The Slap

The Slap

A Novel

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143122661
  • 496 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Soon to be an NBC event series directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Uma Thurman, Peter Sarsgaard, and Zachary Quinto.

In this powerful and riveting novel, literary phenomenon Christos Tsiolkas unflinchingly exposes the inner workings of domestic life, friendship, and parenthood in the twenty-first century, and reminds us of the passions and malice that family loyalty can provoke. When a man slaps another couple’s child at a neighborhood barbecue, the event send unforeseeable shock waves through the lives of all who are witness to it. Told from the points of view of eight people who were present, The Slap shows how a single action can change the way people think about how they live, what they want, and what they believe forever.


Man Booker Prize – winner


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“Tsiolkas is a hard-edged, powerful writer….The novel transcends both suburban Melbourne and the Australian continent, leaving us exhausted but gasping with admiration.”

“This astute exploration of suburban aspirations and failings . . . . vividly demonstrates the wide-ranging effects of a single moment’s rash decision. . . . Beyond simply igniting the plot, the fateful slap draws attention to generational and philosophical differences regarding family life and the complex political, social, and ethnic milieu of contemporary Australia.”

“Radiates with vitality as it depicts the messy complications of family life.”

“Complex and multilayered. …intertwined lives and slowly revealed connections make for a singular reading experience.”

“Wildly energetic and fearless, thrillingly about our lives now.”
Helen Garner, author of The Spare Room

“A gripping suburban fable.”

“Strikingly tender . . . it claws into you with its freshness and truth.”

"The Slap tells a layered, briskly paced story about complex people. Think Tom Wolfe meets Philip Roth. Or The Sopranos meets The Real Housewives of Orange County"

“Brilliant, beautiful, shockingly lucid and real, this is a novel as big as life built from small, secret, closely observed beats of the human heart. A cool, calm, irresistible masterpiece.”
Chris Cleave, author of LITTLE BEE

“A novel of immense power and scope, reminiscent of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections and Don DeLillo’s Underworld.”
Cólm Tóibín, author of BROOKLYN and THE MASTER
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Craig Johnson
Keith McCafferty
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Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert
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Fun Fact

Elvis Presley is born in 1935 and, a little over 20 years later, he would have his first #1 single on the US charts, forever changing the landscape of popular culture and ushering in a new age of celebrity superstardom.

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