The Slap by Chris Tsiolkas

The Slap by Chris Tsiolkas
Published by Penguin

This is a novel that revolves around a single incident: a man slaps another couple’s child at a barbecue. The book is told from the perspective of eight individuals who were present that day, and it is an examination of how one event can have far-reaching consequences.

The fact that I read The Slap is a perfect example of how awesome book blogs are. I wouldn’t have even heard of the book, except for the fact that Raych’s review intrigued me so much that I requested it from the library. And before I say anything else, I highly encourage you to read what Raych has to say on this one, because she is clever and hysterical and eloquent and completely right on every single thing she says about The Slap.

As for my own two cents, I was beyond impressed with this novel. The way that Tsiolkas forces the reader to get inside the minds of so many different people with differing perspectives on what happened and why it happened is amazing. I found myself agreeing with one person, and then the chapter would be over and five minutes later I was nodding in agreement with someone else completely.

These characters are so well-written that they are real people, or at least they were to me. I loved some and hated others. But even the ones that I hated, I still felt a measure of sympathy for them. And the beauty of the novel is, like Raych said, not every reader will love and hate the same characters – it depends on who you are. And the book made me think, in the way that I couldn’t stop turning it over in my brain for days after I finished it. Tsiolkas is extremely talented, and clever to a serious degree. He is just good.

Highly recommended! Read it. And then come back and tell me what you think so we can discuss.


12 thoughts on “The Slap by Chris Tsiolkas”

  1. I soooo wanted to read this when it first came out, but then I read a lot of negative things about it so eventually it just fell off my radar. Now I’m interested all over again! I need to re-add it to my WL and keep it in mind!

  2. I read about this one over at Steph’s blog last year, and was so intrigued. Then it sort of fell off my radar. Now, hearing your reaction, I know that I need to read it and see what I think. Having had some strangers completely trounce boundaries with one of my kids recently, I think I would have a strong reaction to this book. I loved your review today. Your love for the book really came through. Thanks, Heather.

  3. I’ve heard about this book before and just now wondered for the first time: are any of those perspectives that of the child who got slapped? I get the impression it was only adult characters who had a voice in the novel but it would be interesting to see the incident through the child’s eyes, too.

  4. I first heard about this book at Farm Lane Books, then I did see Raych’s review, which what can you say about Raych except that she covers a book like no other? I actually have this on my shelves, I just need to get to it. Maybe our book club should read it!!!

  5. I’m glad that someone loved the book because it really wasn’t one of my favourites! I thought all of the characters seemed too alike and the story just didn’t intrigue me … I thought it had promise, but didn’t see it after reading. Glad you enjoyed!

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