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Loaded [Paperback]

Christos Tsiolkas
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Oct 1999
Chris Tsiolkas's first novel concerns a gay, unemployed Greek, Ari who leads an aimless life in Melbourne. His way of escaping his ennui is to indulge in casual sex and consume drugs and drink as he runs away from his life and into the unknown.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Minerva; New edition edition (7 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099284731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099284734
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,008,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of Loaded (filmed as Head-On), The Jesus Man, Dead Europe and The Slap, which won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 2009, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 and shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal. Barracuda is his fifth novel. He lives in Melbourne.

Product Description


"An addictive read... Loaded is a must for your suitcase" (Stylist)

"Loaded is a high-octane, drug- and sex-fuelled romp through 24 hours in the life of Ari, a 19-year-old Greek-Australian gay man living on the margins of society. ... there is such a remarkable energy about Ari's narrative in Loaded, and so much self-aware humour and pathos, that it is utterly absorbing, and reminiscent in that respect of such debut novels as Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero or Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting. Loaded is a glorious, almighty "fuck you" to Australian society, a primal howl of angst and anguish." (Doug Johnstone Independent on Sunday) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The explosive first novel from the author of The Slap --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The narrator of `Loaded' is quite a fascinating one. Nineteen year old Ari lives in the city of Melbourne in Australia, he is Greek, he has no job, he is gay but secretly, he loves nothing more than going on massive drink and drug fuelled binges preferably with lots of random anonymous sex along the way. In fact from the first page where the novel opens with Ari masturbating with a massive hangover you pretty much know the story that you are getting here, well you think you do at least, as we follow him for the next twenty four hours.

Initially I didn't think there was really any plot. In fact if I am honest I had written this book as one of those `lets write a really shocking book that gets me published even if it's a cliché but everyone will read it anyway' kind of novels. Yet as we read on between all the drug taking, drinking, etc there is a lot that this book is looking at and saying. One of the main senses you get is a sense of needing to belong, to be a part of something and yet rejecting that very thing at the same time.

Its about fitting in and identity and in the case of Ari he doesn't feel he fits in with the culture (because he is Greek and is Australian yet doesn't feel he can be both) or with his sexuality (he hates the term `gay', only sleeps with `men' not `faggots' and still sleeps with women when he is bored or drugged enough) and these things both add to his sense of feeling like he doesn't belong in his family and that environment. In fact the family dynamic is another thing that Christos Tsiolkas looks at in `Loaded' and this family is pretty dysfunctional.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The new Catcher in the Rye? 13 Feb 2012
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this little book, having read such mixed reviews of Tsiolkas's better-known novel The Slap. But this one - his first, and pretty short at 151 pages - sounded right up my street, so I thought I'd give it a go!

I was actually very pleasantly surprised. It is an almost stream-of-consciousness narrative from the fascinating mind of Ari, a nineteen year-old gay Greek boy living in Melbourne. Ari is simultaneously an aggressively confident young man, and completely conflicted about everything, veering between vehement certainty and utter helplessness. He isn't entirely at ease with his sexuality, his friends come and go around him, he despises the confinement of traditional Greek life, and he has absolutely no sense of where he's going - despite his occasional protestations to the contrary. All he really knows is that he loves movies and music, sex and drugs, and that being loaded keeps him calm, quiet and ALMOST content. The novel drags the reader along for a 24-hour ride inside his head as he snorts, shags, drinks and meanders his way through another day.

A few times as I was reading I found myself thinking, "Wow, THIS is what I wanted when I read The Catcher in the Rye!" I didn't identify with Salinger's whiny Holden Caulfield at all, but I rather liked Ari. His voice is angry, passionate, intelligent and provocative, and even when I didn't agree with him I couldn't help but feel a admiring respect for his brutal arguments and perceptive observations.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense and well-written 17 Jun 2001
The first time I heard of this book was when the film was released. Luckily I read it before I went to see the movie. The movie was OK but lacked the intensity and subtlety of the novel. Finally a gay story that's totally different from most of the standard gay fluff. You immediately get sucked into the story only to surface at the end. Amazing!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing 2 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I finished this book quickly since I found the nihilistic attitude of the narrator totally depressing and mostly uninteresting. I could discern no real cause for the narrator's negative and destructive lifestyle, save, perhaps, the fact that he clearly identified the Greeks in Australia as an ethnic minority and "victims" - mostly of their desperate desire to remain Greek and not become Australians. A pointless and uninteresting story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A study of youthful alienation 26 May 2014
I imagine this short, pungent novel of youthful alienation has been likened to 'Catcher in the Rye'. Both books are told in an idiomatic first-person voice by a teenage boy who lifts the lid on dark aspects of youth culture. But this novel - focusing as it does on sex (mainly gay), drugs and race - seems to me the stronger, more uncompromising and mature of the two. In terms of comparisons with other (gay) novels, I was reminded more strongly of that classic from the '70s, 'Dancer from the Dance' by Andrew Holleran - but with all the romance and lyricism and glitter stripped out of it. This, by contrast, is an angry book, a sustained rant, it celebrates nothing, least of all being young, gay and proud. It revels in its sodidness. It is fiercely anti-romantic and honest.

If you are not used to reading such in-your-face narratives you may well be offended by the language and the casual racism expressed by its protagonist. You may well find its vision of Australian youth depressing and perhaps not entirely credible. It appealed to me because of its clear-eyed lack of sentiment and its willingness to use the idiom of its subject.

Ari, 19, of Greek origin, lives with his parents and two siblings in Melbourne. He is unsure of his sexuality, finding girls attractive but preferring sex with men of all ages and appearance. Naturally, he is at war with his ferociously critical parents. He fancies George, a friend of his brother's, a longing which pervades the book but which, true to form, when consummated is anything but romantic. The story spans twenty-four hours in which Ari sits around smoking dope, arguing, drinking, partying, dancing, clubbing, all with a shifting crowd of friends and acquaintances.
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