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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,697 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Families can detonate. Some families are torn apart forever by one small act, one solitary mistake. In my family it was a series of small explosions; consistent, passionate, pathetic. Cruel words, crude threats... We spurred each other on till we reached a crescendo of pain and we retired exhaused to our rooms, in tears or in fury.

Ari is nineteen, unemployed and a poofter
Paperback, 151 pages
Published 1997 by Vintage (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,697 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gender, literature
A friend of mine at work has been annoyed with me for not having read anything Tsiolkas, and since I don’t watch TV I haven’t seen ‘The Slap’ or ‘Barracuda’ – which she says I would particularly enjoy since it fits with some of the themes I research about schools. I probably ought to have seen the film that was made of this in 1998 – I knew Ana Kokkinos when I was growing up and I had meant to see the film at the time, but this was all when I had become totally disillusioned with film.

This remin
Ari feels very much alone in the world, a Greek immigrant, unemployed and struggling with his sexuality. That is to say he has a same sex attraction but his friends and family would never approve of that. In Christos Tsiolkas’ normally overlooked Loaded we follow Ari through his struggles as an outsider in this autobiographical novel.

Christos Tsiolkas is a critically acclaimed author with books like Barracuda and my personal favourite The Slap. It is a shame that his debut novel Loaded just does
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This has a 3.35 rating because people either love it or loathe it, which evens out to average. It's not average.
I read this book when it came out 20 years ago. It could have been yesterday. I couldn't say that about many books.
Benjamin Solah
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read it in just two-sittings last week, on the way to Perth and then back again. I read The Slap a few years ago and it’s a novel I still think about, and had been meaning to read more of his work, and my friends had raved about Loaded.

It is sharp and intense. It’s about a 19-year-old boy Ari who likes to have sex and take a lot of drugs, and it takes place over one night. The novel moves seamlessly through the various places he goes out to, to the various people he meets. It feels a little li
Cecile Moylan
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i agree with bree
Hmmm. Here's the thing: I've never been a fan of this style of writing, of this kind of content, of boys who just want to get high and fuck someone. Which is essentially all this book is about.

Yes, there is some of the coming of age stuff. Ari is nineteen and still not confident in his sexuality, fluxing between admitting that he's gay and fighting it. It's a classic case of being in the closet. And there's a bit of character development by the end, but not enough to leave me feeling like Ari's
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Loaded was the debut novel of Christos Tsiolkas. It is an ambitious novel (Novella? It’s quite short) that touches on being the child of immigrants, sexuality, family, and connecting with other people. It reminded me Catcher in the Rye (with the caveat that it has been a long time since I last read Catcher). Like Holden Caulfield, Ari has failed out of school (Holden was kicked out), doesn’t have a job, and has no plans to get one. He is pissed off at the world and thinks most people are cowards ...more
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Astounding, shocking, engaging and totally wonderful. Tsiolkas thrusts us into a drug fuelled, sex driven 24 hours. Ari is driven by shame, completely self absorbed and can't reconcile who he is and who he should be.

Don't read this if you have any issues about graphic descriptions of gay sex or self gratification.

Despite not having any connection with this lifestyle or world, I thought this was incredibly crafted, heart-wrenching, "in your face", grungy and thoroughly worthwhile.

There's more th
Sean Kennedy
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the one Tsiolkas book I actually like, because the nihilistic world-sucks I hate everyone actually feels perfect for the viewpoint of a young gay man set on self-destruction because he thinks the world is against him. Ari is not a likable character, but he's definitely a relatable one. We've all been there.
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Perhaps I should've started my journey of reading Tsiolkas with this book. Being his first book, there is a lot of raw emotion that courses through it - something that gets more refined and nuanced in his later works. Having read these later works, I did miss some of the refinement.

This book centers around the almost teenage angst that is felt by the protagonist Ari - this character feels like a gayer, Australian version of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye. I read that one as a teen
George K. Ilsley
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, gay, australia
Only just discovered this book! The movie Head On was a frenetic sensation back in the day, and was based on this first novel, Loaded. This novel is also passionate, angry, frustrated, stoned, and hallucinatory—perfect mood to take out on the dance floor.

The movie is very faithful to the book, but of course the book had a chance to be a bit more reflective.

“The constraints placed on me by my family can only be destroyed by a debasement that allows me to run along dark paths and silent alleyway
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short, sharp and nihilistic. The book flicks between the suburbs of Melbourne, seething with the energy of first-generation migrants trying to escape the conservative constraints of their own community. If you're familiar with the likes of Sydney Road or High Street, there's much to identify with here.
Lukas Anthony
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I love nihilistic fiction. It's the same thing every time, broken pretty people do lots of drugs and have meaningless empty sex for two hundred odd pages. Yet for some reason, I always go back for more.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Energetic, frenzied, palpable and brave, this is a novel that grabs hold of you and won't let go.
Benjamin Farr
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqi, 2017
Love, love, love this book. Raw, gritty and pure brilliance.
Bree Pollard
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
changed to 5/5 stars after consideration. i adore this book.
Mel Campbell
When I was in second-year uni in 1997, our copywriting lecturer Jackie insisted we all read this book. She said it would blow our minds. It was her own paperback copy that we circulated among ourselves, passing it on to the next person after we were done with it. I don't remember us discussing it much, but I really looked up to Jackie and respected her judgment.

I remember thinking that this was simultaneously a world I knew and inhabited, and one that was strange and alien. The geography was fam
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
I had to study this book in my first year of university in an "Australian Literature" course. then in between first and second year i moved cities and, of course, universities. At my second uni i had to study this book again, in an "experimental fiction" course (the content being the experiment).

One thing i found interesting are the two different readings of the text i experienced. the first uni focused on the exorbitant amounts of homosexual sex and illicit drug use largely painting it as a bo
Rich Gamble
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian
While Tsiolkas is nowadays more known for ‘The Slap’, this, his debut novel, adds further evidence to his stature as a leading writer of contemporary Australian fiction. ‘The Slap’ is a very ambitious and sprawling Australian novel – almost our own ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’. By contrast Loaded is focused and concise, adhering to the age old advice of write what you know. In 1995 Tsiolkas was a Greek Poofter growing up in Melbourne and that’s exactly what we get here. In comfortable surroundings ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
As much as this book made me uncomfortable with the explicit sex scenes, the random sex, the hardcore drug use, the use of swear words, I will say that it was a good book. Very angsty and very angry. I felt that Ari was so mad at the world, at his upbringing, at his home that the only way he could survive was by having sex with strangers (men and women) using drugs and drinking excessively to escape the 'normalcy' of his Greek/Australian life.
The style of writing was different and took me a whi
Louise Tobin
Having already read a fair bit of Tsolkias, this book didn't shock me at all in terms of all the gay sex and drug use. However it was an enjoyable read, like his other works. His use of language is always excellent and he is able to depict despair in his characters.
The main character has no idea of his identity, but he knows he doesnt want to work 9-5 and living in the suburbs (ironic since Tsolkias himself grew up in an affluent eastern suburb). This book is certainly anti establishment.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tsiolkas really nails Melbourne in a way that I'm not sure any other author can really do. Loaded is great - it depicts Melbourne and the aimless, pointless existence that everyone leads - despite their racial, cultural or sexual diversity. Ari is a bit like a gay Holden Caulfield, philosophically musing throughout the book about pointlessness, blandness, the daily monotony of life that leads to nothing, and why sex, drugs and unemployment make a reasonable alternative.
This was very well written and engaging. However, I think there was room for further exploration and development of the main character, Ari.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and was disappointed when it came to an abrupt end. Am looking forward to reading more of Tsiolkas' work.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I had to push myself to finish this book; maybe just bad personal timing - I found the 'maleness' of this book just too overwhelming. It was aggressive and depressing. I probably should have given it only 2 stars but I am a big fan of the authors work.
Transcendental, explosive and outrageous!

You might wanna look up the meaning of wog before beginning :P

Complete review here.
Yvette Adams
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A night out in Melbourne for a 19yo gay Greek-Australian, the book is pretty much about getting high and having anonymous sex. With the author also being a gay Greek-Australian i can't help but think it's somewhat autobiographical.
Megan Finter
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Grunge nihilism and Australian suburbia. This one takes a lot out of you, and hits especially close to home with it's narrators disjointed search for identity.
Jul 31, 2019 added it
Mmmm my thoughts are all over the place w this one
- it's nice to read a story abt Greek immigrants as (modern) Australian immigrant stories rarely look at European immigrants
- it's nice seeing the complex position that European immigrants have in the Australian imagination (are they the white majority are they the racialised other?)
- transitioned between some nice philosophical ponderings interspersed with the horrible enactment and realisation of that philosophy
- the alienation of both bein
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it

4.5 Stars!

“Us, them. I am neither. I don’t belong to the West. The West of chemical-vomit skies. This is an industrial city, a metropolis of manufacturing plants and workshops for blue-collar labour. The noise of the factory was the soundtrack to our childhood. All vanishing. The factories are being pulled down the skies are emptying of smoke, and the flat, dry ground of this city is now home to thousands and thousands of petite boxes where people who used to be workers live.”

Tsiolkas is not onl
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
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Christos Tsiolkas is the author of nine novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe,which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. He won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, long listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australi ...more

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