While away last week I read Christos Tsolkias novel 'The Slap', the first book I've read since finishing the Twilight saga a few weeks ago. Much like the Twilight saga I could hardly put 'The Slap' down. Unlike the Twilight saga it was not an overly enjoyable read. In fact at times reading 'The Slap' felt like a receiving a big hard slap. Told from the perspective of eight different characters, who are present at a barbecue where one of them slaps a child who is not his own, this is a really ambitious novel. And not least for confronting a multitude of complex issues present, yet not always discussed, in contemporary Australian life. Not everyone thinks Christos Tsolkias manages to pull this off but personally, for the most part, I do. I think good on him for confronting all those sensitive issues like private school vs. public school, compromised relationships, casual drug use amongst the middle class, the realities of parenting etc etc. If I had only one criticism to make of this book it would be the unconvincing letter Connie's father wrote before he died and also that there were no handsome vampire characters to lighten things up a bit.