Andrew Lindsay's sophomore novel is a darkly comic tale set in the ironically named town of Salvation. Overrun by drunks, perverts, and crooks, it is more commonly referred to as Ruination by its citizens. One of these locals is a deformed young man named Ernie - born with a giant jawbone that allows him to reinvent himself as the Slapping Man - literally taking one on the chin as he allows people to take their frustrations out on him. It could have been a simple freak show, but Peter Hosking's sympathetic performance renders The Slapping Man sweet and oddly poignant.
The people who live there are villainous, perverse, and unashamedly venal: there is John, who runs the local pub, Jean Flinch whose reputation at the 'Virgin Wall' is infamous and little orphan Ernie, whose giant jawbone is both a curse and a blessing. When Ernie re-invents himself as The Slapping Man, all hell breaks loose as the locals clamor to find their own salvation by giving Ernie a good slap.
Indeed it seemed that Ernie could rejuvenate the town on mass. There was just one problem - Slapping Men don't live forever...
©2003 Andrew Lindsay; (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
'Another creation of intoxicating wildness and excitement. A big, slapping shout of a book from a writer who creates and celebrates his own world of the marvelous, the mythical, and the grotesque.' (
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