Shortlisted for the 2014 Indie Awards
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.
A searing and provocative novel by the acclaimed author of the international best seller The Slap, Barracuda is an unflinching look at modern Australia, at our hopes and dreams, our friendships, and our families.
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. It's brutal and tender and blazingly brilliant; everything we have come to expect from this fearless vivisector of our lives and world.
"...Tsiolkas has written an absolute ripper." (The Age )
"A comtemporary Australian masterpiece." (Australian Bookseller + Publisher )
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I could not wait to wake in the morning so I could listen to this book. It grabbed me from the beginning and never let go. I listened before work, after work and before bed and all weekend while gardening. The narrator was brilliant. He captured the accents, the emotion and was perfect for this book.
The book starts with Danny as a young boy and then jumps to him as an adult. I loved how it all tied in and nothing was missed. The depth of ALL the characters was just magnificent. I got to know them all. It made me think about Australia and class systems and how other countries view us.It is about families and relationships and dreams and a boy who made peace with it all.
The scene where Danny met with his cousin Dennis and tried to connect with him. It was humble and caring and showed the strengths that Danny had always had.
Ha! Lots of extreme reactions! This book is written to evoke extreme reactions. I learned so many things.
I listened to the author interviewed on Richard Fidler's "Conversations" That interview sold me this book.
- Can't listen enough
IT WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF