Merciless Gods

Christos Tsiolkas ( was born in Melbourne, Australia to Greek immigrant parents. Tsiolkas’ first novel, Loaded (1995), was filmed as Head On (1998) by director Ana Kokkinos, starring Alex Dimitriades. In 2006, his novel, Dead Europe, won The Age Book of the Year fiction award and was adapted into a film in 2012. In 2009, his fourth novel, The Slap, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2009 for best novel in the South-East Asia and South Pacific area.

The author gives us a set of short stories in this new volume in 2015. In the title story a group of multicultural, metrosexual young 1990s professionals play a party game in which a word pulled from a hat initiates a sequence of personal confessions. Tensions escalate, the confessions become more alarming, and by the end of the evening the hosts, the guests, the narrator and indeed the reader have all been not so much subjected to emotional scrutiny as disembowelled, dismembered and scattered to the four winds.

In other stories the world is seen through a range of views. There are cultured tourists, tour guides, exiles, geriatrics, carers, prisoners, fathers, mothers, truckers, long-term lesbian couples, queer boys, straight boys, queer-acting straight boys, born-again junkies and a self-loathing fundamentalist. All of them are Australian, showing how variegated society Down Under has become.


336 pages in Atlantic Books

First published 2015

ISBN 978-1782397274


Christos Tsiolkas


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