The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Long And Short Of It

Here is my review of Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas: Wow. Fucking wow. Fucking AMAZING.

The End.

And here is the same review again, in a few more words:

 I read it a couple of weeks ago and I can't stop thinking about it. I can't stop talking about it either but I am struggling to choose my adjectives, because all the ones I want to use sound like impossibly overblown hyperbole. Also, the kinds of words I am tempted to use are "visceral", "heartbreaking", and "searing" which make it sound like a difficult and dreary read when in fact it is so vibrant and tender and beautiful that I couldn't get enough of it. Never have I been more glad that a book was over 500 pages long.

I think the way Tsiolkas uses language is fantastic but what I really love is how he manages to get right to the heart of a matter, beyond layers many of us never even notice are there. I feel he has managed to write a novel both intimate and far-reaching. I was gripped from the very start and I loved every bit of it. It made me think AND feel. Barracuda is one of the most wonderful, deeply moving books I have read in a long, long time and I cannot urge the reading of it strongly enough.

It is such a treat to read a book so utterly well crafted yet nevertheless full of energy and vim. Tsiolkas has an excellent reputation in Australian literary circles which can only increase with this novel. My only hope is that when I write my review of his next book, Google will have caught on and not put a little red line under his name when I type it.

And just one final adjective before I sign off: breathtaking.