Title: The Slap
Author: Christos Tsiolkas
Year published: 2008
Genre: Fiction » Drama
First line: “His eyes still shut, a dream dissolving and already impossible to recall, Hector’s hand sluggishly reached across the bed.”
Synopsis: At a suburban barbecue one afternoon, a man slaps an unruly boy. The boy is not his son. It is a single act of violence, but this one slap reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it happen. (SOURCE)
Thoughts: If you’re not from Australia, you may not have heard of this book. I’m in Melbourne, where The Slap was set, so I’ve been hearing about it for years. I downloaded it onto my iPad a while ago, and finally started it in a fit of procrastination a week later. It’s an interesting book – the author has done an incredible job of portraying Melbourne suburbia (as far as I understand it), but he clearly has no qualms about creating dislikeable characters. In fact, the gross majority of the characters are dislikeable. Or at least have some pretty reprehensible traits. Each of the eight chapters is narrated by a different character as we follow the social circle in the aftermath of the ill-fated slap. The story begins with the host of the party and ends with a teenaged plus-one that no-one knew. We, the readers, are taken on a whirlwind journey in which very little happens, complete with sex, drugs and unreliable narrators. It’s pretty great.