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Review: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

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I’ve just finished reading The Slap and, despite the numerous glowing reviews, it didn’t really grab me. I read another review which stated ‘you’ll either love it or hate it’ but in truth I didn’t really feel either. It was an ok book, I didn’t hate it, but I did have to make a concerted effort to pus through it too the end. It wasn’t a gripping page turner.

Tsiolkas’ attempt at writing a novel which Progresses the plot through the lenses of different characters, while a good attempt, was not as well executed as by some other authors, for example Jodi Picoult.

I also found some of the characters either 2 dimensional or stereotypical, for example the racist, Aussie, bogan, drunk or the hot headed Greek, and some of the less run of the mill characters, such as Bilal/Terry the Aboriginal who has found the Muslim faith, don’t really get much of a look in. They seem to have been created and sprinkled in in an attempt to add some diversity, however it is clear Tsiolkas is most comfortable writing about characters which come from his sphere of experience, namely those which are Greek.

Having not watched the TV adaptation, I don’t really know, but I feel as though it would be better on TV than as a book. I know some others have said this, but I agree, it was a bit like sitting down and watching an Aussie soap opera, such as Home and Away. The characters and their radical reactions/behaviours seemed more suited to the small screen.

With its constant use of course language and gratuitous sex and drug taking scenes, I can see how it would appeal to a segment of the population, but it wasn’t really for me.

Overall conclusion: Ok, but wouldn’t read again. Wouldn’t recommend widely, just to specific people.

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