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.