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Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
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Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
Sep 09, 2014 | ISBN 9780804138437

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  • Sep 09, 2014 | ISBN 9780804138437

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  • Sep 09, 2014 | ISBN 9780553399691

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A Kirkus Best Fiction Books of 2014 Selection

“A truly fine novel… A great page-turner …Barracuda combines sharp social portraiture with that rare ingredient, a story that speaks to the human condition…So gripping …This is not only Tsiolkas’s best novel so far, it is the work of a writer at the top of his game.” —The Millions

“Tsiolkas perfectly captures the arrogance and agonies of youth… [Barracuda] burns with razor-raw insight…Engrossing.”—Booklist

“This disturbing yet satisfying story by Commonwealth Prize winner Tsiolkas (The Slap) examines themes of class consciousness, family conflict, loyalty, and friendship. The often harsh, sometimes brutal novel about the fine line between love and hate, pain and pleasure, is infused with language so beautiful that it takes one’s breath away.”—Library Journal

“[Barracuda] has all the early signs of a classic failure narrative along the lines of Exley’s A Fan’s Notes…Affecting.”—Publishers Weekly

“A bracing poolside critique of Antipodean mores…A tough, unsparing, closely observed and decidedly R-rated look at the many challenges and disappointments that life brings, told against settings that American readers will find at once familiar and exotic.”—Kirkus (starred review)

International Praise for Barracuda

“Immensely moving…Tsiolkas writes with compelling clarity about the primal stuff that drives us all: the love and hate and fear of failure. He is also brilliant on the nuances of relationships….At times, the prose is near to poetry…There are shades of Faulkner in this brilliant, beautiful book. If it doesn’t make you cry, you can’t be fully alive.”—The Sunday Times

“Intense…strikingly physical…an almost mystical experience…Tsiolkas again shows a particular ability to create spiky psychological snapshots.”—Financial Times
[Tsiolkas is] a master chronicler of the zeitgeist… There is no understatement; no silences nor lilting musicality. The words hurtle out as he depicts characters trapped between irreconcilable worlds – middle class and working class, Anglo and Greek, gay and straight, physical and intellectual. Individuals who are intense, complex and flawed but must ultimately cleave towards tenderness and discover generosity. If The Slap was excellent material for a TV series, then Barracuda’s more substantial plot has all the hallmarks of a feature film.”—The Guardian 
Resonant, epic and supremely accomplished…subtle, textured, profoundly human and riveting… Tsiolkas is consistently and ferociously engaged with the unique (and surely principal) concern of the novelist: the inner lives of the people about whom he has chosen to write…This is the work of a superb writer who has completely mastered his craft but lost nothing of his fiery spirit or instinct in so doing. Barracuda is a big achievement. Not least because, for all its power and glory, for all its sound and fury, it everywhere manifests ‘the ruthless calm of the truth’.”—The Observer
“Rhapsodic… Barracuda may tell an old, old story, but it has rarely been told in a better way.”—The Telegraph
“Brilliantly sharp…[Barracuda is] literature that engages with our world. It tries to figure out how society is put together and asks questions about how to live within it. In blunt, compelling prose reminiscent of early 20th-century American writers such as Theodore Dreiser and Upton Sinclair, Tsiolkas explores the extremism of our mainstream and brings us to an awareness of the animal urges that trouble our civilised hearts. As such it’s vital.”—The Australian
“Tsiolkas is a masterly storyteller.”—Caroline Jowett, Daily Express
“Barracuda is classic Tsiolkas: impassioned, at times brutal… but always riveting.”—The Sunday Morning Herald
“[A] tough, insightful social critique.”—The Sydney Morning Herald, selected as a Best Summer Read
“Christos Tsiolkas’ Barracuda is a big, bold, riveting book, an absolute page-turner swollen with rage and shame but mesmerizing as it unfolds.”—Peter Craven, A Book of the Year Selection for The Australian

More Praise for Christos Tsiolkas

“Tsiolkas is a hard-edged, powerful writer…leaving us exhaused but gasping with admiration.”—Washington Post

“Think Tom Wolfe meets Philip Roth.”—Los Angeles Times

[Tsiolkas] will appeal to those who prefer their novels complex and multilayered…a singular reading experience.”—Library Journal


Lambda Literary Award FINALIST 2014

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