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Barracuda [Kindle Edition]

Christos Tsiolkas
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.66 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

He loses everything. In front of everyone.

Where does he go from here?

Barracuda is the blazingly brilliant new novel from the author of the phenomenal bestseller The Slap.

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. Everything Danny has ever done, every sacrifice his family has ever made, has been in pursuit of his dream. 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.

Tender and savage, Barracuda is a novel about dreams and disillusionment, friendship and family. As Daniel Kelly loses everything, he learns what it means to be a good person - and what it takes to become one.

REVIEW

"Tsiolkas writes with compelling clarity about the primal stuff that drives us all: the love and hate and fear of failure... A brilliant, beautiful book. If it doesn't make you cry, you can't be fully alive." (Sunday Times)

"I finished Barracuda on a high: moved, elated, immersed... This is the work of a superb writer who has completely mastered his craft but lost nothing of his fiery spirit in so doing. It is a big achievement." (Guardian)

"Terrific ." (Kate Saunders, The Times)

"Masterful, addictive, clear-eyed storytelling about the real business of life: winning and losing." (Viv Groskop, Red Online)

"This involving and substantial tale - surprisingly tender for all its sweary shock-value - is carried swiftly along by Tsiolkas's athletic, often lyrical prose." Daily Mail

"The Slap, Christos Tsiolkas's bestselling previous novel declared 'Welcome to Australia in the early 21st century.' The same semi-ironic sentiment echoes throughout Barracuda, which is, if anything, an even greater novel... It may tell an old, old story, but it has rarely been told in a better way." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Christos Tsiolkas is in his natural element, with sentences gliding elegantly until the reader is utterly submerged in this absorbing story." (Metro)

"This is a compelling, moving novel about identity, failure and the redemptive power of family" (Mail on Sunday)

Acclaim for The Slap:

"A cool, calm, irresistible masterpiece." (Chris Cleave)

"The Slap is nothing short of a tour de force." (Colm Tóibín)

"Honestly, one of the three or four truly great novels of the new millennium." (John Boyne)

"Now and then a book comes along that defines a summer. This year that book is The Slap." Daily Telegraph

"As addictive as the best soap opera." Daily Mail

See Christos talk about Barracuda http://atlantic-books.co.uk/barracuda


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Product Description

Review

"'Tsiolkas writes with compelling clarity about the primal stuff that drives us all: the love and hate and fear of failure... A brilliant, beautiful book. If it doesn't make you cry, you can't be fully alive.' (Sunday Times) 'I finished Barracuda on a high: moved, elated, immersed... This is the work of a superb writer who has completely mastered his craft but lost nothing of his fiery spirit in so doing. It is a big achievement.' (Guardian) 'Terrific' (Kate Saunders, The Times) 'Masterful, addictive, clear-eyed storytelling about the real business of life: winning and losing (Viv Groskop, Red Online)"

Review

“...Tsiolkas has written an absolute ripper.” (The Age)

“A contemporary Australian masterpiece.” (Australian Bookseller+Publisher)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1813 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G8NX31Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,964 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of Loaded (filmed as Head-On), The Jesus Man, Dead Europe and The Slap, which won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 2009, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 and shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. Barracuda is his fifth novel. He lives in Melbourne.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ocean will have us all 10 Jun. 2014
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Australia lionises its swimmers. They are recognised; they have nicknames; they are showered with sponsorship and gifts.

Danny Kelly, a schoolboy from Melbourne’s unfashionable northern suburbs has been awarded a swimming scholarship at one of the top private schools. He’s an outsider, but once he beats the rich kids in the pool he finds himself welcomed by those who had first given him the cold shoulder. He is christened Barracuda in recognition not only of his swimming talent but also his pugnacious attitude. The school swimming coach, Frank Torma, offers personal training twice a day and entertains the elite swimmers at his house, buying in the best pizzas they will ever eat. Danny’s future is already written.

For a moment, we could be forgiven for imagining ourselves in a Chris Cleave novel.

But, as each chapter progresses relentlessly forward from 1994 to the present day, the chapters have little codas in which time starts now and works backwards. After a couple of chapters, it becomes clear that there is a disconnect between the anticipated future and reality. There is one chapter, at the end of Part One, where the unwinding future narrative and the forward paced main narrative pass one another. That is the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the moment Danny and coach Torma had been planning for…

As in The Slap, Christos Tsiolkas shows us the seamy, venal, unsympathetic face of modern Melbourne. It’s back in Barracuda – the bigoted, blinkered views are on display in abundance. There’s the Jehovah’s witnesses; the chip-on-the-shoulder working class Scot; the grand old lady; the gay lover; the Turkish tomboy; and Frank Torma, the sports mad Slav.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To err is human 13 Jan. 2014
By J.K. Currie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Daniel/ Danny/Dan Kelly is/was/might be an Olympic class champion swimmer. Sprung from immigrant roots, a firmly working class Melbourne Australian, he and most of his family hope that success in the pool will help him transcend the limitations of his background. But Danny fails and his reaction to failure threatens to destroy his life and the lives of those around him.

I confess I was not enthusiastic about reading this novel. I hated Dead Europe and was decided not to read anything else by Christos Tsiolkas. Only I received this book as a review copy, it is unlikely I would have given it a second glance. But I'm glad I did. Enjoyment may not be the correct word for a novel which is by turns bitter and angry, exhilarating and visceral, tough and emotive. Tsiolkas hesitates at nothing and this book may not suit a reader of sensitive disposition. However, I found myself thoroughly gripped. The lack of chronological cohesion means that the reader is fed the story in three different time-zones, hence Daniel/Danny/Dan at the beginning of the review. This conceit teases and slowly reveals Dan's ambitious rise and fall and ultimate attempts to make sense of his life. At the heart of the novel is Australia, but even more so, the family, and the final section is a working out of what it means to be part of a family. Danny was not a sympathetic character for much of this novel, but with all his faults he goes some way towards ultimate self-redemption.

As another Greek wrote some two and a half thousand years ago, `Your wound is what you feed on, Philoctetes. I say it again in friendship and say this: Stop eating yourself up with hate and come with us'.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but far from perfect 10 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback
Daniel Kelly is an ambitious young sportsman who has been tipped for future success with Australia's swimming team. He is entirely focused on his target, despite problems at home and at the posh boarding school he attends on a scholarship. But when he doesn't do as well as he thinks he should have at a swimming event, everything starts to unravel.

Aptly enough, for a novel about someone confused about who he is and how he fits into society, this book has a complex narration. Events don't appear in order, some sections are headed with a date and location, others aren't. This doesn't make the book difficult to follow, but it did mildly irritate me at times. The author is trying to keep a secret from the start of the book until approximately two-thirds of the way through - we know right from the beginning that something major has happened to derail Danny's life, but we don't know what it is. The exact nature of the event is kept from us for nearly 300 pages, which at times felt a bit of a strain - the author seemed to be artificially prolonging the reveal.

When we do find out what happened I couldn't help but feel that this revelation wasn't powerful enough to compensate for having to wait so long for it.

Daniel is known by several different variations of his name and by nick-names in the book, a sure sign of confusion about where he fits in - not only within his family, but at school and in wider society. Everything about him is a subject for confusion, especially once his swimming ambitions are out of the picture. This makes the novel and interesting journey for the reader. I found it strangely compelling - I didn't particularly like Daniel but felt that I had to keep turning the pages to find out what happened to him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
The deftness of touch and the end of this book is beautiful. Found the ability to see the development of the main character and his struggle with life and who he really is both... Read more
Published 12 days ago by K D.
3.0 out of 5 stars A well written disturbing story. Read in conjunction with ...
A well written disturbing story. Read in conjunction with the slap I was prepared for the sex. male body intimate details -smells sweat hair etc. . Read more
Published 24 days ago by Virginia Baines
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps not for everyone but I enjoyed it.
Unusual book. Perhaps not for everyone but I enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by barbara taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very well written
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Philippa Buckler
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong and powerful read.
This is a very powerful book. Great descriptions and a strong storyline. Very graphic at times both in terms of violence and sex. Read more
Published 3 months ago by PeterG
1.0 out of 5 stars stuck at it for 10% and hated every page
Unreadable, stuck at it for 10% and hated every page.
Published 3 months ago by The Beardieman
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Book does not reallly go any where.
Published 3 months ago by callum shaw`
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Intense and beautifully written
Published 4 months ago by Patricia Gibbard
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Most enjoyable insight into a range of worlds - swimming, class and mixed race issues
Published 4 months ago by Maggie Bolton
4.0 out of 5 stars The great Australian novel?
Sprawling, very eventful and often raw and shocking novel about relentless ambition and fear of failure. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alfred J. Kwak
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