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The Slap Paperback – 1 May 2010

511 customer reviews

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£12.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tuskar Rock (1 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848873557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848873551
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.6 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (511 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of Loaded (filmed as Head-On), The Jesus Man, Dead Europe and The Slap, which won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 2009, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 and shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. Barracuda is his fifth novel. He lives in Melbourne.

Product Description

Review

The must-read novel of the summer. --Guardian

Honestly, one of the three or four truly great novels of the new millennium. --John Boyne

The Slap is nothing short of a tour de force. --Colm Tóibín

Review

"Riveting from beginning to end." (The Guardian)

"... this is a beautifully structured and executed examination of the complexity of modern living; a compelling journey into the darkness of suburbia." (The Independent)

"One of Australia's pre-eminent contemporary novelists." (The Age)

"The Slap is a disturbing book but it is also funny and endearing, presenting the diversity of the Australian experience with a big, warm heart in the middle." (The Independent Weekly)

"...the great thing about The Slap is that it cannot be neatly summarised. Tsiolkas uses his premise as a guide-line to stabilise his larger structure, but his real talent is for exploring the inner lives of his eight primary characters, four women and four men, ranging in age from 18 to 70. And each of these characters is a sharp observer of those around him or her, so many more lives are illuminated as well." (The Guardian) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

314 of 348 people found the following review helpful By doublegone TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 May 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a long book and it took me a while to get into it. I was in fact on the point of abandoning it when it eventually did pick up a bit. One of the problems is that at the start you are confronted by a large cast of characters and I for one was a bit bewildered trying to keep up with who everyone was to begin with. Anyway, I did persevere and I am quite glad I did although this is by no means a perfect book.

An adult smacks someone else's misbehaving child at a barbecue and the ripples from this event spread out through a chain of eight different people whose point of view we are given one after the other. If you pick up the book and have a glance at the blurb you might get the impression that it sets out to explore the rights and wrongs of the slapping incident - but the smack seems to be there merely to offer a link between the characters. The book is really a portrait of contemporary and cosmopolitan Australia. As such it is reasonably interesting but plot wise its difficult to glean any point to the story as we meander through the lives of the eight narrators.

I must add that I am quite surprised how many other reviewers have been upset by some of the language used in this book. The dialogue contains fairly run of the mill swearing and its puzzling to imagine there are poor flowers out there over the age of 8 and outside of a convent who are offended by this. Similarly some of the characters exhibit casual racism but we are it seems to me supposed to disapprove of them for this. Exposing such racism makes this an anti-racist book in my opinion. There is racism in Australia, and sometimes people swear. Its odd to think some readers think this is the author's fault. It seems an honest and accurate depiction of a society to me.

This is a flawed book though, and not as engaging as I would have wished.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By George Kelly on 18 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I'd seen this novel advertised everywhere.

And I'd read the almost universal praise: it's amazing, funny, thought-provoking, smart, life-changing, genius, original, a masterpiece--and every other gushing piece of praise you can think of. It was lauded as the year's greatest novel; if not the best of the millennium, which I've heard before about many other boring and pointless novels. Yet, in spite of this, I fell for the hype. I liked the short concept of the novel (A man slaps another person's child at a barbecue, and this one act of inappropriate violence affects the surrounding community), and I wanted to read more. I should have known better.

The novel flips between many different characters, from chapter to chapter, showing everyone's lives and also their point of view on the child-slapping incident. And after awhile, I realised this wasn't really a novel--it's an overinflated soap opera drama. It's boring, pretentious, and the writer is as one-dimensional as his characters. They're all the same: foul-mouthed, depthless, and horny. There was no real differentiation between them, not even in their use of language. The more characters I was introduced to, the less I wanted to read on.

Plus the conversations littered throughout were pathetic; they were contrived, stifled and wooden and I felt like the author was forcing me to read through a written agenda of his own political diatribes. I don't care about his views. I don't care about this book. The real person who should have been slapped is the author, for wasting my time, my life, and my money.

But if you like boring, "literary" dramas, then this will probably be your thing.

It's a masterpiece, apparently.
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147 of 168 people found the following review helpful By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 May 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Christos Tsiolkas is a Melbourne writer and The Slap is a Melbourne book. It delivers a number of portraits of Melbourne types - the Greek car dealer; the Indian vet; the soap opera world; the gay teenager; the bogan mother and more. The portraits are all loosely linked to one another, deriving from a barbecue at which the horrid bogan toddler is slapped by the Greek car dealer. But the novel is not plot driven, it is 100% character focused. There is no great ending to draw it all together; the novel might as well be seen as a set of short essays.

The demographics, the reported movement of families around the northern and eastern suburbs was revealing. Melbourne is undergoing great social change right now - as it has probably done since its foundation. There is a reference to the soaring real estate prices, with a knowing assertion that a million dollar shoe box is still a shoe box - although more colourful language was used to make the point. The implication, clearly, was that the people living in it might have become millionaires but they are still what they ever were.

The Slap also charts the changing social attitudes in Melbourne. There are three distinct generations in the piece - teenagers; forty-somethings; and the grandparents. Each generation had thought they were the rebels; the trailblazers but then get swept aside by the next generation. It's all a matter of perception, and after reading old man Manolis's section one can't help but think that today's young rebels, rude, brash and arrogant have a somewhat easier life than their ancestors.

The Slap does a great job in giving life and expression to ordinary Melburnians. It offers a convincing vision and conveys a strong sense of place. It is long, involved and very much a slow burner.
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