Part way through reading The Slap, I tweeted that I couldn't stop reading it, yet didn't actually know if I liked it or not. After it was recommended to me by some, but not praised very highly by others I had both high and low expectations. Here's my short and sweet review. What's it all about? The Slap is a much talked about and award winning novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, which revolves around an extended network of characters who are linked by friendships, family and work, but all witness and react differently to a single incident when a grown man slaps an unruly four year old he is not related to at a BBQ.
What's so good about it? I liked many things about this story - the way it was told through eight very different characters, its pace, the issues it raised, how it took me back to Melbourne, a city I loved, where ironically I was staying and had many BBQs with a lovely Greek-Australian family - however, there were other parts I didn't really like; a tendency to ramble about seemingly unrelated events, and an over reliance on sex, drugs and bad language to shock.
Who, me? I would say this book is for anyone who likes both Tony Parsons and the c-word. Tsolkias clearly has a knack for character and relationship assassination; there are characters you will love to hate and plot twists you will hate to love, but after considerable hype I couldn't help but feel it was missing something or rather missing nothing. Perhaps that's it, sometimes I like for just a little bit to be left to my imagination.
Read my other short and sweet book reviews here.
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Frances M. Thompson
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