Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
first published 2014, paperback
From the award-winning author of The Slap, a powerfully moving story of forgiveness and a young man’s struggle towards maturity
Barracuda tells the story of Danny, a talented young swimmer. Competitive swimming is the route from his working-class upbringing to, he hopes, fame and fortune, as well as his revenge on the rich boys at the Melbourne private school to which he has won a sports scholarship. But at his first big international championship, he places only fifth, and from that point he begins to destroy everything he has fought for and turn on everyone around him. Cutting between the boy’s life and that of the adult man many years later, still angry at the world but more comfortable in his skin and with himself and his sexuality, Barracuda tells a story of class, race and identity and of a teenager who eventually comes to realize that his strongest identity lies in family and friendship.