Throwback Thursday – The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas


Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas 


Published Penguin Books November 10th 2008

Goodreads Description:

In this powerful and riveting novel, literary phenomenon Christos Tsiolkas unflinchingly exposes the inner workings of domestic life, friendship, and parenthood in the twenty-first century, and reminds us of the passions and malice that family loyalty can provoke. When a man slaps another couple’s child at a neighborhood barbecue, the event send unforeseeable shock waves through the lives of all who are witness to it. Told from the points of view of eight people who were present, The Slap shows how a single action can change the way people think about how they live, what they want, and what they believe forever.

My Thoughts:

Okay so first thing I would like to say is this book may not be for everyone and I completely understand that. Looking at the ratings it seems to be a love it or hate it kind of book, although there are some in the middle too….

I read this book about five or six years ago and it made quite an impression. I ended up watching both mini-series that were made based on the book. One filmed in Australia and one in the U.S.  Actress Melissa George was cast as Rosie in both versions.

When I picked it up in the bookstore and read the back I thought the premise was very original. A man slaps a child (Hugo) at a friends and family barbecue. Hugo is not his child. The book explores how this event affects everyone that was in attendance at the barbecue.

I was very intrigued!!

The book was compelling to say the least. While there is a varied cast of characters in the book, it is written from the viewpoints of eight characters. All of these characters were present at the barbecue where the slap took place.

We have:

Hector- married to Aisha
Anouk-family friend
Harry-Hector’s cousin
Connie-works with Aisha and often babysits Hugo
Rosie-Hugo’s mother
Manolis-Hector’s father
Aisha – Hector’s wife
Richie-Connie’s best friend

Many of the men come off as extremely narcissistic and misogynistic. I realize that people like this do exist in real life but there just didn’t seem to be any redeeming qualities about many of the characters depicted. At times it was offensive and vulgar with what I thought was quite a bit of gratuitous sex. But I could not stop reading!!

I really thought the book was well written with a diverse cast of characters, most of them hard to like.  And while it was disturbing, I was still engrossed in the story and the lives of all of the characters. Their individual stories were very involved and interesting.

Controversial at times it examines the differences in regards to discipline and child-rearing, and also shows how people can greatly differ in their personal relationships with both friends and family.

This novel truly shows how one instant can change so many lives.

I wasn’t sure which book to choose this week but I happened to come across this one the other day and wanted to see if any of you had read it and what you thought of it.




One thought on “Throwback Thursday – The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

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