Johnny Nothing intro trailer

In March I’m going to be doing some readings of Johnny Nothing in schools around the country. As such I’m putting together an interactive show. Instead of some old codger sitting there reading his book I want to get the kids involved. There will be jokes, silly voices, quizzes and slide shows.

Here’s a brief trailer that I’ve put together as an intro to the readings.

Incidentally, if you want a copy of Johnny Nothing for your kid, your husband, your wife, your bank manager or your postman it’s available here:

And here:

And here in paperback:

And here if you want to steal it:


5 thoughts on “Johnny Nothing intro trailer

  1. Hi Ian,
    Finished Johnny Nothing today and absolutely loved it. I used to live down the road from a girl like him whose family was so, so poor and couldn’t afford to get their rubbish collected. There was a sort of notoriety being that poor. At the other end of our street, there were multi-millionaires and a girl who was just as unpopular because her family was an rich as the other girl’s family was poor and they had ostentatious marble statues in their garden which were pretty out of place in an Australian rural area. She used to offer us blank traveler’s cheques on the way home from he bus stop to be her friend. I look back on that street now and it all feels rather unreal.
    You captured that situation very well.
    As horrid, selfish and evil as his mother was and you used a fair amount of hyperbole but there was credibility there as well and I felt quite pained by her spending in that same sense of hearing fingernails scratched down a chalkboard. I do tend to read novels as fact and all these horrible things she did, were very real to me as the reader.
    I am intrigued and would appreciate your comments about the interplay of comedy and tragedy in the book because there is a fair amount of humour both in your writing style but also in the character of his mother, for example.
    The book could also be called a moral tale.
    I particularly liked the structure of the novel and how the author talks to the reader and keeps them posted. Repeats information and doesn’t assume you’ll be reading it in a couple of days. That you might put it down and come back and you could pick it up easily, which would be good for reluctant young readers.

    I will be interested to see how the kids find it. I’m sure they’ll love it but I will try to get some comments out of them.
    All the best with the author talks. Sure, you’ll have a ball.
    Best wishes,


  2. Hi Rowena. Thanks so much for the very kind comments. I’m happy you liked it because I sometimes feel nobody will ever like anything that I do.

    This was written after being unable to write for a very long time du to illness. I mostly wanted people to laugh because I see laughter as one of the highest forms of art. It’s a bit like a 3-minute pop song – in terms of emotion it’s difficult to find anything that is as emotive as a simple pop song. I feel that laughter is probably the most powerful emotion.

    It’s been over a year since Johnny Nothing and I now realise that it’s about me. The parents are caricatures but they do bear some relation to my upbringing. We were pretty poor (there’s an oxymoron for you!) and my dad did drink far too much and spend a lot of his wages on that instead of us. But he was very young and it can’t have been easy for him.

    I’ve never purposefully set out to see writing as psychotherapy but I suppose that all forms of self-expression are inevitably rooted in this. When I look at most of the books I’ve written I see that they’re all about me really. Mostly about me and my godawful relationship with my recently deceased father. But I go on…

    I’m just glad you didn’t think it was crap. xxx


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