The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas is what many have come to love about Australian writers. This is a no holds barred look at middle class Australian families. The title of the book should for some be taken as a warning of sorts as that is exactly what it does. It will slap you around and make you question yourself over and over as you read it. Opinions change and your idea of whats right and wrong will be turned upside down.

The Slap is a story told in eight parts, with each part centred around one of the main protagonists. The story begins with a suburban bbq, A man slaps a child that isn’t his and sets in motion a chain of events that no one sees coming. Each of the eight characters is affected directly or indirectly by this event, each character is forced to look at his or her own beliefs about family, child raising and what is right and wrong. Some with disastrous consequences.

Christos Tsiolkas shines a spotlight on an issue that is topical and will cause anyone who reads The Slap to question themselves and their beliefs on parenting. Told with unflinching honesty and challenging ideas this is a story that highlights exactly why he has received such high acclaim.

The Slap has won many awards including, Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers Prize for 2009, The ABA book of the year 2009 and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Prize in 2009 among many others.

This is a brilliant look at suburban Australian life, peppered with gritty language, brilliant characters and startling honesty. Christos Tsiolkas does not hold back and readers will definitely have a strong reaction to this novel. Love it or Hate it The Slap is a story that will challenge people’s ideals and make readers stand up and take notice.

For lovers of this book there is good news, The Slap is being made into an eight part tele series which will air on ABC later in the year. I know as a reader I found this book challenging it made me angry, it made me cry and it made me think about myself and my beliefs. I cant wait to see this brilliant novel adapted for the screen.

I hope that it will encourage people to read this book and find out for themselves how they feel about this topical and hotly contested issue.