Barracuda: a novel

Author: Christos Tsiolkas

Language: English

Summary: 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.

Continue reading “Barracuda: a novel”

The slap: a novel

Author: Christos Tsiolkas

Language: English

Summary: From the author  “I wanted to return to the suburbs, those vilified spaces that are not quite the city and not quite the country, in which the majority of Australians live. These suburbs define a nation that was created simultaneously with the birth of the car: the suburbs as portrayed in Neighbours and Home & Away. But I needed to give voice to the reality of the contemporary Australian suburb, one of high-street shops in which one can hear dozens of languages, populated by generations who have never felt an allegiance to a colonial British and Celtic history. My parents live in a suburb three stations away from Ramsey Street; their neighbours are Chinese, Vietnamese, Egyptian, Maltese and Greek. I live in the northern suburbs of the city, where from my backyard I can see the spires of Catholic and Orthodox churches, the minaret of a mosque. Having said farewell to Europe in my last book, I was hungry to write about an Australia I rarely saw represented on the pages of Australian literature or on screen.”

Continue reading “The slap: a novel”