The slap inspires lively discussions
Yesterday a group of Whitefriars teachers enjoyed a lively discussion about Christos Tsiolkas’ book The slap. If we couldn’t agree about anything else, we agreed that the book sparks passionate debate and controversy. And if that’s the case, I say – what a successful book! If you google The slap you’ll see a reasonable list of links to synopses and reviews, but I’d like to recommend Lisa Hill’s post in her ANZ LitLovers LitBlog. Lisa reads voraciously, reviews thoroughly and is not afraid to say exactly what she thinks…
This is a deliberately provocative book. Laced with filthy language and carnal appetites, it takes on a sacred cow in the opening chapter when an adult slaps an undisciplined brat. I can just imagine the sniffs of disapproval as people read it…
Lisa includes Tsiolkas’ professed purpose in writing the book:This story paints an extraordinary picture of suburban life. Tsiolkas claims to be depicting a new kind of middle class:
“I wanted to write about suburbia and I wanted to write about a new kind of middle class that had its roots in the old working class and in other places,” he said. “It felt like that had never been represented in our pages, that had never been shown on our screens. Maybe that is an element of the book that has challenged people or interested people.” (Source: ABC News Online 16.4.09)
I recommend you read Lisa’s long post, since it covers issues and themes, characters and their motivation in depth. It’s also worth reading the discussion which takes place after the post.
Don’t forget to visit the archive of first tuesday book club, which includes book extract, transcript, your reviews and author profile, as well as the video of the show. As always, the book club’s discussion is worth listening to. Here’s one comment I liked:
I feel like I’ve been let into the secret mental soundtrack of men’s heads.
If you’ve read the book, you may be saying ‘I hope not’…