My novel Short of Love (2018) is compared below with ‘The Slap’ by Christos Tsiolkas (2008).
His book is a bestseller and has been made into a movie mini-series (2011). I like the book very much.
Genre of ‘The Slap’ is urban psychological fiction. The genre of Short of Love is fictionalised autobiography in an epic thriller. The two books are similar in that both stories narrate events subsequent to unusual incidents that are pivotal in causing social groups to disintegrate.
The Slap is set in an urban tribe in Melbourne having a microcosm of social ills, family loyalties, passions and dysfunctional relationships. An incident mars a family gathering and the aftermath destabilises their lives.
Short of Love is set in England and Canada, beginning with Tom as a schoolboy and following the threads of his dysfunctional relationship with his crush, Vicki and his career as an engineer and corporate executive until his retirement. Tom is tricked to take a lie detector test and again when he trades Vicki in a ‘short’ deal with a friend, as a commodity to acquire later. The book satirizes conventional love relationships but the strategies backfire disastrously, blowing him and Vicki apart. He gains a top job in Canada but Vicki, a school counsellor, stays in England. On the rebound he marries Ruth, expecting to resume with Vicki later.
The books are pre-occupied with consequences of traumas affecting lives of the characters in unpredictable ways. The reader will be entertained in The Slap by the misbehaviour of suburbanites. Short of Love recounts antics of irrepressible university students in Liverpool in the Beatles era, later as hippies and then as vulnerable obsessive adults in a fast-moving page turner.
Short of Love is an unconventional story recording morals that changed with the times. The focus is on Tom’s relationship with Vicki and it keeps the reader guessing. It is a tantalizing love story with an unexpected ending.
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Tom Archer falls for university student Vicki Hillstone, who tricks him with a lie detector test and finds out he is bedding town girl Barbara. Tom frames a straddle in the commodity love, going long on Barbara and short on Vicki, to reduce his overall vulnerability and get back together with her later, as he follows a glittering career in the petroleum industry. Tom’s carefully calculated plans fall apart tragically, with Tom and Vicki’s roles changing from the 1960s to 2008. After their traumatic beginning, can they ever become a couple?