1300 187 187
 
Barracuda - Christos Tsiolkas

Paperback

Published: 1st November 2013
In Stock. Usually ships in 1-2 business days
RRP $32.99
$22.95
30%
OFF

eBook View Product

Published: 23rd October 2013
Format: ePUB
$35.50

Audio CD View Product

Published: 1st November 2013
In Stock. Usually ships in 1-2 business days
RRP $49.95
$37.50
25%
OFF

Tender and brutal and blazingly brilliant, the new novel from the acclaimed author of the international bestseller The Slap takes an unflinching look at modern Australia - at our hopes and dreams, our friendships, and our families - and asks what it means to be a good person and what it takes to become one.

He asked the water to lift him, to carry him, to avenge him. He made his muscles shape his fury, made every stroke declare his hate. And the water obeyed; the water would give him his revenge. No one could beat him, no one came close.

His whole life, Danny Kelly's only wanted one thing: to win Olympic gold. Everything he's ever done-every thought, every dream, every action-takes him closer to that moment of glory, of vindication, when the world will see him for what he is: the fastest, the strongest and the best. His life has been a preparation for that moment.

His parents struggle to send him to the most prestigious private school with the finest swimming program; Danny loathes it there and is bullied and shunned as an outsider, but his coach is the best and knows Danny is, too, better than all those rich boys, those pretenders. Danny's win-at-all-cost ferocity gradually wins favour with the coolest boys-he's Barracuda, he's the psycho, he's everything they want to be but don't have the guts to get there. He's going to show them all.

He would be first, everything would be alright when he came first, all would be put back in place. When he thought of being the best, only then did he feel calm.

Should we teach our children to win, or should we teach them to live? How do we make and remake our lives? Can we atone for our past? Can we overcome shame? And what does it mean to be a good person?

A searing and provocative novel by the acclaimed author of the international bestseller The Slap, Barracuda is an unflinching look at modern Australia, at our hopes and dreams, our friendships, and our families. It is about class and sport and politics and migration and education. It contains everything a person is: family and friendship and love and work, the identities we inhabit and discard, the means by which we fill the holes at our centre. Barracuda is brutal, tender and blazingly brilliant; everything we have come to expect from this fearless vivisector of our lives and world.

Read John Purcell's Review

This is a difficult book to write about. It has a personality rather than a plot. It is built upon emotion rather than reason. It is all shouts and whispers and nothing in between.

As a boy Danny Kelly wants only one thing - to be the greatest swimmer of all time. And his dream isn't farfetched. His coach believes he can do it. His mother is behind him, waking early and driving him to the pool. And his peers think he can do it, though they resent him for his talent.

Every waking moment of Danny Kelly's life is lived in pursuit of that single goal - which makes him a bit of a shit.

Christos Tsiolkas doesn't deliver Danny's story in sequence. Because Danny's life isn't linear. There is one central event, one devastating moment in Danny's life and all other moments are either before or after it. He has no past, present, or future. Everything races towards and circles back to that event. If we want to understand Danny we need to understand this.

Barracuda questions our obsession with winning and winners. It examines failure, shame and regret. It asks whether we can ever be truly forgiven for our sins. And it does so in naked fearless prose. This is not an uplifting book, but unlike Eyrie, there is love and there is hope. And it suggests we are only as isolated from others as we allow ourselves to be.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Barracuda
 
3.1

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

50%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (5)
  • Engaging characters (4)
  • Page-turner (4)

Cons

  • Disappointing (5)

Best Uses

  • Gift (3)
  • Older readers (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Bookworm (7), Everyday reader (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

a 'must read' Australian story

It is the measure of a book when the worst thing about it is that you don't like the main character. Danny is a brat. You will want to nurture him and teach him...Read complete review

It is the measure of a book when the worst thing about it is that you don't like the main character. Danny is a brat. You will want to nurture him and teach him some things about life. In other words, you will read about your own shortcomings and frame his redemption in your own head. This is an important book.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Barracuda, into the recycling bin

This could have been a good story but it was ruined by the bad language, obsession with sexuality and graphic details. I persevered until halfway through the book but, even though I wanted...Read complete review

This could have been a good story but it was ruined by the bad language, obsession with sexuality and graphic details. I persevered until halfway through the book but, even though I wanted to know who he had killed and under what circumstances, I couldn't keep ploughing my way through it.
It is such a shame that an author seems to not have the confidence to tell a story without "dressing it up" with obscenity. Not only was the potential of this story lost but I certainly won't be looking for any more novels by this author.

Reviewed by 12 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Enticing hidden human parts exposed

By Ozmentor

from Melbourne

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Informative
  • Page-Turner
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about Barracuda:

    Excellent service, prompt accurate delivery once again-thanks!

    Comment on this review

     
    2.0

    Not what I expected

    By Disappointed

    from Melbourne,Au

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Not What I Expected

      Best Uses

      • Older Readers

      Comments about Barracuda:

      Gay relationships and quite explicit sexual descriptions were not what I was expecting from this book. I thought I was going to read about champion swimmers mindset and experience but the other ruined it for me.

      Comment on this review

       
      4.0

      Intriguing, wanted to know more.

      By KK Reader

      from Sandy Point, Vic, AU

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Read
      • Page-Turner

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Travel Reading

        Comments about Barracuda:

        Great selection of books.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Great author, never disappoints!

        By Vanna

        from Miandetta

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Engaging characters
        • Page-Turner
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Barracuda:

            I have never been let down by Christos Tsiolkas, (started reading him before the tv series of The Slap). His style is very different, which is great.

            Comment on this review

             
            4.0

            Don't get influenced by the publicity

            By Designer Liza

            from Perth

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Informative
            • Page-Turner
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Barracuda:

                This book was a constant companion while I was reading it. An excellent C'mas present to myself. Now that I've finished it, I can read others. Beforehand, other books didn't get a look-in.

                Comment on this review

                 
                1.0

                Barracuda, into the recycling bin

                By Robyn

                from Mittagong, NSW

                About Me Bookworm

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • None

                Cons

                • Disappointing
                • Graphic Descriptions
                • Unnecessary Bad Language

                Best Uses

                • Expensive Paper Recycling

                Comments about Barracuda:

                This could have been a good story but it was ruined by the bad language, obsession with sexuality and graphic details. I persevered until halfway through the book but, even though I wanted to know who he had killed and under what circumstances, I couldn't keep ploughing my way through it.
                It is such a shame that an author seems to not have the confidence to tell a story without "dressing it up" with obscenity. Not only was the potential of this story lost but I certainly won't be looking for any more novels by this author.

                Comment on this review

                 
                4.0

                Definitely Worth Reading!

                By Skyte

                from Newcastle NSW

                About Me Bookworm

                Pros

                • Interesting Characters
                • Original
                • Thought provoking
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Barracuda:

                    This book tackles the topic of "shame" in a deep and thought provoking way. I really loved reading Barracuda and was surprised to see that people are polarised about this book. I thought Danny was a refreshingly unique character and loved Christo Tsiolkas' writing style. I read this a few weeks ago now and I am still thinking about it. Give it a go!

                    Comment on this review

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    2.0

                    Very dissappointing

                    By Liz C

                    from Sydney

                    About Me Everyday Reader

                    Pros

                      Cons

                      • Disappointing

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Barracuda:

                        I really disliked Danny - there was hope he would show some depth, but no. The book was long and tiring - I struggled to finish it. Shame that I didn't spend my precious time reading something better.

                        Comment on this review

                         
                        5.0

                        a 'must read' Australian story

                        By p4peter

                        from Sydney

                        About Me Bookworm

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Deserves Multiple Readings
                        • Engaging characters
                        • Well Written

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Gift
                          • Older Readers
                          • Special Needs
                          • Travel Reading
                          • Younger Readers

                          Comments about Barracuda:

                          It is the measure of a book when the worst thing about it is that you don't like the main character. Danny is a brat. You will want to nurture him and teach him some things about life. In other words, you will read about your own shortcomings and frame his redemption in your own head. This is an important book.

                          Comment on this review

                          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          1.0

                          Don't waste your time or money.

                          By Jp

                          from Sydney

                          About Me Everyday Reader

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                            Cons

                            • Disappointing

                            Best Uses

                            • As a door stop

                            Comments about Barracuda:

                            A repetative story line. Dull story. Poor character development. Overuse of similes.

                            Comment on this review

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

                            Back to top

                            Previous | Next »

                            Christos Tsiolkas

                            Christos Tsiolkas was born in Melbourne in 1965. Loaded, his first novel, was published in 1995 and later made into the award-winning film Head On. In 1996 he collaborated with Sasha Soldatow on the dialogue Jump Cuts. His novel The Jesus Man was published in 1999.

                            His critically acclaimed novel Dead Europe was published in 2005 and in 2008 he reached bestselling status with the bold The Slap which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

                            He is also the author of several plays including Who's Afraid of the Working Class? and Dead Caucasians and Non Parlo di Salo, co-written with Spiro Economopoulos.

                            Visit Christos Tsiolkas's Booktopia Author Page


                            ISBN: 9781743317310
                            ISBN-10: 174331731X
                            Audience: General
                            Format: Paperback
                            Language: English
                            Published: 1st November 2013
                            Publisher: Allen & Unwin
                            Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 3.9
                            Weight (kg): 0.69
                            Edition Number: 1