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Loaded Paperback – 1997

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Paperback, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091839416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091839413
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,956,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

"I like music, I like film.
H. F. Corbin
Unfortunately I will never get that few hours of my life back.
The writing style is unique.
Dorian Gray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "kumachan" on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you can get hold of this book through Amazon U.K., do so, if you want to read about a realistic portrayal of a young gay Greek-Australian in inner city Melbourne. Not a hint of Kangaroos bounding across the Yarra River, or Crocodile Dundee, Thank God.
This books tells us of young Alex, over the course of several days.Life is not easy, and it portrays the difficulty of coming to terms with, and accepting one's sexuality in both a contemporary white Australian context, as well as within the confines of a traditional society, uprooted from Greece, and transplanted into the soil of a new country.
Within the narrative are numerous references to popular TV culture and popular music from the last few decades, which serve as ready reference points for those of us who grew up watching those TV shows, listening to that music.
The novel also includes lengthy descriptions on ethnic and class divides in urban Australia, and this makes the novel all the more worthwhile to read.
So, read the novel (if you can get it, try if only because it is by and largely about a gay man. Read the novel, if only because it describes an urban Australian reality - Melbourne. Read the novel, if only because of it's gritty, confrontational style of writing and subject matter.
Read it, and enhance your perceptions of Australia.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dan Keegan on February 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
I came across this book by pure chance, and decided to give it a try - and I'm so glad I did!
The author's relentless, unapologetic style of writing kept my nose in this book from page one to the very last word. The main character and narrator's entire attitude comes across in the antagonistic prose, and his stylistic disregard for basic punctuation simply sign-posts Ari's defensive disregard for other peoples' feelings and views.
I fell in love with the main character and his agressive persona as he wandered aimlessly through twenty-four hours of clumsy and intoxicated sexual encounters with near-strangers, interspersed with sociological essays from his inner monologue. You may not agree with his ethics, but you'll admire how adiment he is to protect and demonstrate how he feels about social and racial divisions in Melbourne.
The novel actually has its own soundtrack - replete with references to the timeless classics of musical yester-year, you will hear them in your mind as you read. You'll also muse over the references to films and television shows he talks about like an old dog remembers all the best times it had with its owner.
The high point comes towards the end, when Ari's entire life is played back on a metaphorical VCR in his mind. The writing style used therein demands reverence and I personally wished I'd written it myself.
At the end of the day, this book makes you feel like you've just been out on the best night of your life, without you physically having left the confines of your dwelling, but for Ari, it was just a run-of-the-mill quiet night out with friends.
In two words, the book is daunting but still approachable. Well played Mr. Tsiolkas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Taylor on October 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Christos Tsiolkas' first novel is an explosive and unabashed exploration of the tension between individuality and cultural expectation. As a young Greek man, living in Melbourne, Australia, Ari struggles to reconcile his own sexuality with the traditional expectations of his family: all without success. However, there is more depicted in this short novel than simply a young man dealing with his sexuality.

In setting the tale as one Ari's nights out, the reader is taken on a journey through the subcultural experiences of disillusioned youth. Dancing, drugs, music, homophobia, violence, and anonymous sex: we watch fascinated, as Ari winds these tendrils of destruction willingly about himself. In seeking his own destruction because he cannot imagine anything better, Ari becomes a heroic character, trapped by the expectations others have of him.

This short novel is no stroll through a country garden, with a nice happy ending to complete it. Ari's experience is more akin to someone dropping napalm throughout their own life, then sitting back and simply watching the consequences. A quick but rewarding read, "Loaded" is a voice for thousands of young gay men throughout the world who feel trapped by culture and expectation, and see no way out except through self-destruction.

The movie "Head On," released in 1998 and starring Alex Dimitriades, is a faithful adaptation of Tsiolkas' novel. Both explore the same themes and ideas, despite a number of (expected) differences. Dimitriades' portrayal of Ari is similarly accurate and authentic. Both film and novel stand on their own right as wonderful texts. Both worthwhile.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By a spiritual practicioner on June 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a masterpiece. Realizing classical starkness and vigor in the context of a tradition of cinema such as Pasolini and Fellini, the main character Ari is tossed from scene to scene with a hyper-realism which perfectly enacts and stages the time, place and mood of 90s inner city Melbourne Australia in an unforgettable way.

Mr Tsiolkas' first novel is a youthful work. You might compare it to Chuck Palahnuik's "Fight Club" in terms of brilliance and immediacy. But it also bears the mark of a unique sensibility which is a synthesis of Greek and Australian, vigor and simplicity, that makes it a pretty compelling read overall.

The first time I read it on the same train as the character takes in the book, got off at Bridge Road area where I simply sat on the bridge as the sun sank and absorbed the text. It was a sublime experience, and I remember this novel as one of my top ten favorite novels.
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