Je traîne, je traîne pour écrire ce message. On sent que ce livre ne m'a pas inspirée. Et puis flûte, je n'aurais rien de plus à en dire. Alors voici...

The Slap

J'avais envie de découvrir des auteurs australiens, après avoir lu Ten Things I Hate About Me. Et comme The Slap avait obtenu le Commonwealth Writers Prize en 2009, j'ai choisi de commencer par ça. Ben...

Des gens charmants, les protagonistes de The Slap. Pas vraiment un pour relever l'autre, finalement. Evidemment, la gifle n'est qu'un prétexte. L'idée de départ est originale, mais elle ne dure pas longtemps. Tous les personnages, enfants compris, sont névrosés. Si Christos Tsolkias voulait dénoncer la mentalité et la société australiennes, il ne s'y prendrait pas autrement. A moins que ce ne soit la mentalité et la société melbournaises, puisque l'action se déroule à Melbourne. A moins que ce ne soit la mentalité des Australiens d'origine grecque comme lui.

L'image que donne The Slap de l'Australie, des communautés obligées de se supporter, mais qui n'ont rien de bon à dire les unes des autres, les skips contre les wogs. Peut-être est-ce en raison de l'isolement de l'Australie, mais les gens ne semblent avoir pour seuls passe-temps (préoccupations ?) que le sexe, la drogue et l'alcool. Ils exigent une loyauté aveugle de leur famille et de leurs amis. Ca en devient ridicule. Apparemment, laisser vivre ne fait pas partie de leur vocabulaire (qui n'est lui-même pas très riche, il faut bien le dire, et trop souvent vulgaire juste pour être vulgaire).

J'ai tenu bon, j'ai lu les 400 et quelques pages. Je voulais connaître la fin. Ca se laisse lire. Mais rien d'enthousiasmant à mon avis.

Anouk nodded. The Aboriginal Muslim and his white Muslim wife. The odd couple. She had found that she had nothing to say to either of them at the barbecue. She could see why Rosie would like them. The three of them had all obviously shed their pasts and grown new, vastly different skins. She glanced over at Aish and she was suddenly convinced that her friend was thinking exactly the same thoughts. It was a shared moment in which they were both pitying and ridiculing the experiences of the three true authentic Australians. Aish and herself, they had real pasts, real histories. Jewish, Indian, migrant; it all meant something, they had no need to make things up, to assume disguises.

By ten-thirty everyone was drunk or stoned. Or both.


She thought about it. She was still warm and secure in the euphoria of the drug but the heightening of the senses had worn off. She was beginning to feel drunk. Reluctantly, she shook her head. 'Nah. I'll be completely hammered.'

'That's the best way to be.' Both she and Richie were surprised by Nick's vehemence. 'I want to be like this for the rest of my life,' he continued. 'I don't ever want to be normal again.'

'Mate, you are not normal.'

Nick glared at Richie. 'What do you mean?'

Connie intervened. 'What's so great about being normal? It's better to be different, not like everybody else. Who wants to be normal in John Howard's Australia?'

But the sickness was in Gary's blood. His father had been a drunk. As had his mother. And his grandparents as well. They were probably drunks all the way back to the first convict ship. She almost laughed. He was an exemplary Australian, her husband. She recalled a conversation during dinner from over a decade ago, when Hector had expounded how Australian drinking differed from all other cultures in its extremity, in its lack of conviviality, in the way it centred on the pub bar and not the dinner table.

She kept opening and closing her mouth, as if she couldn't get words out. She cleared her throat and suddenly barked out, 'Are you going to take drugs?'

He looked at her reflection in the mirror. She looked small, a little afraid. Slowly, he nodded.

'What kind?'

'Weed, I guess.'

'What else?'

He shrugged. 'Stuff.'

'What stuff?'

'Speed. Maybe an E.'

'Oh, baby.' She began to reach out to him then abruptly withdrew her hand. 'I guess you're all grown up.'


'Just be careful.' (…) 'I heard on the radio there's going to be sniffer dogs.'

ABC1 TV a diffusé une mini-série de huit épisodes (un par chapitre) l'an passé. Et on annonce un remake pour NBC. Whose side are you on? Well, nobody's.

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