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May - Barracuda by Chris Tsiolkas

This month's book is Barracuda suggested by moi (Em) and hosted by moi (Em!) in Footscray.  Hope to see you there.

His whole life Danny Kelly’s only wanted one thing: to win Olympic gold. Everything he’s 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 favour 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 centre. 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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  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry for the late notice, but I had a flat tyre on my scooter this morning and will have to do a rescue mission for it tonight. It's a bummer, because I was looking forward to the discussion around this one.

    May 26, 2014

  • Em

    Just wondering if anyone who's coming along has finished Eyrie and has a copy to lend to me?

    May 23, 2014

  • John S.

    Sadly, I have to be in Sydney for work. I have read the book, though, and enjoyed it. Have a great time, and see you next month.

    1 · May 21, 2014

  • Jill H.

    Thanks Em. This would have been my first and I'm going to be away next week - and I've read this book! See you all in June, I hope. How do you pass on the actual address for the meet up? (Sorry, first timer for me)

    1 · May 20, 2014

    • Em

      Hi Jill. It's a shame you can't make this one, but I'm glad you've found your way on the site. In the week leading up to the meetup I email out details to people who have RSVP'd.

      May 20, 2014

  • Keri

    Saw the email Em - and may I congratulate you on being so very organised!

    1 · May 19, 2014

    • Em

      Thanks miss organiser extraordinaire! Now I just have to finish the book!

      1 · May 19, 2014

  • Em

    I have sent out an email with info for next week, If you haven't received it it (or the other one I sent today) it means that you need to change your email settings on Meetup.

    1 · May 19, 2014

  • Carmel R.

    hey folks... sorry can't make it for next Mon... parents over from Adelaide ... so cooking them dinner ;) enjoy & see you next time I hope.

    1 · May 19, 2014

  • Priscilla W.

    Hi folks, so sorry I wont be able to come this month. I have visitors in town so am busy playing tour guide! Such a shame cos I actually read this one early! Have a great discussion and I'll see you all next month! P.

    1 · May 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone, I'm sorry I haven't been able to get to book club yet this year ~ I'm also going to miss this month, but I look forward to hosting in June and chatting about 'Eyrie'. Hope everyone is well!

    1 · May 5, 2014

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