The Slap Christos Tsolkias
At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a ripple effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event.
In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsolkias turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.
What unfolds is a novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse. In its clear-eyed and forensic dissection of the ever-growing middle class and its aspirations and fears, The Slap is also a deeply provocative novel about the nature of loyalty and happiness, compromise and truth. (Book dust jacket)
1. Did this book make you question your immediate resonse to Harry slapping the four year old Hugo.
2. Did Rosie breastfeeding Hugo at that age affect your opinion of her?
3. Every nationality seemed to be represented at the B.B.Q. - do you think there is a reason Tsiolkas did this? (Greek, Vietnamese, European, Indian, Aboriginal,)
4. Did you think Tsiolkas's character speech was effective?
5. There seemed to be many marital issues brought up throughout the book, infidelity, domestic violence, alcoholism. Do you think this is a true picture of a group of friends or has the author thrown in too many provocative issues for effect?
6. Do you think The way we treat our children says a lot about our culture and our society?
7. The anger in The Slap is quite confronting – so many of the characters are wracked by frustrations and ready to snap. Do you think this is an endemic problem of Australia's middle class?
8. Do you think Australia is in an age of new conservatism and over-the-top political correctness? What are your feelings about that?