The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

The SlapThe Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s not exactly what i’d call quality writing; it lacked subtelty. The purpose of the book (to examine the prejudices of Australian society, from race, sex, class, to the more banal – career, family values, who’s got the better husband etc etc) is so obvious as to feel patronising. The title of the book is misleading as well. It is just… a contrived starting point from which to spring-board into the “issues” (which is a shame because the title of the book alone sparked more than just a few round table discussions with other parent-friends during the many months this book sat on the best-seller shelves).

At times it lends itself towards porn, which I wouldn’t have had a problem with if it didn’t feel so deliberate – as though its intent was simply to shock. The characters were too cliched, the ending far too neat.

So why 3 stars? Because something about the book made for compelling reading and in that sense, the book itself is worth more than its sum of parts.

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