Friday, 12 November 2010

Book Review - The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

Synopsis - The Slap begins with a momentous incident – the slapping of an intensely annoying four-year-old at a barbecue.

The hosts of the barbecue are Hector, a handsome Greek-Australian and Aisha, his Indian wife. Hector works in the public sector while Aisha is a successful vet. Hector’s parents, Manoli and Koula, first-generation immigrants to Australia, are also present, as are two teenagers, Connie and Richie.
The slap is administered by Hector’s cousin, Harry, to Hugo, spoilt son of ex-hippy Rosie and her white trash alcoholic husband, Gary.
My Review - This book appears to be well received and on most reviewers "you must read" list.  However, I was disappointed right from the start to the bitter end.  To me, the book does not portray Australians in a very good light, all macho, beer swilling and basically not very nice people.  I am pretty sure most Aussie's do not live up to this book's representations.  The men in this book are either alcoholic or sex crazed, yes, men but in reality we know there is more to man.  The women are portrayed as manipulative, some sassy and independant (thumbs up there for the latter two descriptions).  The book was not well written and I found the use of language gratuitous in this scenario.  I am not sure what the author is trying to achieve by writing in this style but I found it detracted.  I don't have a problem with language in writing at all but it should not be included if it is to shock or the story can be delivered without the need for it and in this book I believe the use of language to be inappropriate.  I could not empathise with any of the characters at all.  I thought I would like Aisha but unfortunately not as the story progressed.  If the author was trying to depict her as a strong woman it failed in the end as I found her character to be weak.  1* awful and an author I won't be queuing up to read again.

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