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The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
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The Slap (2008)

by Christos Tsiolkas

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1,6581234,341 (3.28)242
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» See also 242 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
I appreciate Tsiolkas' ability to take the reader into a character's head and I thoroughly enjoy the ride once I'm there. While I was occasionally I felt the authenticity lacking (just a little bit), I was impressed by the variety of points of view centring around the plot's premise of an incredibly badly-behaved child being slapped by an adult other than his own parents. It's a contentious subject, but ultimately not the the point of the novel--it's just a device to give us a series of wonderful character studies.
I was particularly taken with Tsiolkas' handling of the deep-seated racism, sexism and sexuality. None of it is shied away from and all of it is handled honestly. There is no proselytizing, just a wonderfully woven story around these themes.

If you think the book is actually about the slap, then you're missing out. Still, excellent title to sell some books, eh? ;)
( )
  jselliott | Dec 5, 2014 |
der perspektivenwechsel ist interessant und überzeugend durchgeführt. zwischen sex & drugs bleibt aber wenig raum für eine echte handlung. wenn man nicht gerade selbst mit seiner endlichkeit kämpft, wird das vermutlich nach 200 seiten schal. ( )
  pepe68 | Oct 20, 2014 |
I hated and loved this book. I almost gave up reading it, but I kept going and I'm so happy I did. It's not that the book improved towards the end, but because I could get a better understanding of the whole view and approach of the author. He did an amazing job describing the reality of this world in regards of oh so many modern taboo subjects. Yes, I did find it vulgar and disturbing at times, but unfortunately this is a very realistic picture of the actual society. ( )
  askum | Oct 7, 2014 |
Mediocre, anche se a tratti interessante nella raffigurazione di alcuni personaggi.

Risvolto di copertina:
E' un delizioso pomeriggio di fine estate a Melbourne, un tempo perfetto per i numerosi familiari, amici e colleghi accorsi al barbecue di Aisha e Hector.
Affascinante indiana con la carnagione scura, liscia e intatta, e grandi occhi che ballano su un viso affilato e scarno, Aisha si aggira per il giardino di casa dispensando sorrisi agli ospiti e occhiate preoccupate ai tavoli imbanditi di samosa, melanzane e semi di aneto.
Hector, suo marito, un quarantenne di origine greca con un po' di grigio sulle tempie, la barba incolta sul mento, le rughe agli angoli della bocca, la mascella volitiva e i capelli folti, si guarda furtivo in giro con in mano una birra sottratta alla montagna di bottiglie immerse nel ghiacchio della vasca da bagno. I suoi occhi sono alla disperata ricerca di una ragazza con una sfilza di brufoli sotto il labbro inferiore, le lentiggini sul naso, folti capelli biondi e gambe lunghe tornite nei jeans neri attillati. Si chiama Connie, e lavora nell'ambulatorio di veterinaria di sua moglie.
In un angolo del giardino Bilal, un aborigeno appena convertito all'Islam, cerca cortesemente di rifiutare una birra portagli da Manoli, il padre di Hector.
Harry, il cugino che ha fatto fortuna con le sue imprese, incede invece con aria appagata tra gli ospiti del barbecue, seguito dal figlio Rocco e da Sandi, sua moglie, una serba con un corpo da fotomodella unito a uno stile da donna provocante, i capelli tinti e cotonati, le lunghe unghie dipinte, il trucco vistoso.
Anouk, la sceneggiatrice di soap che si è vestita come se dovesse andare a un cocktail party e non a una festicciola in giardino, con la gonna che lascia scoperto uno squarcio di pelle perlacea sopra gli stivali neri, presenta a tutti il suo ultimo trofeo: Rhys, un giovane attore, con non grandi prospettive.
Rosie, intanto, amica di lunga data di Aisha deve già badare a Hugo, il suo piccolo di tre anni, bello come un putto, con i capelli color paglia e gli occhi azzurri quasi spettrali e impertinente come pochi, e al marito Gary, un chiacchierone che voleva fare l'artista e che invece si ubriaca puntualmente, come uno di quegli Australezi, come dice la mamma di Hector, che ce l'hanno nel sangue la sbornia.
Insomma, il barbecue sarebbe un normale barbecue della Melbourne cosmopolita dei giorni nostri se... non accadesse l'impensabile.
Hugo, il putto tanto bello quanto pestifero, forse perché ancora allattato dalla mamma ed educato sendo i nefasti principi della più sfrenata anarchia, con grande disgusto di Hector e dei suoi, sferra un calcio negli stinchi di Harry. E il cugino Harry platealmente, lentamente, eva in alto il braccio a fendere l'aria e poi a colire il bambino con uno schiaffo che echeggia nell'aria e incrina il crepuscolo.
Da quel momento l'esile equilibrio di quella piccola comunità, fatta di culture e mondi differenti, crolla. E i risentimenti, i pregiudizi sociali e razziali, le differenze di sesso e di età, riaffiorano preotentemente, a scavare abissi incolmabili. ( )
  alegarg | May 2, 2014 |
I couldn't put this book down – personally, I found the coarse language a bit tiring and predictable, but I ploughed on through. The detail would tire most people, but I thought the author was very competent at evoking a milieu and so chose to enjoy it instead. Some of the characters were unconvincing: there needed to be more contrast between them. Other than that, it was interesting to see the different characters through different minds' eyes. ( )
  m-andrews | Jan 26, 2014 |
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For Jane Palfreyman, who is sui generis
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His eyes still shut, a dream dissolving and already impossible to recall, Hector's hand sluggishly reached across the bed.
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Book description

Although this is Australian author Tsiolkas’ fourth novel, it is the first to be published in the U.S. With its raw style, liberal use of profanity and racial epithets, and laserlike focus on the travails of suburban life, it is a down-and-dirty version of Tom Perrotta’s best-selling Little Children (2004). At a barbecue in a Melbourne suburb, a man loses his temper and slaps the child of the host’s friends. This incident unleashes a slew of divisive opinions, pitting friends and families against each other as the child’s parents take the man to court.
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At a festive barbecue in the Melbourne suburb a man slaps the child of another couple, triggering a court case and a variety of confrontations within the lives of the the families and friends present.

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