Loosh is Lars, affectionately Lasse, but Willy says he should be called Loosh since Australians have trouble pronouncing either, and also because it goes with his being a Casanova. Lasse loses his parents early in rural Sweden and is raised by his father’s family with a cousin to whom he is practically a twin. Åsa the twin dies in an accident at age five, leaving Lasse a hole in the heart. He is then raised more by his mother’s family in town. He is seduced by an aunt at age twelve, germinating a precocious sexuality in a melancholic personality. He partly displaces his angst into obsession with music, beginning on his grandmother’s harmonica.
When slightly older cousins decide to take a new geophysical technology to West Australia in a nickel boom around 1970, they talk him into cutting school to join the venture. When it fails, Lasse goes to work for a mining exploration company for money to get home, which is when he meets and works with geologist Willy. Lasse returns to Sweden, finishes undergrad geophysics school, but drifts into semi-professional music and substitute teaching, and becomes trapped in a troubled relationship with an old girlfriend. When Willy succumbs to heat stroke and has disabling neural damage, he goes on a whim to Sweden to recover and find a new identity. Although they have little contact in Sweden, Willy’s death leads him to visit the home of Rolf, who lived with Willy in Flogsta and is the brother of Svea, Willy’s love. This sojourn (where he also meets Taavi) triggers Lasse’s flight to the North Dakota oil fields in the US.
Lasse becomes entangled with a runaway transvestite Ojibwe boy. Their departures from social normalcy, twenty years before those norms begin to accommodate such departures, earns them ‘a whole lot of trouble.’
Lasse is a ‘woman’s man’, a Casanova, but it is the misfit males, the sanctified dead cousin, the prickly Willy and the ‘bernache’ runaway, who are the stations of his pilgrimage, along which he plays a vagrant blues-jazz on whatever instrument he finds in his path.