Because for many pages I was desperately seeking a casus belli. Something I could put my finger on. I was a closet Slap-hater at this point. I needed to find something definite, a line in the print where I could say thus far Thank you Christos Tsiolkas I needed to find something definite, a line in the print where I could say thus far and no farther On and on I read. And finally one such moment arrived on page
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Because for many pages I was desperately seeking a casus belli. Something I could put my finger on. I was a closet Slap-hater at this point. I needed to find something definite, a line in the print where I could say thus far Thank you Christos Tsiolkas I needed to find something definite, a line in the print where I could say thus far and no farther On and on I read.
And finally one such moment arrived on page The scene is the grimy household of Rosie and Gary and their son Hugo who is somewhere between three and four years of age. Hugo is the slapee of the story. Every time. So now here on p we have Gary, the sex-starved husband, wrestling with his young son for control of the breasts She was feeding Hugo on the couch when Gary walked back into the room He came and stood over them. Then the atmosphere turns nasty and Gary and the kid begin to squabble viciously about the breasts.
At this point I murmered "Thank you, Christos! At last! I knew you had it in you! I hear the tramp tramp tramp of the feet of several burly postmen.
This book - not so much. So here I am on p Can there really be another pages to go? The Shangri-Las : PB, is that a bestseller you got there? Gee, it must be great reading it all day. You get the picture? Well, what about this blurb on the back? This is bugging me - This event reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it happen. Is that even grammatical? The "happen" is otiose. I dunno. These modern writers, they must get paid by the word. Never mind the quality, feel the width.
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
Plot summary[ edit ] At a barbecue in suburban Melbourne , a man slaps a 3-year-old boy across the face. The child, Hugo, has been misbehaving without any intervention by his parents, "the steely-eyed Rosie and the wimpish Gary". This event sends the other characters "into a spiral, agonising and arguing over the notion that striking a child can ever be justified. Some believe a naughty boy should be taught some discipline, others maintain the police ought to be brought in to investigate a common assault"  with a range of positions in between. Reviewer Windsor writes that "As an architectural device, this is inspired. With their narrowed focus, the individual stories, up to 80 pages long, have an intensity to them that a conventional comprehensive narrative could not have come near.
Photograph: Paul McCarthy for the Guardian. There is always a stage between novels, when the obsessions and passions that fuelled one book abate. Sometimes they are even tamed; more often they have exhausted the writer and must be put aside until they emerge, renewed, to disturb the imagination again. In I published a novel called Dead Europe that had taken me seven years to write. I wanted to return to the suburbs, those vilified spaces that are not quite the city and not quite the country, in which the majority of Australians live. My parents live in a suburb three stations away from Ramsey Street; their neighbours are Chinese, Vietnamese, Egyptian, Maltese and Greek. Having said farewell to Europe in my last book, I was hungry to write about an Australia I rarely saw represented on the pages of Australian literature or on screen.