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Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
  

Barracuda

Literary Fiction   Books of the Month   Family Drama   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

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.

If you like Christos Tsiolkas you might also like to read books by Bella Pollen, Steve Toltz and David Nicholls.

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Reader Reviews

  • Donna Smith - 'This book has touched me in a way others have not...I believe it will stay with me for a long time...Thank you Christos Tsiolkas for giving the world this book!' Read full review >
  • Francesca Ashurst - 'I was gripped by this novel, moved to tears by the end and haunted by the story of Danny Kelly who dared to dream.' Read full review >
  • Barbara Gaskell - 'A book about expectations, ambition, loss and discovery. I was engrossed and found myself emotionally connected with Danny.' Read full review >
  • Angela Hunt - 'I loved the way the reader is drawn in, slowly at first, then it grabs you. I loved everything about it, good and bad.' Read full review >
  • Beth Townsend - 'Barracuda is an intense, thrilling read that taught me a lot about human nature and the desire to win.' Read full review >
  • Sue Broom - 'A riveting read - the Icarus story for the 21st century and a fascinating portrayal of modern Australia.' Read full review >
  • Margaret Madden - 'Daniel Kelly's Olympic dreams are shattered.  One race has changed the course of his life.  How can he ever recover from such a loss? The writing in this novel is just simply amazing.' Read full review >
  • Alan Brown - 'During adolescent change, teenagers are vulnerable. This edgy book highlights a journey to self-destruction of a young man whose well established sporting individuality and identity are threatened.' Read full review >
  • Linda Hill - 'Raw human emotion spirals out of control as Danny Kelly learns what is important in life.' Read full review >
  • Nicola Crisp - 'This book is a fascinating insight into what drives a child to train so hard, how he and his family handle the pressure, and, most interestingly, how they are affected when it all goes wrong.' Read full review >
  • Jane Pepler - 'A stunning book, which leaves you thinking about it long after finishing it... I thought it was fantastic.' Read full review >
  • Katie Hoare - 'Barracuda is a very cleverly written novel by the author of The Slap about a young man wanting to become a swimming superstar.  An emotional rollercoaster and gripping read.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Pybus - 'Interesting story, but a potentially irritating protagonist...There is plenty that is good about this novel, so it’s a shame that the main character began to grate on me so much.' Read full review >
  • Richard Hamlin - 'Barracuda affected me in a number of ways as I read it; it’s intriguing, shocking, violent, tender and at times poignant.  It’s a very relevant book.' Read full review >
  • Sara Fanner - 'For anyone who has ever wanted to win, or been a teenager, or been part of a family, Barracuda is a novel to delight in and be challenged by.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Harper - 'Barracuda immerses you in the world of competitive swimming as experienced by young Dan.  Some of his experiences are unpleasant but compelling none the less.  An intense read.' Read full review >
  • Phyl Smithson - 'powerful, thought provoking, challenging and ultimately, very compelling...Read Barracuda.  It’s just too good to miss.' Read full review >
  • Rachel Hall - 'I found Barracuda to be a compulsive read and was thoroughly surprised by just how moving and emotionally involving I found it to be.' Read full review >
  • Megan Williams - 'Barracuda is a strongly charged, deeply moving account of one young man’s failure in one small but significant moment of his life and the repercussions this has which echo for years afterwards.' Read full review >

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Synopsis

Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

Daniel Kelly, a talented young swimmer, has one chance to escape his working-class upbringing.

His astonishing ability in the pool should drive him to fame and fortune, as well as his revenge on the rich boys at the private school to which he has won a sports scholarship. But when he melts down at his first big international championship and comes only fifth, he begins to destroy everything he has fought for and turn on everyone around him. Barracuda is a powerful and moving novel of sport and violence, class and education, dreams and disillusionment; it is the story of a young man who eventually comes to realise that it is in family and friendship that his strongest identity lies.

Reviews

About the Author

Christos Tsiolkas

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

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd January 2014

Author

Christos Tsiolkas

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Author's Website

www.barracuda.net.au

Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Paperback
528 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Family Drama
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781782392422

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