Posts Tagged ‘melodrama’

5th April
2010
written by Steph

A cracking good read

I first heard about this book over at Farm Lane Books, back when it had first won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.  It isn’t a book that I necessarily would have been drawn to on my own, but Jackie’s review of this controversial (due to its content) novel, certainly piqued my interest.  So, when I saw an ARC pop up at BookPage that no one else wanted, I nabbed it and dove right in.

The Slap follows several families based in Melbourne, Australia, who come together for a barbecue.  At this gathering, one of the adults slaps a young child who is acting out, but this causes a huge kerfuffle because it is not his own child he has physically reprimanded.  The resulting chapters take us through the chaos that ensues over the subsequent weeks, which we witness through the eyes of various characters.  We aren’t just privy to the direct fall out of the slap itself and how that issue is resolved, but also the various ways in which the characters’ lives are disturbed, in some senses irretrievably.

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18th February
2009
written by Tony
Not the edition I read, but the best image I could find

Not the edition I read, but the best image I could find

Steph picked this book up on a whim during one of our many famous book gathering expeditions at McKay’s recently, and I was immediately interested. I’ve read some of the Russian classics and thought it would be interesting to read something billed as the forefather of great Russian prose and fiction. It is also, for many reasons, worth noting that this particular translation was penned by none other than Vladimir Nabokov himself. This enhanced my interest in the volume even more, as I know that Nabokov was an eminent scholar who taught himself perfect English, so the translation would not only be accurate but would contain more of the essence of the original intent and linguistic subtleties inherent in such a complex language as Russian.

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