A note on performance:
If you trace the system call activity that happens underneath slurp, at least on Linux and FreeBSD, you'll find that the slurp gets divided into a sequence of read(1) calls. If your intent it raw speed (and the file can fit into memory), you might be better off using sysread(), which will do a single read(1). That removes system call overhead, which on a loaded system will help avoid having other processes get their read(1)/write(1) requests in, which might move the disk head off of the sector that contains your partially-read file.
Seeks can be very expensive.
At this level, though, the game is probabilistic. The file might be fragmented, etc.
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