As of today, I will also share with you some of my thoughts on books that left an impression on me. Let that be a good or a devastating one. I’m not going to write a proper review. Far more talented people have done so before. It’s just my 50c on whether it’s worth a shot or not.
The first victim on my list is “The Slap”. Read it, if you haven’t done so. Just to give you some idea: A sunny afternoon - a barbeque with friends and family - children that scream and laugh - a man who hits a child.
The overriding question of the book is: Is it right to slap a child under any circumstances? You, dear potential reader, might change your opinion as you get an insight into the perspective of various people having attended the barbeque. Or not, who knows.
Every chapter is the perspective of one person. What I particularly liked, was, how Christos Tsiolkas shows, on just a few pages really, that the reality of every one of us is never what others believe it to be. Some of us make an effort to appear in a certain way, while, really, we are quite different. Others are not making any effort to appear in any way, they are just themselves, and it is the observant friend that interpretes into their behaviour and words a life that never existed.
It is fascinating how the various stories refer back to each other. How the perspective can vary within one family. How the view portrayed in one chapter makes us wonder about a little more background to that person and how that background will be revealed in a following chapter on a person we wouldn’t naturally have thought to be connected.
To say it out loud. I loved the book. I think it is outstanding. Well written. Well chosen theme. Timely. I wish more people would read it and open their mind to - what appears to sometimes be - a taboo topic. Literature is art. Art is supposed to make us think and evaluate our stand points. Do it. In regards to the slap. In regards to judging others. In regards to being who you are. Do it. I dare you!