Posts Tagged ‘Barracuda’

Barracuda – Christos Tsiolkas

Posted in Australian fiction, Contemporary Fiction on January 24th, 2014 by admin – Be the first to comment



Atlantic Books


Real Readers

My Rating
4 stars


This is a review of Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, not Finding Nemo by Walt Disney, so anyone offended by strong language and/or explicit sex scenes should turn away now.  It is Tsiolkas’ fifth novel but my first experience of his writing; perhaps all the more interesting as I went in with an open mind.

Our leading character, talented swimmer,  Daniel Kelly is a bit of an odd fish and the madcap, disjointed narrative is a perfect match for his unstable, ever changing  personality as he flits between Daniel/Dan/Dino/Barracuda.  This powerful novel deals with identity and how we fit/don’t fit in our own skin/family/country.   Kelly is far from likeable with his antsy ways and psychopathic tendencies but I found myself rooting for him – not for him to win the swimming galas and join the “golden boys” but just for him to find his place in life.

Barracuda is a challenging, thought-provoking read.  Yes, it’s not perfect and there is a lot of repetition of the swimming/water imagery but I really liked its honesty and “in your face” attitude, its representation of the less liberal side of Australia and its realistic lack of neat and tidy endings.

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