HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Loaded (1995)

by Christos Tsiolkas

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2258117,869 (3.67)17
The first novel from the author of the bestselling The Slap 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 who doesn't want to be gay. He is looking for something - anything - to take him away from his aimless existence in suburban Melbourne. He doesn't believe in anyone or anything, except the power of music. All he wants to do is dance, take drugs, have sex and change the world. For Ari, all the orthodoxies of family, sex, politics and work have collapsed. Caught between the traditional Greek world of his parents and friends and the alluring, destructive world of clubs, chemicals and anonymous sex, all Ari can do is ease his pain in the only ways he knows how. Written in stark, uncompromising prose, Loaded is a first novel of great passion and power.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I liked this, but it felt like a guilty pleasure. It's a novel about alienation, about Ari, an unemployed nineteen-year-old boy who takes drugs and has unhealthy, anonymous, vicious sex as a way of life. Tsiolkas injects some politics into the tale – it reminded me a bit of a better, Melburnian version of Less Than Zero – but Ari himself hates the world, states at one point that he wants to destroy it all in a nuclear holocaust.

So I don't know. On one level it was a fun read, but on the other… I felt that the political tangents didn't really "fit" with the rest of Ari's drug-fuelled evening, like it was too heavy-handed. There's a lot of "Melburnia", but unlike with The Slap I don't think Tsiolkas got all his facts right; for example, he had Ari insist that Greek migrants settled here only north of the river, even though Oakleigh in the south-eastern suburbs is the hub of the Greek community. He also listed Bentleigh as a leafy eastern suburb, up there with Balwyn and Boronia, when it's actually just west of Oakleigh and was for a long time a working-class area… populated by people who worked in the factories in Oakleigh (and a little further afield, like in Moorabbin and such).

I guess it kind of bugged me that this was a city I almost recognised, but not quite. Its setting in time had a similar effect – having been published in 1995, it's stuck in that limbo where it's not quite old enough to be considered a representation of a historical period, but old enough that it's quite dated. Ari buys two drinks at a club and pays $5 for them. He has to call people at their homes on Saturday afternoon to plan where he'll bump into them at 1:30am. That kind of thing!

But like I said, overall, it was fun. (Feb 2014) ( )
  Jayeless | May 27, 2020 |
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 doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Was this published at the wrong time? I remember the nineties as a time where homosexuality was thought of as disgusting; granted I was still in high school in a small backwards country town but I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for someone that actually was struggling with their sexuality.

What little I know about Tsiolkas, I’ve come to the conclusion that Loaded was a reflection of his own struggles living in Melbourne with a traditional Greek family that expects so much from you. They went through all the effort to move to Australia in the hopes for a better life; the least you can do is make the most of it. Do well in school, get a good job, marry and have kids. What if this isn’t part of your plan? How would your parents react to this news?

I had to read this book for university, right after studying Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness so I’ve naturally made some connections between the two. Marlowe and Ari are very similar in the sense they both are outsiders, though one deals with this during colonial times and the other is a post-colonial take. Without going too much into the parody of Heart of Darkness, because my mind has really made some interesting connections (some are probably a stretch). The different ways the two protagonists (Heart of Darkness and Loaded) are portrayed as loners in a world that doesn’t feel like home were done in interesting ways.

The whole sense of belonging is a huge part in Loaded; even the way Christos Tsiolkas talks about Melbourne is done as a parody. In Tsiolkas’s Melbourne people are divided into different cliques, much like a diverse multi-cultural city, but there is also are separation into the north, south, east and west. This is interesting to see the separation of power, wealth, religion and culture; sure this normally happens in a normal city, each suburb seems to be stereotyped as a good or bad neighbourhood. In Loaded the division is more extreme, highlighting all these groups of people and showing the reader just how much Ari doesn’t fit in anywhere he goes.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2014/01/25/loaded-by-christos-tsiolkas/ ( )
  knowledge_lost | Dec 3, 2014 |
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 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. I think as a character, he is so interesting because he can so readily see the beauty of other people and places and situations, yet seems to be incapable of translating that beauty into his own life and future. I really felt for him!

Despite all this, I didn't give Loaded a higher rating, because although I was completely absorbed in Ari's world, it was quite slow going (perhaps surprisingly, given that Ari is sky high for half of it) and I don't think it will ultimately be a particularly memorable read. There were one or two moments that really made me cringe, particularly the scenes in various clubs around Melbourne which invariably contain awful descriptions of dancing - frequent mentions of 'jumping around', and what moves Ari's 'working in' from his dance repertoire. I found these parts incredibly jarring - though perhaps Tsiolkas intended them to be that way, to reflect the way Ari's drugged mind made some unnaturally slow and conscious decisions about even the most mundane of things? Who knows - all I know is, I didn't like it much.

At any rate, Ari was a wonderful guide to the seedier underbelly of Melbourne life - the dark alleys for fumbling liaisons, the tangled, insular existence of the many different ethnicities on the outskirts of 'skip' society - and I liked the novel enough to give The Slap a try at some point. I also ordered the screen adaptation, Head On, which I'm rather looking forward to. Recommended for those who don't mind their literature buzzing, explicit and occasionally a little uncomfortable, even as it forces them to stop and think about the world from a new perspective. ( )
  elliepotten | Feb 13, 2012 |
An anthem to Nihilism. A condensed punch in the face that depicts what it really feels like to be young- lackadaisical and horny. No metaphors, no embellishments. Raw as fuck. ( )
1 vote Triana_Etx | Dec 23, 2011 |
"Loaded" is Christos Tsiolkas' first novel. Ari is a 19 year old gay wog living in the suburbs of Melbourne, although he objects to his identity being defined and rejects the way those definitions shape his future. The day of his life that passes in "Loaded" is full of drugs, sex, violence, violent sex, anger and hopelessness but it's eyes-wide-open first person style conveys great intimacy. These are Ari's thoughts, worlds, feelings and sensations. You are with him all the way.

The 1998 Australian movie "Head On" is based on "Loaded". ( )
1 vote marq | Mar 20, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

Has the adaptation

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
the morning is ending and i've just opened my eyes.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

The first novel from the author of the bestselling The Slap 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 who doesn't want to be gay. He is looking for something - anything - to take him away from his aimless existence in suburban Melbourne. He doesn't believe in anyone or anything, except the power of music. All he wants to do is dance, take drugs, have sex and change the world. For Ari, all the orthodoxies of family, sex, politics and work have collapsed. Caught between the traditional Greek world of his parents and friends and the alluring, destructive world of clubs, chemicals and anonymous sex, all Ari can do is ease his pain in the only ways he knows how. Written in stark, uncompromising prose, Loaded is a first novel of great passion and power.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.67)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 3
2.5 2
3 8
3.5 5
4 18
4.5 1
5 9

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 201,655,925 books! | Top bar: Always visible