A NoveleBook - 2014
Man Booker Prize-longlisted author of The Slap (soon to be an NBC miniseries) returns in an “immensely moving” (Sunday Times) story of a young athlete’s coming of age
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.
Baker & Taylor
Raised by a hairdresser single mom in a tiny Melbourne flat, young Danny is elevated to an elite and unfamiliar world by his Olympics-level swimming talent and must consider returning home 20 years later when a family member reaches out for help.
From the critics
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"I've always admired the working class, my dear, always. Like us, you know exactly who you are. But look at them." [Mrs Taylor] waved a hand dismissively at the others at the table. "They have no idea how abysmal they are. Lord, how I detest the middle class."
Danny looked into her bright shining eyes and knew he had just been given a gift, but he didn't know how to unwrap it, could not figure out how to accept it.
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