|Print List Price:||$8.49|
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Johnny Nothing Kindle Edition
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|Length: 194 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Matchbook Price: $0.99
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|Age Level: 10 - 18|
|Grade Level: 9 - 12|
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Forget the story, Johnny Nothing is a roller coaster ride back into the young male mind (or, for female readers the first accurate glimpse) as he perceive parents, grandparents, teachers, elders, funerals, flatulence or scatalogical matters of any kind, prepubescent sexuality, social rituals such as dining and parties, church and boogers.
To be honest, when Probert finally settles into the plot, the book looses half of its fun. But he still manages to infuse the story with preposterous scenarios such as two lawyers, asleep at the wheel and daydreaming in the same lane on the highway.
Johnny Nothing’s self-centered parents neglect him to the point that his only pair of shoes are his father’s size 12 loafers. He earned the nickname "Nothing" because he wears the same set of clothes every day and brings nothing in his lunch bag. His rich Uncle Marley leaves nothing to the family but Johnny, whose inheritance is a million dollars.
Johnny must earn one penny more than that million in a year in order to receive ten times that much. The only problem is, Johnny’s mother is determined to spend his money as quickly as possibly, and none of it on him.
Probst prose punches readers in the face like a clown hammer. Ever line sets up a gag or delivers it with unabashed glee. Adults will relish every joke or find them fiendishly inappropriate for children, which makes them all the more perfect for kids.
I don’t know how your inner little girl will feel about Johnny Nothing but my inner eighth grade boy thinks Johnny Nothing is funnier than farting in the front of church when the Franciscan Sisters pray.
Phillip T. Stephens is the author of Cigerets, Guns & Beer and Raising Hell.
This book is hilarious! I imagine the target audience is kids (mainly boys?) between the ages of 8 and 12, but this middle-aged woman couldn’t stop laughing – or reading. You know how animated movies are supposed to be for kids, but the jokes are really for the adults? Well, it’s kind of like that. So, don’t be fooled thinking this is just a book for kids. It’s also a book for seriously warped adults.
Johnny Nothing is a 10-year old boy whose parents treat him like cr….er, dirt. To me, he is like a cross between Harry Potter, with the selfish, narcissistic, mean adults making his life a living hell, and sweet Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Johnny is a good kid who makes no complaint despite the horribleness of his parents. He inherits a huge sum from his Uncle Marley, and has a chance for more if he can return a year later having made that money grow.
Of course the despicable parents go crazy spending the money and it’s up to Johnny to rein them in.
Probert’s descriptions are terrific. Here’s what we’re told when we first meet Johnny:
“If Johnny was a colour he wouldn’t’ be yellow or red or blue or green or violet or gold or silver. He’d just be grey. Dull, muddy, grey. If he was a sound he’d be a monotonous drone. If he was a smell, he’d be the smell of nothingness.”
The smell of nothingness – how great is that???
Probert also uses great techniques that made me chuckle, such as talking directly to the reader:
“Am I making myself clear? Johnny’s just ordinary. Just ordinary, except for one thing which I’ll tell you about on page 4 because right now I’ve got to get back to explaining why everybody was BORED.”
The characters, especially Johnny’s mother, Felicity MacKenzie, are over the top. But that’s the fun of it really – everything is taken to its ridiculous extreme – which is just how tween boys like things. The mantra of all mothers to 12-year-old boys is, “Don’t you know when to stop?” And the answer of course, is NO. That’s how Probert wrote this book, and his target audience will love it.
There’s tons of potty humor and detailed descriptions of bodily smells and sounds. Yes, the descriptions are disgusting, gross, sick. So, it’s not all that likely that Grandma or Auntie Mae will buy this book for their own little Johnnys. But Dad will and he’ll probably want to read it first. I can see Johnny Nothing being just the sort of thing that catches on and takes off in a BIG way.