The Slap

  • by Christos Tsiolkas
  • Narrated by Alex Dimitriades
  • 15 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling cult author of Loaded and Dead Europe here turns his blowtorch onto the belly of middle-class suburban Australia and its notions of child-rearing and acceptable behavior.
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 incident. 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 21st 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.
Winner, Overall Best Book the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009
Winner, ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2009 and Overall Book of the Year 2009
Winner, ABA Book of the Year 2009
Winner, ALS Gold Medal 2009
Winner, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2009

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What the Critics Say

"With The Slap, Tsiolkas secures his place as one of Australia's most important novelists." (The Age)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Fine Piece Of Storytelling.

When you begin to read a book, and you find that it is liberally splattered with a word that you find very objectionable, when the story seems to be meandering along at no great pace, and when, furthermore, the book treats with a group of characters who are, in this reviewer's opinion, with very few exceptions, a rather unpleasant bunch, it says something for the author's storytelling abilities that I became interested enough in these awful people to want to know what happened to them in the end.

So, here we have a gathering of family and friends at a barbecue given by an arrogant, lustful civil servant and his snitty veterinarian wife. During the barbecue, an unbearably bratty child provokes a fellow guest past endurance, and gets a slap. The resulting furore is told from the point of view of several of the people at the barbecue, whose lives seem to have been changed by this seemingly small incident.

On the book's pro side, the story is very well told, the characters are well drawn, and I was made to think about my own opinions and attitudes, which is always a good thing. The naration was also beautifully done indeed!

On the con side, If you're easily shockable, this is not the book for you. There is very strong language, including liberal use of the C word throughout, graphic sex and a bit too much info about bodily functions.

All in all, I'm glad I wasn't put off by some bad reviews, and tried it for myself. A good read.
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- Louise Hartgen

Not to be played infront of the kids !!!

My first audio book... now I'm hooked. A great book...very graphic at times, but well written and read, and true to life. I lived in Australia for a while, this book has brought back memories of characters and attitudes I had forgotten.
I hadn't expected the content to be what it is and the title does not give it away.
The story taken from different characters point of view offers a dynamic inspection of the situation arising from different expectations and attitudes towards societies modes of behaviour and deeply embedded social, political, cultural and class based beliefs.
There are shocks and giggles along the way. a great way to spend a half-hour journey from work...I don't mind getting stuck in traffic, in fact sometimes I hope for a hold-up!!
Would recommend to anyone who is not easily offended by swearing or descriptive sexual scenes.
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- joanna

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-01-2010
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd