"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. One of the key Australian novels that defined the grunge and dirty realism genre of the mid nineties, Loaded knocks the conventional gay novel askew as it questions issues of identity, both sexual and ethnic, in a 24 hour roller-coaster ride of sex, drugs and clubbing. Tsiolkas is acknowledged to be one of the best younger Australian writers, and garnered considerable critical acclaim for The Jesus Man, Dead Europe and The Slap. Turned into the film Head On which has garnered rave reviews and was an official selection at the prestigious Cannes film festival.
Paperback, 151pp, Published 1995, This Edition Published 2005