For this month’s Tutor.com Reads post, book club newcomer Cardine Caffery, Graphic Designer and Australian native, reviews her first book club pick and tries to confuse us with talk of Utes and shouts.
After being part of the book club for one short month I was taken by surprise when asked to pick our next book. I chose The Slap: A Novel by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas. I had heard it was a controversial book, which presents the reader with uncomfortable situations and confrontations. Being Australian myself, I thought I would heat up book club this month and at the same time confuse everyone with a lot of Australian slang.
The book starts with a barbeque amongst friends and family. The day looks like it could be pleasant until one of the children begins to act out. The boy is eventually slapped across the face, not by his parents but by another adult. Although you believe the boy should have been punished for his behavior you also believe the man should be able to control himself, especially around a 3-year-old boy.
What follows is a chain reaction where we are shown the aftermath through eight different characters’ stories that were either directly or indirectly affected by the slap.
The book touches on various themes such as the difference between generations, differences in the way children are raised and adultery. Just a side note, on behalf of Australians I would like to make a disclaimer that although The Slap makes it seem as though we commit acts of adultery like it’s a rite of passage, there are (I would like to believe) a majority of us that do not. One of the more prominent themes throughout the book is multiculturalism seen through the various ethnic backgrounds of the characters, which is a huge part of Australian culture.
Don’t be deterred by how infuriated some (actually, most) of the characters make you. The book really does force you to think honestly about how you would act in certain situations. For me, the book pointed out that not every situation is black and white and I believe Tsiolkas accomplished this by taking us on an emotional tour within each character’s mind.
Did you enjoy The Slap? Then check out the trailer for the Australian T.V. show version:
Join us next month as we shift to a classic! We are reading Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Read along with us & join in on the discussion as we live tweet our next book club meeting on June 5th at 12PM EDT! #TDCReads
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