Christos Tsiolkas is the author of four novels: Loaded (filmed as Head-On) The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. The Slap won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize 2009 and was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.
Author photo © Zoe Ali
One of our Books of the Year 2014. After the huge success of his novel The Slap it is often difficult for an author to follow with another as good. Tsiolkas has succeeded in doing just that. Set in Australia and Scotland, the novel explores the problems that arise when an impressionable, working class teenager, Danny, wins a swimming scholarship to a prestigious private school and then doesn’t live up to his expectations. The way the author sets out the chapters in different contexts and times, sometimes using Danny (later Dan) as narrator, is admirable as he tries to make sense of his behaviour and manage his anger. It is a very fine work indeed. Highly recommended. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Barracuda a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - ''I was gripped by this novel, moved to tears by the end and haunted by the story of Danny Kelly who dared to dream.' Francesca Ashurst. Scroll down to read more reviews.
January 2014 Book of the Month. After the huge success of his novel The Slap it is often difficult for an author to follow with another as good. Tsiolkas has succeeded in doing just that. Set in Australia and Scotland, the novel explores the problems that arise when an impressionable, working class teenager, Danny, wins a swimming scholarship to a prestigious private school and then doesn’t live up to his expectations. The way the author sets out the chapters in different contexts and times, sometimes using Danny (later Dan) as narrator, is admirable as he tries to make sense of his behaviour and manage his anger. It is a very fine work indeed. Highly recommended.
As you might expect from an Australian author, this book tells it to you straight to the extent that, as you might expect from the title, it hits you right in the face. The Slap explores modern behavioural correctness in a world, and a language, where morality seems to have been turned upside down. For all its directness, this is a 21st Century book that deserves the praise that has been heaped upon it. But you might want to read it yourself before you lend it to your Mum. March 2011 Book of the Month. Click here to see Christos Tsiolkas' new book, Barracuda, which is published in January 2014.
Shortlisted for the Galaxy International Author of the Year 2010. Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009. Already an internationally acclaimed bestseller The Slap is an unflinching interrogation of our lives today; of the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century, a deeply thought-provoking novel about boundaries and their limits... From a single act of violence – a slap from a man to a child that was not his own - but this one slap reverberates through the lives of everyone who witnesses it happen. In his controversial, award-winning novel, Christos Tsiolkas presents an apparently harmless domestic incident as seen from eight very different perspectives. Quite brilliant. A message from John Boyne, the author of The Boy in Striped Pyjamas:`Once in a while a novel comes along that reminds me why I love to read: The Slap is such a book... Honestly, one of the three or four truly great novels of the new millennium.'
Man Booker Prize-longlisted author of The Slap (soon to be an NBC miniseries) returns in an ';immensely moving' (Sunday Times) story of a young athlete's coming of age Fourteen-year-old Daniel Kelly is special. Despite his upbringing in working-class Melbourne, he knows that his astonishing ability in the swimming pool has the potential to transform his life, silence the rich boys at the private school to which he has won a sports scholarship, and take him far beyond his neighborhood, possibly to international stardom and an Olympic medal. Everything Danny has ever done, every sacrifice his family has ever made, has been in pursuit of this dream. But what happens when the talent that makes you special fails you? When the goal that you've been pursuing for as long as you can remember ends in humiliation and loss? Twenty years later, Dan is in Scotland, terrified to tell his partner about his past, afraid that revealing what he has done will make him unlovable. When he is called upon to return home to his family, the moment of violence in the wake of his defeat that changed his life forever comes back to him in terrifying detail, and he struggles to believe that he'll be able to make amends. Haunted by shame, Dan relives the intervening years he spent in prison, where the optimism of his childhood was completely foreign. Tender, savage, and blazingly brilliant, Barracuda is a novel about dreams and disillusionment, friendship and family, class, identity, and the cost of success. As Daniel loses everything, he learns what it means to be a good personand what it takes to become one.From the Hardcover edition.
Compelling short fiction from Christos Tsiolkas, bestselling author of The Slap.'My God,' she thought, a coldness settling in her, 'do I hate him?' After witnessing her teenage son insult a disabled girl, a mother struggles with contempt for her child.
The second novel from the author of the bestselling Loaded and The SlapThe Jesus Man tells the story of three brothers, Dominic, Tommy and Louie, who come from a Greek-Italian family haunted by its history. When Tommy is made redundant from work and can't find another job, he finds the voices in his head becoming louder and louder as he sinks inexorably into pornography, violence and madness. Tommy snaps and murders someone who may or may not be a serial sex killer of children, and then castrates and kills himself, leaving his family numb with grief and incomprehension and at the mercy of the ensuing media feeding frenzy. The Jesus Man is told from the point of view of Louie, the youngest brother, who is struggling to make sense of Tommy's death and the kind of world in which such tragedies are commonplace. Written with the remorseless, page-turning urgency of a thriller, The Jesus Man is an uncompromising and timely examination of the hell that is life for many people; a soulless void in which pornography takes the place of love, television the place of human contact and where individual worth has been superseded by economic rationalism. Counterpointing this unremittingly bleak vision is the sweet humanity and optimism of Louie, one of the great characters of contemporary literature, who looks within himself to find a place beyond the casual horror and mundanity of everyday life. It is his sense of hope for the future that shines through The Jesus Man, and that fact that we as readers believe in his optimism and are intensely uplifted by the book's final powerful message confirms Christos Tsiolkas as one of our finest and most original writers.
The first novel from the author of the bestselling The SlapFamilies can detonate. Some families are torn apart forever by one small act, one solitary mistake. In my family it was a series of small explosions; consistent, passionate, pathetic. Cruel words, crude threats... We spurred each other on till we reached a crescendo of pain and we retired exhaused to our rooms, in tears or in fury. Ari is nineteen, unemployed and a poofter who doesn't want to be gay. He is looking for something - anything - to take him away from his aimless existence in suburban Melbourne. He doesn't believe in anyone or anything, except the power of music. All he wants to do is dance, take drugs, have sex and change the world. For Ari, all the orthodoxies of family, sex, politics and work have collapsed. Caught between the traditional Greek world of his parents and friends and the alluring, destructive world of clubs, chemicals and anonymous sex, all Ari can do is ease his pain in the only ways he knows how. Written in stark, uncompromising prose, Loaded is a first novel of great passion and power.
Special edition to coincide with the Australian release of the film Dead Europe. An unsettling, brilliant novel about the truths and lies of mythology and history from the acclaimed author of The Slap.Isaac is a photographer in his mid-30, travelling through Europe. It is the post-Cold War Europe of a united currency, illegal immigration and of a globalised homogenous culture. In his mother's mountain village he encounters a Balkan vampire. Subsequently, as his journey continues across Italy, Eastern Europe and Britain he discovers that ghosts keep appearing in the photographs he takes, providing clues to a family secret and tragedy. Parallel to Isaac's story we are in the Greece of World War II. A peasant family is asked to provide protection to a Jewish boy fleeing the Germans. It is this boy who will become the vampire. From the mountains of Greece to the inner-city streets of 1960s Melbourne, we trace the journey of this malevolent force as it feeds on generation after generation of Isaac's family, seeking revenge and justice. From Christos Tsiolkas: 'In attempting to trace back through the mythologies, lies and truths of history, I want to examine how the legacies of the past still actively disturb our sleep in the present. Isaac's story is written in a contemporary idiom, in the first person, as he reflects on his alienation from Europe, on what it means to be an artist, to be a man in love, to be an ethical human in a supposedly post-ideological age . . . I am also attempting to understand the longest standing of all European racial legacies: anti-Semitism. The vampire is not only the restless spirit of a dead boy. It is also the golem, the Christ Killer, the killer of children. It is this legacy that Isaac must face . . .Now a major motion picture released by Paramount and Transmission films.
Ari is nineteen, Greek, gay, unemployed, looking for something - anything - to take him away from his aimless existence in suburban Melbourne. Torn between the traditional Greek world of his parents and friends and the alluring, destructive world of clubs and drugs and anonymous sex, all Ari can do is ease his pain in the only way he knows how. Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap became an international bestseller and was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2009. This is his sensational first novel.
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