Barracuda, Paperback Book
2 out of 5 (1 rating)


You lose everything. In front of everyone. Where do you go from here? Daniel Kelly, a talented young swimmer, has one chance to escape his working-class upbringing.

His astonishing ability in the pool should drive him to fame and fortune, as well as his revenge on the rich boys at the private school to which he has won a sports scholarship.

Everything Danny has ever done, every sacrifice his family has ever made, has been in pursuit of his dream.

But when he melts down at his first big international championship and comes only fifth, he begins to destroy everything he has fought for and turn on everyone around him.

Tender and savage, Barracuda is a novel about dreams and disillusionment, friendship and family.

As Daniel Kelly loses everything, he learns what it means to be a good person - and what it takes to become one.




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The tale of Danny Kelly, aka Barracuda, would benefit from a strong editor - a reduction of around a third would be good. The story, such as it is, revolves around Danny Kelly, a working class Greek-Scottish Australian who wins a swimming scholarship to an elite private school. This is the beginning of his travails and the travails of the reader. The main problem is that Tsiolkas narrates the story through Danny- there is no relief from page after page of swearing, cursing & the violent fantasies of this adolescent male - of course fantasy eventually turns to reality and Danny ends up in prison. It's very hard to believe that all this results from his failure to win one swimming race. As Danny has no redeeming features it's hard to develop any sympathy with him and by the end I wished someone would put Danny out of his misery.