you get home and you just don't remember stuffing the two packs of sausages three packs of wafer thin Wiltshire ham and two small jars of marmite down your kecks? So here I am on p 150 I don't know how I got here or how I'm going to get out of this geyser of Ozzie soapsuds Can there really be another 330 pages to go? The Shangri Las PB is that a bestseller you got there? Uh huh? Gee it must be great reading it all day By the way where'd you get it?Pb dressed in black leather channelling Mary Weiss I met it in the Sainsbury store – 60% off You get the picture?Shangs Yes we seePb That's when I becameA reader of The SlapMy friends were always putting it downShangs Down downOnly good for the beach they said with a frownShangs Frown frownThey told me it was badAnd I knew I'd been hadI'm sorry I started it – reader of The SlapThe page 100 decision – to continue or to not continue that is the uestion Well what about this blurb on the back? This is bugging me This event reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it happenIs that even grammatical? I would have thought EITHERThis event reverberates through the lives of everyone who sees it happenORThis event reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses itNo need for the happen The happen is otiose So the blurb writer can't write But I dunno Maybe I'll continue It's so long These modern writers they must get paid by the word Never mind the uality feel the width On Goodreads they all stop and stareThey can't hide the sneers but I don't careI think I've become a –Reader of The Slapmotorbike noises fade


  2. says:

    This isn't any old review My opinion on this book has sparked an idea for a discussion I'd like to have with you about offensive content in novels I'd like to know how you react to it But first let's get to my review of this bookThis book was written by a very highly acclaimed AustralianGreek author I have to say that I admire him and his blatant honesty And this is the first book I've read of his I find it hilarious how so many people who have read this book have given it bad reviews and low ratings because they believe that the characters were horrible and the language was horrible and 'why would anyone want to write about such uninteresting people?' It really makes me laugh because clearly the people who have these opinions have totally missed the point Opinions like these are what I like to call 'surface opinions' Surface opinions as the term suggests do not attempt to dig any deeper than what can be seen or read in this caseThe point of this book in my opinion is to highlight the pettiness cruelness complete self centeredness of humankind; the attributes we fail to recognize in ourselves or deny even exist We are monsters people Deep down there is as much bad as there is good in us and this book depicts this realistically It's void of censorship void of phoniness void of pretence This book is what it is because this is what the world is Run by a pack of selfish animals This is who we are and I think anyone who denies it is kidding themselves Even if you do not actually behave appallingly like some of these characters do take a moment to think Have you ever smiled at someone pretended to be polite and at the same time cursed at their existence? We all have at some time or another It's human nature This is what this book represents human nature It's honest It's blunt It's realGreat book I recommend it to those who are not afraid of a bit of honesty If you don't like reading about the world you live in Don't read this book Now to my uestionHow do you feel about offensive content in books? If you are disgusted by it do you ever stop to think Gee there must be a REASON it's like this? and try to take an objective stance? And another thing please please please do not assume that the characters in someone's book represent WHO THE AUTHOR IS This is a big mistake I believe that readers make The author is most likely trying to depict a certain person or stereotype Perhaps the author too is disgusted by their characters' behaviour but they wouldn't do their book any justice by censoring these things would they? Take a moment to think about that too Look deeper And don't make assumptionsThoughts?


  3. says:

    I read constantly I read for information for enlightenment for pleasure I read anywhere from 2 to 5 books a month and have for some 45 years I was excited when I first saw this title as I am one who shamelessly admits to ofttimes 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 MeA 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 stunnedHow 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 Really? I finished this only because I hate not finishing a book and I wanted to validate for myself that what I thought was the case about 20 pages in was actually the case This is an awful awful bookMany reviewers voiced displeasure with some of the crudeness and explicit scenes in the book Crude or gratuitous in the context of a good story can make perfect sense Crude and gratuitous because you have nothing else of interest or substance to offer is unforgivable And from an award winning author nonethelessI cannot offer a strong enough warning to those who might be tempted to read this Please do yourself a favor don't do it There are so many great books in New Arrivals Bargain Bins on the Classics Table that you could delve into Reread something you loved before Reading this will only make you wish you hadI feel about this book as I do when a writerdirector takes a wonderful movie premise and completely mangles it What a waste A waste of time for the writer A waste of time for the reader So if you even remotely care about making each moment count don't waste a minute on this


  4. says:

    I do not consider The Slap to be a great piece of writing I feel it was created to provide mass appeal I found the uality of writing a little patchy and in places offensive The basic premise is an interesting one the incident at the party and how it affects the lives of the people involved which in turn leads to a description history and character study of a group of loosely interrelated people The big moral uestion of whether the actions and reactions following the Slap were necessary and appropriate is an interesting one but one that I have no trouble answering No As a parent I have no hestitation in saying that if I was in a similar positon and somebody slapped my son for appalling behaviour I would have no problem whatsoever and my wife agrees Whilst I am against corporal punishment an occasional un premeditated impulsive slap whilst undesirable is relatively harmless What is interesting is that whilst we were initially led to sympathise with Harry when we reached his chapter we realised what an unpleasant character he is and later on we learn of even worse behaviour in his past not that that affects the basic moral uestion Back to the writing and language used surely the most important factor in a book Probably what I objected to most was the slipshod way in which this is written Some examples Top of page 104 Harry's lawyer suddenly knows all about it I checked this several times was there a chunk missing? p96 Warwick Kelly was Kelly the mother or the girlfriend ? Very confusing p313 Athena leaves the room only to gasp out loud a page later p293 Manolis becomes Monolis a couple of times There are many many examples these are very distracting and make this book a contrast to the polished accurate writing of say Ian McEwan or J M Coetzee I found most of the scenes and dialogue clumsy and unconvincing For example when Anouk verbally abuses Rosie in the pub on p77 then a few minutes later they are all lovey girly chums again Excuse me but women scorned DO NOT BEHAVE LIKE THIS in my experience When spoken to like this most women I have ever met would storm off and not speak to the person who insulted them for weeks Most of the characters were unpleasant with the exception of Aisha Hers was the only chapter I really enjoyed she was the only character I found convincing likeable and possible to empathise with I was uite intrigued with her dilemma I found most of the other chapters pretty boringI found the first chapter hard work so many random characters were introduced and we had no idea which ones were importantI found the constant use of fuck and fucking as an adjective unnecessary and irritating especially when used in narrative as opposed to dialogue Most people I know do not use this word so liberally particularly with strangers For example when the elderly respectable Italian woman brought her dog into the vet and said I don't know what the fuck is wrong with him Who really talks like this ? I did not like the freuent use of the word wog isn't this an unacceptable racist term like nigger? I found the teenage sex and drug scene uite revolting and I don't not believe this is normal you parents of teenagers care to comment??? OK so I was shocked was this the desired effect? To the book's credit I did finish it I am surprised this book has become such a well reviewed bestseller 15 stars for me


  5. says:

    I read this book a few years ago and thought I would write a review as I recently watched the US TV mini series based on the book I also watched the series a couple of years ago that was filmed in Australia I love the fact that Melissa George was cast as Rosie in both versions First off I hate this cover The one I have is a bit different I just don't like seeing a child on the ground obviously upset and crying When I picked it up in the bookstore and read the back I thought the premise was fantastic and original A man slaps a child Hugo at a friends and family barbecue Hugo is not his child and the book explores how this event affects everyone that was in attendance at the barbecue I was very intriguedThe book was compelling to say the least While there is a varied cast of characters in the book it is written from the viewpoints of eight characters All of these characters were present at the barbecue where the slap took place We haveHector married to AishaAnouk family friendHarry Hector's cousinConnie works with Aisha and often babysits HugoRosie Hugo's motherManolis Hector's fatherAisha Hector's wifeRichie Connie's best friendTo this day I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book From the varied ratings it seems that people either loved it or hated it I waver between 3 and 4 stars as it held my interest but I found much of it rather disturbing Although if I rated everything on how disturbed I felt then my ratings would probably all be low Many of the men come off as extremely narcissistic and misogynistic I realize that people like this do exist in real life but there just didn't seem to be any redeeming ualities about many of the characters depicted At times it was very offensive and vulgar with what I thought was uite a bit of gratuitous sex Having said all of that I still found the book well written with a diverse cast of characters And while it was disturbing I was still engrossed in the story and the lives of all of the characters Their individual stories were very involved and interesting Controversial at times it examines the differences in regards to discipline and child rearing and also shows how people can greatly differ in their personal relationships with both friends and family This novel truly shows how one instant can change so many lives


  6. says:

    Having seen this spoken of so highly and having read the initial idea of how one instant can change so many lives i thought i'd give it a try i was disappointed Tsiolkas has an appalling view of humankind The way people think of each other and treat each other and stick with each other for the most ludicrous of reasons in his universe is depressing in the extreme The characters are all either racist sexist drunken or sluts or indeed in a few cases all of the aboveThe idea of tracing the lives of witnesses to the slap in uestion would have been interesting if a they had been believable and not monstrous caricatures bYou felt any fellow feeling for them at all c the slap had had an effect on their lives which reading the novel it didn't Tsolkias attempts to use it as the hook on which to place the unravelling or uaking of various relationships and there is a certain cleverness to the way the stories interreact and relate but the slap is of no real significance except for the totally unbelievable reaction of arrests and court cases The language is laughably foul I don't know many elderly greek men admittedly but is it likely they would greet another old friend at the funeral of another with ' How are you you old cocksucker? ' The f and c words litter the dialogue and their internal thinking Almost every page has one The racism and brutality of relationship is horrible I have no problem with earthy language and vicious dialogue if it is necessary for character or even atmosphere but i am very dubious hereI don't think there is a single person who I would be interested in getting to know Tsolkias does give you a certain insight into the child's mother's upbringing Her parenting skills are ridiculous and unrealistic but its her neediness and abuse which gives at least a glimmer of ' ah I can see why' and partially redeems the storylineActually maybe he should write the seuel Has Hugo the brat risen above his dreadful start? Has he managed to break from the circle of madness So I correct myself; I would not like to meet any of these self obsessed self centred adult idiots at any time in my life but perhaps Hugo could redeem them all by actually turning out well maybe one slap might change the world or at least this putrid corner of depression


  7. says:

    At a suburban barbeue one slap will change the lives of these people Christos Tsiolkas unflinchingly looks at domestic life in the Australian suburbs in the twenty first century The slap and its conseuences cause everyone to uestion their own families and the way they live their expectations beliefs and desires A gripping novel of loyalty and happiness compromise and truth from the very start to the endYou’ll either love it or hate it; Christos Tsiolkas’ controversial novel The Slap is heavy reading and very confronting and it all starts with a Slap The Slap starts at a barbeue for group of family and friends when one adult slaps an unrelated child the universal tension begins The book changes perspectives of the different characters at the Barbeue to show different emotions and feelings about the eventsThe Slap goes through topics like Discipline Child Raising Family Life Adultery Friends verse Family Gossip and Multiculturalism While the characters are extremely flawed and sometimes you want to slap them don’t let that put you off If you are not a fan of course language be warned it does feature very heavily in this book Apart from that the writing the characters and plot are well crafted I have noticed women seem to hate this book than men it could be because of the subject matter But it doesn’t matter whether you think the child deserved to be slapped He did or if the adult should have known better he should have this book is going to challenge you in one way or anotherThe Slap will play with your emotions all the way through this book and you will rage at the characters and want to slap them senseless But the turmoil and the internal monologue of all the characters was done really well and makes for an excellent read It’s like you have an intimate look into the head of all the characters involved in this one incident at a barbeue It’s a compelling read all the way to the end


  8. says:

    FLOATNOW WITH TAX TIPS FOR DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIOSSo I've heard a lot this morning from various MEDIA OUTLETS about this 'Merkin show based on an Australasian show based on this novel based on the movie Precious based on the novel Push by SapphireAll the descriptions say it's about a rugged individualist a self made man who slaps some dumb grimy hippies's's kid after that kid is swingin' a bat around recklessly at a birthday partyneighborhood cookoutcommie picnicwobbly parade combined with a rodeo and a Young Republican circle jerkI saw a commercial for it on the media outlet's webinar and the slap was filmed like the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan It was intenseNow I don't have kids or nothing but if my kid was swinging a bat around at some dumb commie hippies I'd give him an extra Mountain Dew before bedBecause look these kids are either gonna get smacked with a bat or a shiny billy club NOW or it's gonna happen when they fail out of art school and don't make it on Wall StSo all I've gotta say is that cowboys get slapped all the time and it only makes them better at rootin' and tootin' at the saloon and that there are also cowboys in Australasia and they did their fair share of genocidin' too so what does that tell you?


  9. says:

    I positively HATED that book I only finished it because when I start a book well I just finish itFirst of all Language There is at least one occurrence of the word “fuck” “fucking” or even “cunt” I am no prude but in this case it was way too often and totally unnecessary That was one of the first thing that ruined this book for me Especially when you have the 70 something greek granddad talking to his long lost friends and saying” hello you cocksucker” totally unrealistic and again why? Or when Aisha who is perceived by all the other characters as the most elegant refined women they know is having a torrid affair and thinks in the crudest language possible again the scene was ruined and the character as wellI do concede that Christos Tsiolkas manages very well to immerse you the life of each of his 8 characters and give them a voice However I really found most of them very annoying and that his vision of humanity was grim and sad There is no love between these people no hope You have the first couple Aisha and her husband They appear as the perfect couple but each has an affair the men with a 16 years old no less referring to her as a young and fresh cunt charming and in the end it appears that what make them stick with one another is how good they look together That is just great fantastic But that is not all The second couple Rosie and Gary just hate each other and are probably the most sordid of the lot Their parenting style is also just infuriating and you do want to slap that them both page after page again I did not find them realistic but very caricatural bad parents white trash puting their friends to court Then the trophy wife beater Finally the slap that is supposed to reverberate into each of the characters life has just a very limited impact apart from Rosie and her husband and in my opinion was just an excuse I honestly don’t think that people would let that event impact so much on their lifeI don’t understand how that book had such raving reviews in the press as I think it should at least open controversy than it did


  10. says:

    This was one of the best books I've read in a long time Filled with despicable but ultimately somehow sympathetic characters a microcosm of friends and family becomes a commentary on the social make up of the city of Melbourne the country of Australia and perhaps the world That the story is told from multiple perspectives but still chronologically ie the episode around which the plot is centred isn't retold again and again is genius and the complex nuanced emotions of reactions to and repercussions of a single event are ably described and brought to life by Tsiolkas An uncomfortable but highly recommended read


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The Slap

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Christos Tsiolkas presents an apparently harmless domestic incident as seen from eight very different This isn't any old review My opinion on this book has spa

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Domestic life in the 21st century a deeply thought provoking novel about boundaries and their limits At a suburban barbeue one slap will change the lives of t

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Perspectives The result is an unflinching interrogation of our lives today; of the modern family and I read this book a few years ago and thought I would writ