Tuesday, June 09, 2009


June Book: The Zookeeper's Wife
Author:Diane Ackerman
In a nutshell -a true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.
Verdict: I just couldn't get into it. It felt a bit 'try hard'. After chapter 4 I decided to give up. Life's too short. Maybe I need to try again some other time.

I feel like out I copped out this month so (purely to make me feel better) here's a review of a book I read last week that I did really enjoy:

Title: The Slap
Author: Christos Tsiolkas

Synposis: (courtesy Unwin and Allen publishers)
At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own.
This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event.
In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.
What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse. In its clear-eyed and forensic dissection of the ever-growing middle class and its aspirations and fears, The Slap is also a poignant, provocative novel about the nature of loyalty and happiness, compromise and truth.

Verdict: I loved this book. Over the past couple of months reviews of this book seemed to pop up in publications I was reading. And then a week or two back I heard a long interview with the author, Australian Christos Tsiolkas, on National Radio. I knew I had to read it. I wasn't disappointed. It was gritty, fast moving and hard core at times. It made me think. I found myself taking sides. And then changing them. Another observation is that I realised I don't read many books by male authors. Are other people like that? If you don't like sex and expletives it's probably not for you. But I loved it.


Janine said...

Ahhhhh that doesnt bode well for me but I will keep an opend mind lol. The library now has it ready for me to collect. Oh now slap sounds interesting. That story reminded me of a film I saw recently in terms of a story told from different perspectives. Always interesting seeing how others view the same incident.

Had a laugh at your rule breaking daughter lol I would have been freaking at school if that had been me.

Oh I like what you said about the 19th wife. Love that painting you did. My list of 40 is like your one day list.

Oh nice muddy feet E lol

Penny said...

I really felt the writer let the story down on the Zookeeper one. It had lots of potential but wasn't fully realised.