“The Slap”

August 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Posted in Fiction | 8 Comments

The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas, is one of thirteen books on the long list for this year’s Man Booker Prize.  If you find yourself intimidated by literary fiction, you’ll be pleased to know that this book has none of the arcane, heavy prose you might expect.

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The Slap is about what happens when someone slaps someone else’s bratty kid.  Each chapter is told from the point of view of someone present at the party where it happens, showing how the event ripples through their lives.  It’s a giant soap opera, but it’s quite gripping.  The characters all have their secrets and their dark sides are torn open for us to see.  The language can be foul, and there are graphic scenes with every bodily function possible, but if you can get through the first page, you’ll be all right.  The Slap is funny in parts.  There is no way anyone can read this without taking a position on what happened, and it’s guaranteed to generate some impassioned discussions.

The Slap was first published in 2008.  Did you know the Booker can be awarded to books that weren’t published in the current year?  I didn’t!

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