Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Barracuda" by Christos Tsiolkas

This is the second book I have read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge in 2014. Unfortunately I found it to be a really disappointing read. The story is about a young Australian teenager, Dan/Danny/Daniel from an immigrant family in Melbourne who is an athlete swimmer. He wins a scholarship through his swimming achievements and attends an elite boys school (referred to as C**t's College throughout the book), continuing to train in the hope of Olympic Gold. I thought this would be a really interesting book to read, to learn a bit more about the focus and drive and dedication required to become an elite swimmer especially at such a young age. However I found the main character extremely unlikeable....very selfish/arrogant, self-destructive, stirring trouble, and also uncaring or antagonistic towards any family member or friend who was trying to help him. His young life seems to be a collection of immature failings which he then seems to blame on anything other than himself. Apart from being unable to sympathise with the main character (or any of the supporting characters really), I also found the structure of the book hard to follow (it seems to jump back and forth erratically in time from when Dan was a young teenager, to being in prison, to the aftermath in his twenties. While I am all for Gay rights, this book also has elements of Fifty Shades of Grey, homosexual style which may be confronting if you are not expecting it when you pick up a novel about a teenage swimming athlete.

Started reading on my kindle: 15th January 2014
Finished: 25th January 2014.
My score 4/10

Aussie Author Challenge 2014 Stats: Male author, who is new to me, book published in 2013, Genre is probably considered 'contemporary fiction'.

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