Beyond any question of style is the fact of this book’s sheer nastiness. “The Slap”‘s not anti-anything-it’s anti-everything, the work of the moment for a nation that I met more at the pubs and picnic tables of England than in any other book I’ve read. It’s the book of the great muttering resistance of England, a dark-witted, vote-nay group who could rival the American Tea Party for influence if they could only agree on a bar at which to meet.