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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.9 out of 5
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  • Sharp, dark, social commentary

    This book is often summarisied as a book about the consequences of a man slapping a child who is not his own at a weekend barbecue in naughties Australia. But it's much more a character piece than a plot driven drama. The slap at the bbq is more the starting point for eight different stories to be told. Eight characters, across three generations, joined together through family, friends and workplaces. Each gets a (long) chapter, presenting their own story, which doesn't neatly flow into the next. We see children coming of age, marriages teetering on the brink, grandparents confronting ageing and death, and midlife crises erupting against a backdrop of lust, jealousy, deception and inadequacy. This book is a snapshot of suburban Australia in the Howard era. It skewers the worst of middle class society. There's racism, misogyny, ageism, classism, alcoholism, drug use, violence, self-righteousness, vanity, greed, hatred, and endless hedonism. I found the plot a bit underwhelming but the characters are so well written that they're vivid. Deeply unlikable characters that is. It is through Tsiolkas' empathy though that we come to understand them.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • The Slap

    I enjoyed the book , very interesting and complex characters, didn't like any of them as people. Enjoyed the indepth look into their individual lives and how their personalities were formed. Good read

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • The Slap.

    Heavy handed, incredibly exaggerated response to what, imho was a simple matter that real friends would have dealt with in minutes. Boring in the extreme, with due respect to the evaluation by many of our better Australian writers

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    2 person found this review helpful

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    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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