Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online

Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online

Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online
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Description

Product Description

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 person—and what it takes to become one.

Review

A Kirkus Best Fiction Books of 2014 Selection

“A truly fine novel... A great page-turner … Barracuda combines sharp social portraiture with that rare ingredient, a story that speaks to the human condition…So gripping …This is not only Tsiolkas’s best novel so far, it is the work of a writer at the top of his game.” — The Millions

“Tsiolkas perfectly captures the arrogance and agonies of youth… [ Barracuda] burns with razor-raw insight…Engrossing.”— Booklist

“This disturbing yet satisfying story by Commonwealth Prize winner Tsiolkas ( The Slap) examines themes of class consciousness, family conflict, loyalty, and friendship. The often harsh, sometimes brutal novel about the fine line between love and hate, pain and pleasure, is infused with language so beautiful that it takes one’s breath away.”— Library Journal

"[ Barracuda] has all the early signs of a classic failure narrative along the lines of Exley’s A Fan’s Notes…Affecting."— Publishers Weekly

“A bracing poolside critique of Antipodean mores…A tough, unsparing, closely observed and decidedly R-rated look at the many challenges and disappointments that life brings, told against settings that American readers will find at once familiar and exotic.”— Kirkus (starred review)

International Praise for Barracuda

“Immensely moving…Tsiolkas writes with compelling clarity about the primal stuff that drives us all: the love and hate and fear of failure. He is also brilliant on the nuances of relationships….At times, the prose is near to poetry… There are shades of Faulkner in this brilliant, beautiful book. If it doesn’t make you cry, you can’t be fully alive.”— The Sunday Times

“Intense…strikingly physical…an almost mystical experience…Tsiolkas again shows a particular ability to create spiky psychological snapshots.”—Financial Times
 
[Tsiolkas is] a master chronicler of the zeitgeist... There is no understatement; no silences nor lilting musicality. The words hurtle out as he depicts characters trapped between irreconcilable worlds – middle class and working class, Anglo and Greek, gay and straight, physical and intellectual. Individuals who are intense, complex and flawed but must ultimately cleave towards tenderness and discover generosity. If The Slap was excellent material for a TV series, then Barracuda’s more substantial plot has all the hallmarks of a feature film.”— The Guardian 
 
Resonant, epic and supremely accomplished…subtle, textured, profoundly human and riveting… Tsiolkas is consistently and ferociously engaged with the unique (and surely principal) concern of the novelist: the inner lives of the people about whom he has chosen to write…This is the work of a superb writer who has completely mastered his craft but lost nothing of his fiery spirit or instinct in so doing. Barracuda is a big achievement. Not least because, for all its power and glory, for all its sound and fury, it everywhere manifests ‘the ruthless calm of the truth’.”— The Observer
 
“Rhapsodic… Barracuda may tell an old, old story, but it has rarely been told in a better way.”— The Telegraph
 
“Brilliantly sharp...[ Barracuda is] literature that engages with our world. It tries to figure out how society is put together and asks questions about how to live within it. In blunt, compelling prose reminiscent of early 20th-century American writers such as Theodore Dreiser and Upton Sinclair, Tsiolkas explores the extremism of our mainstream and brings us to an awareness of the animal urges that trouble our civilised hearts. As such it''s vital.”— The Australian
 
“Tsiolkas is a masterly storyteller.”— Caroline Jowett, Daily Express
 
“Barracuda is classic Tsiolkas: impassioned, at times brutal... but always riveting.”— The Sunday Morning Herald
 
“[A] tough, insightful social critique.”— The Sydney Morning Herald, selected as a Best Summer Read
 
“Christos Tsiolkas’ Barracuda is a big, bold, riveting book, an absolute page-turner swollen with rage and shame but mesmerizing as it unfolds.”— Peter Craven, A Book of the Year Selection for The Australian


More Praise for Christos Tsiolkas


"Tsiolkas is a hard-edged, powerful writer...leaving us exhaused but gasping with admiration."— Washington Post

"Think Tom Wolfe meets Philip Roth."— Los Angeles Times

[Tsiolkas] will appeal to those who prefer their novels complex and multilayered...a singular reading experience."— Library Journal

About the Author

Christos Tsiolkas is an internationally bestselling and award-winning novelist, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter. His novel The Slap has sold more than one million copies worldwide and has been published in twenty-eight countries.

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3.8 out of 53.8 out of 5
356 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Gayle
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2018
Let me start off by saying that picking up Barracuda wasn’t a choice. I didn’t choose to read this novel, it was a case of I had too. I won’t explain why, but please just know that it was a case of had too not want too. I have never heard of this author, so I was... See more
Let me start off by saying that picking up Barracuda wasn’t a choice. I didn’t choose to read this novel, it was a case of I had too. I won’t explain why, but please just know that it was a case of had too not want too.

I have never heard of this author, so I was literally going in blind. All I had was the synopsis and not much else.

As I sit here reflecting on what I’ve read the first thought that comes to mind is that I did enjoy this novel. Although at times I found it a little repetitive and going from present to past tense was at times somewhat confusing, I still enjoyed Barracuda.

We meet Danny Kelly and this is his story from childhood right through to adulthood.

We meet a boy who is driven.
We meet a man who is defeated.
We meet a boy who’s bullied.
We meet a man who’s scarred.
We meet a teenager who falls from grace.
We meet a man who constantly lives with regret.
We meet a teenager who thinks he has failed everyone.
We meet a man who thinks he has failed everyone.
We meet a teenager who changes his own course for all the wrong reasons.
We meet a man who wants forgiveness.

A detailed, in-depth read that had me completely immersed. What I loved most about this novel was the exploration of Danny’s life growing up wanting and needing to be a champion, the need to succeed, the failures, the mistakes, the hurt, the distrust, the need for perfection, the abuse, the uncertainty, the bullying, the triumphs. It explored every facet of life which most of us can relate too.

The only fault I found which is just a personal opinion is (as stated earlier) I had a slight struggle with the going back and forth from young boy to man (past and present). I guess I would have loved to have seen Danny’s story from a young boy and followed it through to adolescence and then into adulthood.

An enjoyable read.

3 stars
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**Rob**
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Captures the Sensations of Swimming...but with a weak ending
Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2015
As a lifelong swimmer, I greatly appreciated and can identify with the author''s ethereal, dreamy, aquatic renderings of the art of swimming. Christos crafts sensually beautiful passages on the flow of water against one''s skin while swimming, the hypnotic cycle of stroke... See more
As a lifelong swimmer, I greatly appreciated and can identify with the author''s ethereal, dreamy, aquatic renderings of the art of swimming. Christos crafts sensually beautiful passages on the flow of water against one''s skin while swimming, the hypnotic cycle of stroke following stroke, the sensation of being in the water and of the water. In many respects, I was reminded of the sensual and tactile aspects of Walt Whitman''s Leaves of Grass poetry, the interplay and interconnections of human and nature, our collective connection to the physical world around us.

The novel explores the coming to terms of a young man as he explores the world around him. The exploration involves same-sex attraction, and the narrator''s own personal challenges as he aims to discover, uncover, define elements of his place in the world. I was drawn to the narrator''s challenges and connections with other characters in the book, but I felt the conclusion of the novel gave short shrift to his journey. Whereas I believed the narrator was close to reaching a peaceful understanding and embrace of his nature, the author nevertheless crafts a more traditional and in my eyes inauthentic ending to the novel. Absent the conclusion, this is a well-drawn, thoughtful novel. Perhaps other readers will have a different take on the ending, and for the reason of the excellent quality of writing, I can recommend Barracuda noting my own dissatisfaction with the conclusion.

Rob.
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Amazo
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Starts out fine but has a serious droop in the middle
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2014
I just couldn''t get past the middle of this book. In the early going the author does a fine job of describing working class Danny''s entry into a prestigious school because of his swimming ability, and how difficult the environment is for the boy. He is also spot on... See more
I just couldn''t get past the middle of this book. In the early going the author does a fine job of describing working class Danny''s entry into a prestigious school because of his swimming ability, and how difficult the environment is for the boy. He is also spot on describing what it''s like to be a really good swimmer - how the water feels and how one''s body feels in relation to the water. But once things start to go south for Danny, the book begins to drag. Danny has the same thoughts over and over (which may happen in "real" life but doesn''t make for scintillating reading), and the author just doesn''t seem to be able to get past this stage. I stuck with it as long as I could, but as they say, too many books too little time, so I had to put this one down.
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Ian
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Boy becomes man - perceptive look at the process of finding identity.
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019
Interesting use of forward and backward time switches reveals factors creating the developing understanding of self on the part of Danny. Switching from first to third person is another technique successfully used to reveal boy and man to himself as well as to the reader.... See more
Interesting use of forward and backward time switches reveals factors creating the developing understanding of self on the part of Danny. Switching from first to third person is another technique successfully used to reveal boy and man to himself as well as to the reader. Gender, family, immigrant and social class relationship issues are integral to a very readable Australian novel. I bought and read this book after hearing the author interviewed on radio and was not disappointed.
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Luisa Fletcher
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Leave this for the ''angsty'' 20-something crowd!
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2015
I really enjoyed The author''s previous book ''The Slap'' and was looking forward to reading this book. It has left my hair standing on end! The writing pushes the boundaries with its descriptions of homosexual sex and excessive use of the worst kind of profanity. Some readers... See more
I really enjoyed The author''s previous book ''The Slap'' and was looking forward to reading this book. It has left my hair standing on end! The writing pushes the boundaries with its descriptions of homosexual sex and excessive use of the worst kind of profanity. Some readers may find this daring and realistic but I was really put off.
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Michael Adelman
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Breathing In, Breathing out
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2015
This novel seems less than the sum of its parts. The structure alternating between the past and the present is unnecessarily confusing. Danny''s swimming and his rough sexuality don''t mesh. Both are interesting, but it feels as if we are reading two different books. The long... See more
This novel seems less than the sum of its parts. The structure alternating between the past and the present is unnecessarily confusing. Danny''s swimming and his rough sexuality don''t mesh. Both are interesting, but it feels as if we are reading two different books. The long chapter which results in an extremely violent act is the high point, but again the novel would have benefited from a more straightforward narrative. A fascinating if flawed read.
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lachlan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
More than a novel about a swimmer.
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2014
I don''t have the writing skills to properly express how I feel, and the other reviews have hit the nail on the head. There is no ''shock value'' that the writer was going for. Sex and the things people do are wide and varied, if you have not come across that before it... See more
I don''t have the writing skills to properly express how I feel, and the other reviews have hit the nail on the head.
There is no ''shock value'' that the writer was going for. Sex and the things people do are wide and varied, if you have not come across that before it does not mean that you are the majority.

Yes the novel has heavy themes, but the insight into ''Danny Kellys''" brain is brilliant. I agree that he perceives things towards him as consistently negative, but that''s just how he is. If that frustrates you, then good! The book is there to put you in his mindset for the journey.

Well worth the read, I have friends from foreign lands who echo the sentiments of one of the scottish characters, which I found very interesting. (Almost verbatim!). Buy it.
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Teri
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ever wondered what''s it''s like to be so focused . . . .
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2014
A thoughtful study of celebrity and ambition. Like The Slap, this book delves into murky areas of Australian life. We look at ambition through the eyes of Danny/Dan as he pursues swimming gold and deals with the aftermath of that pursuit. At times I was so frustrated as... See more
A thoughtful study of celebrity and ambition. Like The Slap, this book delves into murky areas of Australian life. We look at ambition through the eyes of Danny/Dan as he pursues swimming gold and deals with the aftermath of that pursuit. At times I was so frustrated as Danny thought the world was all about him! I suppose that''s the mark of a good book, Danny is real for me. I''m sure you will enjoy the book.
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Top reviews from other countries

S Payne
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is a strong book which shows us the harsh lessons that life can teach us.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 26, 2018
I didn’t love ‘The Slap’ but had heard great things about ‘Barracuda’, so I went into this book with an open mind and I was hoping to have an enjoyable book to read. The main character is Danny Kelly. We meet Danny as a child and he is dreaming of being the greatest swimmer...See more
I didn’t love ‘The Slap’ but had heard great things about ‘Barracuda’, so I went into this book with an open mind and I was hoping to have an enjoyable book to read. The main character is Danny Kelly. We meet Danny as a child and he is dreaming of being the greatest swimmer of all time. Unlike many children, his dream isn’t too far fetched for him - he has a coach, a tight training schedule, family support and ambition. Danny is given the nickname ‘Barracuda’ by his friends but we soon learn that Danny’s drive to succeed and be the best actually makes him a very hard person to like. The book is given to us in various chapters of Danny’s life and we flick between them all. Initially, we focus on the younger, successful Danny but soon the narrative takes an unexpected turn, leaping to the future, when adult Dan and his partner Clyde, are living in Glasgow. Dan’s a carer for people with brain injuries – and he’s good at it – but he won’t swim. The narrative switches between the build-up to the Sydney Olympics and the much-later aftermath, hinting at a pivotal event which changes the Barracuda’s course. Although the story is broken down into different times in Danny’s life, the flow is smooth and easy to follow. Danny is a fascinating character, you want him to win and lose at the same time. This book contains sex, swear words and violence but this all fits into the story and characters way of life. I really enjoyed this book, I felt that the language was strong and relevant and the characters all belonged and played a role in Danny’s life. I loved following Danny on his journey as we examine his failure, shame and regret. This is a strong book which shows us the harsh lessons that life can teach us.
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leekmuncher
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Prose as weaponry
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 25, 2014
Tempting though it is to begin with a pun about how Barracuda dives under the surface of Australian identity, it doesn’t quite work. This is a book about a swimming champion, a cultural and class misfit, about social and personal limitations. It’s also about carving out an...See more
Tempting though it is to begin with a pun about how Barracuda dives under the surface of Australian identity, it doesn’t quite work. This is a book about a swimming champion, a cultural and class misfit, about social and personal limitations. It’s also about carving out an identity, whether in water or stone. Tsiolkas writes with both the savagery of a machete and the precision of a scalpel. Danny/Daniel/Barracuda has a talent, which earns him a scholarship at a private school in Melbourne, an exceptional coach, the apparent respect of his peers and a determination for the future. He has a clear ambition and his future is all mapped out. The narrative takes an unexpected turn, leaping to the future, when adult Dan and his partner Clyde, are living in Glasgow. Dan’s a carer for people with brain injuries – and he’s good at it – but he won’t swim. The narrative switches between the build-up to the Sydney Olympics and the much-later aftermath, hinting at a pivotal event which changes the Barracuda’s course. It’s intense, in feeling, colour, place, strata and time. Danny is one of those rare characters you want to fight and fight for at the same time. One of the most endearing set pieces comes when Dan accompanies his mother to Adelaide, to say farewell to his maternal grandmother. He meets his cousin Dennis, learns more about family dynamics and understands a bit more about what happens when he doesn’t come first. Brilliantly structured and viciously observant, this book delivers a youthful searing rage and a mature sense of relative awareness in extraordinarily cool prose.
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wow!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 14, 2018
I wasn''t sure quite what I was going to get here. The narrative jumping around in time, the description of swimming as flying something this warm swimmer couldn''t relate to. But this tale of undelivered destiny, the pain of failure and loss the journey to self discovery,...See more
I wasn''t sure quite what I was going to get here. The narrative jumping around in time, the description of swimming as flying something this warm swimmer couldn''t relate to. But this tale of undelivered destiny, the pain of failure and loss the journey to self discovery, these things are not linear and so the narrative structure seems so perfect for the story. Most engaging story for quite a while.
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Kym Hamer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Confronting and vivid portrayal of ''the lucky country''
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2014
I was first introduced to Tsiolkas in his controversial novel, The Slap in 2011. Barracuda returns us to Melbourne''s immigrant community through the eyes of Daniel Kelly, a working class boy who defies his social ''class'' with an extraordinary talent for swimming. It is...See more
I was first introduced to Tsiolkas in his controversial novel, The Slap in 2011. Barracuda returns us to Melbourne''s immigrant community through the eyes of Daniel Kelly, a working class boy who defies his social ''class'' with an extraordinary talent for swimming. It is another strong and confronting novel both in its themes and its language, evoking both nostalgia for the Melbourne I left and the oneness with the water I''ve have had the joy of experiencing for myself. I saw Tsiolkas interviewed last year and I do find it hard to reconcile the considered and thoughtful interviewee with the author that writes everyday hate and prejudice so vividly and well. A great read.
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Steve
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Compulsive but unsatisfying.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2014
I found this book compulsive reading. It creates a sometimes creepy feeling of tension around Danny, the gifted young swimmer powered by even more rage than talent. The writing is powerful and the characterisation of Danny is credible. But he is not a sympathetic character,...See more
I found this book compulsive reading. It creates a sometimes creepy feeling of tension around Danny, the gifted young swimmer powered by even more rage than talent. The writing is powerful and the characterisation of Danny is credible. But he is not a sympathetic character, so that, for me, made the overall experience of reading the book powerful, but uncomfortable and ultimately unsatisfying. It is hard to like a nasty, self-absorbed brat who grows into a man who, even at the end, is barely in control of his anger. Of course, he has redeeming features and the lack of true resolution at the end is probably realistic, though I also felt that the author was like a pilot finding it difficult to get his plane to land: the last few pages whir away inconsequentially.
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Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online

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Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online

Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online

Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online

Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online

Barracuda: lowest A online Novel online