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Extended Audio Sample Barracuda Audiobook, by Christos Tsiolkas Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Christos Tsiolkas Narrator: Grant Cartwright Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9780553399691
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He asked the water to lift him, to carry him, to avenge him. He made his muscles shape his fury, made every stroke declare his hate. And the water obeyed; the water would give him his revenge. No one could beat him, no one came close.

His whole life, Danny Kelly has only wanted one thing: to win Olympic gold. Everything he has ever done—every thought, every dream, every action—takes him closer to that moment of glory, of vindication, when the world will see him for what he is: the fastest, the strongest, and the best. His life has been a preparation for that moment.

His parents struggle to send him to the most prestigious private school with the finest swimming program; Danny loathes it there and is bullied and shunned as an outsider, but his coach is the best and knows Danny is, too, better than all those rich boys, those pretenders. Danny’s win-at-all-cost ferocity gradually wins favor with the coolest boys—he’s Barracuda, he’s the psycho, he’s everything they want to be but don’t have the guts to get there. He’s going to show them all.

He would be first, everything would be alright when he came first, all would be put back in place. When he thought of being the best, only then did he feel calm.

A searing and provocative novel by the acclaimed author of the international bestseller The Slap, Barracuda is an unflinching look at modern Australia, at our hopes and dreams, our friendships, and our families.

Should we teach our children to win, or should we teach them to live? How do we make and remake our lives? Can we atone for our past? Can we overcome shame? And what does it mean to be a good person?

Barracuda is about living in Australia right now, about class and sport and politics and migration and education. It contains everything a person is: family and friendship and love and work, the identities we inhabit and discard, the means by which we fill the holes at our center. It’s brutal and tender and blazingly brilliant; everything we have come to expect from this fearless vivisector of our lives and world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rhapsodic…Barracuda may tell an old, old story, but it has rarely been told in a better way.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “Intense…Strikingly physical…An almost mystical experience…Tsiolkas again shows a particular ability to create spiky psychological snapshots.”

    Financial Times

  • “This disturbing yet satisfying story by Commonwealth Prize winner Tsiolkas 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

  • “Burns with razor-raw insight.”


  • “Australian novelist Tsiolkas serves up 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 Reviews

  • “Grant Cartwright powerfully narrates Tsiolkas’s homoerotic coming-of-age story about an Australian competitive swimmer at an exclusive private school. It’s both an examination of the illusions of youth and a spirited indictment of Australia’s class system. Cartwright conveys the teenaged self-involvement of the characters, their emerging sexual identities, and the structure of the Australian class system. His delivery of Aussie slang is natural and effective, and his reading of the narrative is always clear and well paced. While not for everyone, this explosive audiobook speaks to its intended audience.”


  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
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About the Author
Author Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of several novels, including Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man, and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. He won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, long listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, and won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal for The Slap, which was also announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. Barracuda is his fifth novel. He is also a playwright, essayist, and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.

About the Narrator

Grant Cartwright is an award-winning actor who has performed extensively in Australia with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, and many others. Grant has also performed with the Manhattan Repertory Theatre and the 45th Street Theater. He frequently lends his voice to many international film productions for English Language dubbing, and also appeared in the HBO miniseries The Pacific.