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Christos Tsiolkas’s new book, Barracuda, is as good a read as his previous novel, The Slap, which was recently featured on the ABC as a mini-series. Again the characters are not particularly likeable, but that doesn’t stop you wanting to read more about them.

Danny Kelly has a talent and a dream. He is a great swimmer and is determined to win gold at the Olympics. He secures a scholarship at a prestigious private school where, even though he proves himself to be up to the challenge, he is never accepted by the boys at the school because of where he comes from.

Barracuda forces us to look at the emphasis and pressures we place on our potential champions and the devastating effects for those who fail to achieve the goals they set for themselves or which are set for them.

Christos Tsiolkas writes about modern Australia and the issues we face in a confronting manner, but it’s like a train wreck – you can’t help but look.

Allen & Unwin

RRP: $32.99 – Buy on Booktopia for $22.95

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Written by Andrea


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