The Slap, Christos Tsiolkas’ award-winning novel, is now a prime time ABC TV series

by |August 11, 2011

To smack or not to smack is the question that reverberates through the interconnected lives dissected in Christos Tsiolkas’ award-winning novel, now a prime time ABC TV series, starring Melissa George and Alex Dimitriades.

At a suburban barbecue one afternoon, a man slaps an unruly boy. The boy is not his own. It’s a single act of violence, but the slap reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it.

Told through the eyes of eight of those present at the barbecue, this acclaimed bestseller is an unflinching interrogation of the life of the modern family. Poignant and provocative, The Slap makes us question the nature of commitment and happiness, compromise and truth. Whose side are you on?

Now a major ABC TV series, prepare for The Slap to be the thing everyone’s talking about – again!

‘… wildly energetic and fearless, thrillingly about our lives now’ – Helen Garner

‘Whose side are you on? Honestly, one of the three or four truly great novels of the new
millennium.’ – John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

‘… nothing short of a tour de force … a novel of immense power and scope.’ – Colm Toibin,
author of Brooklyn

‘A cool, calm, irresistible masterpiece.’ – Chris Cleave, author of The Other Hand

‘Almost as good as Last Summer by Kylie Ladd’ – Anonymous.

I am the first to get excited when Christos Tsiolkas writes a new book. I still haven’t quite recovered from the searing ride that was Dead Europe which was published in 2006.

In The Slap, Tsiolkas aims his blow torch squarely at middle class Australia, in recounting from the point of view of eight separate characters, the unravelling and reknitting of relationships that occurs when someone at a suburban barbeque looses his cool and slaps a particularly obnoxious child.

What he gives us is a forensic dissection of contemporary attitudes to love, sex, parenting, marriage and children. Reading The Slap is not always comfortable , his characters are not always likeable, but if you want to tap into the pulse of middle Australia, this is for you. A warning: don’t read this if you are offended by swearing – it is inescapable.

Reviewed By Toni Whitmont, Booktopia Buzz Editor

Buy your copy here


Winner, Overall Best Book the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009
Winner, ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2009 and Overall Book of the Year 2009
Winner, ABA Book of the Year 2009 Winner, ALS Gold Medal 2009
Winner, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2009
Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Prize 2009 Shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award 2008
Longlisted, The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2010

About the Author

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of four novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. He won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal for his latest novel, The Slap, which was also announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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  • August 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I can’t wait to see this. Such a great book!

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