Publication Date: November 2011
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2011 Reading Group List
“The Slap is not just a story about a four-year-old boy whose misbehavior at a neighborhood 'barbie' in Southern Australia brings on a reaction by someone other than his father. Different opinions about whether or not the slap was warranted rapidly surface among the eight adults present and threaten to destroy loyal friendships. The boy's parents, without the full support of the husband, file a lawsuit against their friend that results in harsh, often unspoken thoughts about marriage, friendships, and love. Tsiolkas writes an honest and passionate story about how one act can change the course of many lives.”
-- Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires. What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity all the passions and conflicting beliefs that family can arouse. In its clear-eyed and forensic dissection of the ever-growing middle class and its aspirations and fears, The Slap is also a poignant, provocative novel about the nature of loyalty and happiness, compromise and truth. 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 ...Tsiolkas has written an absolute ripper. The Age WARNING: Features strong language."