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Christos Tsiolkas

Author of The Slap

17+ Works 3,689 Members 225 Reviews

About the Author

Christos Tsiolkas is an Australian author who made the finalist for the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2015. He also won a Queensland Literary Award 2015 in the Steele Rudd Award category for a Short Story Collection. (Bowker Author Biography)

Works by Christos Tsiolkas

The Slap (2008) 2,344 copies
Barracuda (2013) 441 copies
Loaded (1995) 221 copies
Dead Europe (2005) 202 copies
Damascus (2019) 128 copies
The Jesus Man (1999) 83 copies
10 Short Stories You Must Read in 2010 (1900) — Contributor — 80 copies
Merciless Gods (2014) 60 copies
Seven and a Half (2021) 49 copies
Jump Cuts: An Autobiography (1996) 25 copies
The Devil's Playground (2002) 12 copies
The In-Between 7 copies
Sticks, Stones (2012) 2 copies

Associated Works

Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019) — Contributor — 44 copies
The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection (2011) — Contributor — 29 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2008 (2008) — Contributor — 28 copies
Kindred: 12 Queer LoveOzYA Stories (2019) — Contributor — 24 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 10 copies
Blur: Stories by young Australian writers (1996) — Contributor — 9 copies


Common Knowledge



I loved The Slap (to many people to dislike) and this book provided a few detestable characters too. I didn't race through it though as I didn't enjoy the story - found it hard going at times.
JennyPocknall | 44 other reviews | Oct 19, 2023 |
I heard Chris Tsiolkas speak before he had began, very enthusiastic. Then while writing he found it hard. When finished he was glad it was completed.
I said to Chris Cathie, out of the blue. “I really respectPaul.” She said rather startled, “You mean the Apostle ?” {OWTTE} I still do. 28:08:23
BJMacauley | 6 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |
At a suburban picnic, some theoretically adult person loses control and slaps someone else's bratty little kid in the face. Lots of people then have opinions about this.

The basic premise of this one seemed like it could be a setup for something good. One shocking incident whose consequences ripple out across different people's lives in different ways, in eight sections each told from the point of view of a different person who witnessed it... that's got potential, right?

The problem is these people are all unbelievably awful and I resent having just spent nearly 500 pages in their company. It's not even that they're unlikable, as such. Unlikable characters can be fine. But if you're going to write them, by god, there needs to be something about them to make them worth reading about. They can be compelling in a train wreck kind of way, or provocative in their terribleness, or disturbingly sympathetic even when you don't want them to be, or at the absolute least they can get up to some entertainingly horrific things. But these folks? Nope, nothing of the sort. Their unlikability is entirely of the petty, banal, profoundly dull kind. And, hey, even that can work, if you're saying something interesting and resonant about the petty banality of people. I'm pretty sure that's what this one is trying to do. And there are moments where that almost works, little fleeting glimpses of some kind of possibly worthwhile commentary. But mostly it's just deeply tedious, with neither the characters nor the author feeling like they have anything actually insightful to say, despite their constant droning on about men and women and kids and relationships and The State of the World Today and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I spent a few days once in Melbourne, Australia, where this is set. I thought it was a lovely city, possibly one of the nicest I've ever been to. But I swear, less than a hundred pages in I was fantasizing about someone dropping a nuke on the place just to rid the world of these people. It would be a great shame, yes, but quite possibly worth it.

Rating: 2/5, and that's actually being super generous.
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bragan | 141 other reviews | Jul 10, 2023 |
One of Australia's foremost writers tackles the story of St Paul, his conversion to Christianity and his subsequent wanderings spreading his version of Jesus' teachings. The story is interwoven with that of his follower Timothy, his early convert Lydia, and the Roman jailer who presides over his final incarceration.

The book is particularly good at highlighting the schisms that existed within the early church and the theological differences that already existed between the original apostles and Saul. These differences are widened by Saul's successors, Timothy and Onesimus (called Able here).

I was intrigued by how a gay writer would tackle the life of a man whose letters have been a wellspring of much bigotry towards him and others. It's a surprisingly sympathetic portrait, a paradox that the author explains well in his afterword.
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gjky | 6 other reviews | Apr 9, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Georgia Blain Contributor
Mark Dapin Contributor
Nick Earls Contributor
Alex Miller Contributor
Judy Nunn Contributor
Malla Nunn Contributor
Craig Silvey Contributor
Rachael Treasure Contributor
Saul Reichlin Narrator


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