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Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

November 2013, no. 356

Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

Allen & Unwin, $32.99 pb, 528 pp, 9781743317310

Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

November 2013, no. 356

Christos Tsiolkas takes on Australian society once more in his new novel, Barracuda, and there are plenty of reading-group talking points in this follow-up to The Slap (2008). While there is no mistaking the Big Issue goals of the novel, this is also an uncompromising, loving portrayal of one man who wants to find a way not to damage himself and those around him. It’s the story of how Dan Kelly fights through personal and social barriers towards an ethical self he can live with – or, to use Tsiolkas’s own imagery, it’s about how he must swim through barracuda-infested waters to reach a safe harbour and tranquillity.

Rosemary Sorensen reviews 'Barracuda' by Christos Tsiolkas


by Christos Tsiolkas

Allen & Unwin, $32.99 pb, 528 pp, 9781743317310

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Comments (2)

  • I compulsively read the book on a plane overseas. It had resonance a working class background kid from Sydney who had talent and swimming is a surprisingly class conscious sport training, trips and the golden boy pursuit I could really relate to that . What I would like to comment on was the predictable and parochial asides to Sydney and new south Wales and the disputing of Melbourne that seems to reoccur time after time in works of fiction or drama emanating from Melbourne. While side issues it is gratuitous amd must seem baffling for international readers. It tarnished my experience and I feel Melbourne writers need to basically grow up and think like Australians. Disappointing.
    Posted by Tom BroadfieldThomstu
    01 January 2014
  • Yes a fine book and worthy followup to The Slap. Christos explores the themes of sport at the elite level well and connects this to our obsession with the private public school divide and its intersection with class and privilege particularly in multi ethnic Melbourne. We feel for Dan Kelly and the cost of his rage which lurks in the hearts of many young. No one else seems to be covering the contemporary Australian landscape as well as Tsiolakis especially with his bravery in looking at class and prejudice and its centrality to our society.
    Posted by Paul Devereux
    10 November 2013

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