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They're A Weird Mob: Text Classics

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Just off the boat from Italy, Nino Culotta arrives in Sydney. He thought he spoke English but he's never heard anything like the language these Australians are speaking. They're a Weird Mob is an hilarious snapshot of the immigrant experience in Menzies-era Australia, by a writer with a brilliant ear for the Australian way with words. Just off the boat from Italy, Nino Culotta arrives in Sydney. He thought he spoke English but he's never heard anything like the language these Australians are speaking. They're a Weird Mob is an hilarious snapshot of the immigrant experience in Menzies-era Australia, by a writer with a brilliant ear for the Australian way with words.


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Just off the boat from Italy, Nino Culotta arrives in Sydney. He thought he spoke English but he's never heard anything like the language these Australians are speaking. They're a Weird Mob is an hilarious snapshot of the immigrant experience in Menzies-era Australia, by a writer with a brilliant ear for the Australian way with words. Just off the boat from Italy, Nino Culotta arrives in Sydney. He thought he spoke English but he's never heard anything like the language these Australians are speaking. They're a Weird Mob is an hilarious snapshot of the immigrant experience in Menzies-era Australia, by a writer with a brilliant ear for the Australian way with words.

30 review for They're A Weird Mob: Text Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Colleen O'grady

    Seeing as how my father wrote this book, what would I think? Hilariously funny and has recently been re-published again by Text publishers and a very clever Dad. it is the story of Nino, who finds himself in the embarrassing situation of trying to communicate with Australians, priding himself on the fact that he spoke English. But you see...there is English and their is 'English' of the Australian kind. Seeing as how my father wrote this book, what would I think? Hilariously funny and has recently been re-published again by Text publishers and a very clever Dad. it is the story of Nino, who finds himself in the embarrassing situation of trying to communicate with Australians, priding himself on the fact that he spoke English. But you see...there is English and their is 'English' of the Australian kind.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tien

    Most Australians speak English like I speak Hindustani, which I don’t. In general, they use English words, but in a way that makes no sense to anyone else. And they don’t use our European vowel sounds, so that even if they do construct a normal sentence, it doesn’t sound like one. This made it necessary for me, until I become accustomed to it, to translate everything that was said to me twice, first into English and then into Italian. So my replies were always slow, and those long pauses prompte Most Australians speak English like I speak Hindustani, which I don’t. In general, they use English words, but in a way that makes no sense to anyone else. And they don’t use our European vowel sounds, so that even if they do construct a normal sentence, it doesn’t sound like one. This made it necessary for me, until I become accustomed to it, to translate everything that was said to me twice, first into English and then into Italian. So my replies were always slow, and those long pauses prompted many belligerent remarks, such as ‘Well don’t stand there like a dill; d’yer wanta beer or dontcha?’ Now that I have had five years of practice, I find that I am able to think in English, and often in the Australian kind of English, so that when some character picks me for a dill, he is likely to be told quick smart to suck his scone in! Dunno what exactly I expected from this book… Mis-adventures of an immigrant with some humour involved at most. But, what I got was absolute hilarity –I was laughing so much and I just couldn’t put the book down. Most of the hilarity, of course, was due to misunderstanding the ‘Australian English’ and Australian ways. If you’re Australian, you may enjoy this look at yerself form another’s point of view. Even though it’s stereotypical of the Aussie working class in mid 20th century, I found it wildly entertaining and made time flew by very quickly. It’s a pretty short read too. However, I have to confess that whilst I can see traces of these type of Australian-ess around me, my Aussie friends (born & bred) don’t speak like this (I’m not referring to the accents but rather to the specific lingo). If you are not Australian, you may find this book a bit of a struggle as the writing takes into consideration the way the people speak (accents etc), for example ‘Owyagoin’ (How you going), Orrightmate (all right, mate), etc. In addition, of course, the Aussie slang gets more than a little confusing. In my own experience as a migrant, I didn’t find it as much of a problem –I don’t recall of having to struggle with English (nor ‘Australian English’) too much. I probably didn’t get many of the jokes and I still have a bit of a problem with some sayings now and then but other than that, if you actually hear my speak, I sound mostly Australian (excepting some little nuisance of words). At the end of the book, the author was encouraging migrants to mix into the Australian cultures and not to cling tenaciously stubbornly to one’s original cultures. Indeed, Australia provides that opportunity for a better life but to build a country which supports better life, we would all need to work together wherever you’re from. That episode of Friday night and yesterday illustrates the informality of the Australian way of life, and the Australian’s unquenchable energy and thirst. He works hard, with much cursing and swearing, and is most unhappy when he has no work to do. He loves beer and tobacco, and impassioned arguments. He is kind and generous and abusive. He will swear at you, and call you insulting names, and love you like a brother. He is without malice. He will fight you with skill and ferocity, and buy you a beer immediately afterwards. He is a man of many contradictions, but his confidence and self-sufficing are inspiring. If he is beaten in a fight or an argument, he laughs about it the next day, and tells his mates, ‘ The bastard was too good fer me.’ He doesn’t resent a defeat of ‘that bastard who done me over’. It takes a European a long time to begin to understand him.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    They’re a Weird Mob is the first book by John O’Grady writing under the pseudonym Nino Culotta, and purports to tell the tale of Nino, an Italian journalist sent to Australia to write articles about the country and her people for Italians to read. Nino has learned English, so he shouldn’t have a problem, his boss thinks. But English, Nino finds, is not Australian. As Nino experiences true Aussie culture in the form of Kings Bloody Cross, labouring for a brickie, drinking in the pub, picking a fi They’re a Weird Mob is the first book by John O’Grady writing under the pseudonym Nino Culotta, and purports to tell the tale of Nino, an Italian journalist sent to Australia to write articles about the country and her people for Italians to read. Nino has learned English, so he shouldn’t have a problem, his boss thinks. But English, Nino finds, is not Australian. As Nino experiences true Aussie culture in the form of Kings Bloody Cross, labouring for a brickie, drinking in the pub, picking a fight in the street, almost being arrested, travelling on the train, being invited to tea, a buck’s night, a wedding reception, going shooting and swimming at Bondi, he relates his interactions with Australians and his puzzlement with their language. Some of the conversations he overhears, like the discussion of horse racing in a café, are confusing to me now, after having lived in Australia for 55 years. Nino learns about the attitude of many Australians to migrants, but finds his appearance and his willingness to “have a go” soon defuse this, and finds himself taking part in many Aussie-male rites of passage. He also learns that many words (ticket, drum, shout, before, only) have multiple meanings. This novel is a very long way from being Politically Correct: when Nino decides he wants to marry, the discussion on “sheilas” begins “blondes are easy on the eye, but they get dirty quick”. One needs to remember, though, that it was written in 1957, and reflects attitudes of the day, and if one bears this in mind, there are many laugh-out-loud moments. While O’Grady’s writing does an excellent job of portraying a naïve Italian migrant, his eulogising about the Australian and how to become a good one is a bit transparent. Hilarious!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Simon McKenzie

    I really enjoyed everything up to the last chapter - a light, but very funny look at Australian language and culture in the '50s. What I didn't enjoy was the last chapter, when it turned into a piece of propaganda, ending with a call to "New Australians" to assimilate. I really enjoyed everything up to the last chapter - a light, but very funny look at Australian language and culture in the '50s. What I didn't enjoy was the last chapter, when it turned into a piece of propaganda, ending with a call to "New Australians" to assimilate.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    This is a funny and clever book. I had read it many years ago, but I still laughed all over again when I chose it for the Read Around Australia challenge. Insightful and accurate about the Australian character, it is a forerunner to the delights of comedians like Paul Hogan when he first climbed down from Sydney Harbour Bridge. If only we had more migrants like Nino Culotta who so enthusiastically embraced his new life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cita

    Howsthebookgoin' mate orright? orright, i exclaimed. 3.5 stars cause it's funny. Howsthebookgoin' mate orright? orright, i exclaimed. 3.5 stars cause it's funny.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Big Pete

    As an Aussie, I can proudly proclaim this as 'a fair-dinkum classic'. Sadly, hardly anyone under the age of forty says 'fair dinkum' anymore. they're a weird mob is a hilarious tale of a likable Italian migrant named Nino Culotta trying to understand the lingo we spoke Downunder in the '50s and '60s. He mixes with bricklayers, policemen, lifesavers, makes friends, learns the language, engages in fisticuffs, gets married and makes a niche for himself in Oz. Most of the slang used at the time has As an Aussie, I can proudly proclaim this as 'a fair-dinkum classic'. Sadly, hardly anyone under the age of forty says 'fair dinkum' anymore. they're a weird mob is a hilarious tale of a likable Italian migrant named Nino Culotta trying to understand the lingo we spoke Downunder in the '50s and '60s. He mixes with bricklayers, policemen, lifesavers, makes friends, learns the language, engages in fisticuffs, gets married and makes a niche for himself in Oz. Most of the slang used at the time has died out, but that does not detract from this great tale. Unusually for a humorous novel, there's quite a bit of social commentary and philosophising done by Nino. However, this only assists in assuring John O'Grady's literary genius, for the odd bit of philosophising done by Nino feels completely natural - the mood feels, scarily enough, like the way YOU occasionally philosophise inside your own head. Though not quite as good as its sequel; gone fishin', they're a weird mob is a hilarious read and a true Australian classic. 'owyergoinmate, orright? Yeah, orright mate.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Luka

    Anglo guy writes book. Wanks on about ocker utopia. Tells migrants how they should act. While pretending to be an Italian journalist. Despite this underlying premise, and the nauseating passages that touch on these themes, there are some funny and interesting insights into how (Anglo-)Australian men saw themselves in the 50s. And I also enjoyed the references to places that I was familiar with (a lot of it is set around Bankstown and Punchbowl). But as I said, the whole wogface thing. Just, no.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Morel

    Laugh out loud funny! They're a Weird Mob follows the story of Nino, an Italian immigrant fresh off the boat in Sydney. I'm thinking the time frame is late 50s early 60s but I honestly can't remember if they tell the reader the date. Pure hilarity and enjoyment with this read, Nino is an eloquent observer and to see the Australian vernacular captured through the eyes of a newly arrived Italian who thinks he can speak English but cannot grasp what people are saying is highly entertaining. Laugh out loud funny! They're a Weird Mob follows the story of Nino, an Italian immigrant fresh off the boat in Sydney. I'm thinking the time frame is late 50s early 60s but I honestly can't remember if they tell the reader the date. Pure hilarity and enjoyment with this read, Nino is an eloquent observer and to see the Australian vernacular captured through the eyes of a newly arrived Italian who thinks he can speak English but cannot grasp what people are saying is highly entertaining.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Georgia

    Loved it. Simple tale of a young Italian man, newly arrived in Australia as he gets to know the people, and the language. Some hilarious comments on our 'version' of English - this is one of my favourites: "Most Australians speak English like I speak Hindustani, which I don't. In general, they use English words, but in a way that makes no sense to anyone else. And they don't use our European vowel sounds, so that even if they do construct a normal sentence, it doesn't sound like one." (pg. 13). N Loved it. Simple tale of a young Italian man, newly arrived in Australia as he gets to know the people, and the language. Some hilarious comments on our 'version' of English - this is one of my favourites: "Most Australians speak English like I speak Hindustani, which I don't. In general, they use English words, but in a way that makes no sense to anyone else. And they don't use our European vowel sounds, so that even if they do construct a normal sentence, it doesn't sound like one." (pg. 13). Nino's thoughts, observations and the conversations of his new friends are presented in a very immediate style, which leads to many laugh out loud moments - the circumstances of his wife-hunting was especially good - and, as an Australian, you can't fail to see a bit of yourself or people you know on almost every page. Overall a very fond look at the rough-'round-the-edges but loyal-to-the-end Australian character. Left me feeling not a little patriotic, and just a wee bit teary.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

    Totally enjoyed this Australian Classic! At times it was a little dated but it took nothing away from the sheer joy of the story. Nino isn’t perfect but he makes the perfect New Australian.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Taught me how to eat spaghetti the proper, Italian way. Later I found out that the book was actually written by an Irishman, and that real Italians over the age of five don't eat pasta that way at all. I read this because of the movie, which was about Sydney in a time when nothing on TV was about Australia except the news, and I had not long before found out that I didn't actually live in America, despite what my TV had so insistently implied. This revelation made, I was intrigued by this place I Taught me how to eat spaghetti the proper, Italian way. Later I found out that the book was actually written by an Irishman, and that real Italians over the age of five don't eat pasta that way at all. I read this because of the movie, which was about Sydney in a time when nothing on TV was about Australia except the news, and I had not long before found out that I didn't actually live in America, despite what my TV had so insistently implied. This revelation made, I was intrigued by this place I now knew I lived in, and more than a little proud that Graham Kennedy, that famous Melbourne person, was in the movie, and so therefore so was Melbourne, for about twelve seconds. Apart from that, it's a pretty lame and obvious "satire", and probably more than a little bit racist. Sort of like Chris Lilley's "Jonah from Tonga" but without the F-grenades.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Text Publishing

    ‘A riotous comedy.’ Age ‘Nino Culotta encouraged Australians to laugh at themselves, while providing a walloping hint for the ‘New Australians’ who were gracing our shores: ‘Get yourself accepted…and you will enter a world that you never dreamed existed,’ he wrote. ‘And once you have entered it, you will never leave it.’ The book remains just as relevant today: Weird Mob is about good people trying to make a go of things. With its rollicking and affectionate humour, it showcases our manners, our w ‘A riotous comedy.’ Age ‘Nino Culotta encouraged Australians to laugh at themselves, while providing a walloping hint for the ‘New Australians’ who were gracing our shores: ‘Get yourself accepted…and you will enter a world that you never dreamed existed,’ he wrote. ‘And once you have entered it, you will never leave it.’ The book remains just as relevant today: Weird Mob is about good people trying to make a go of things. With its rollicking and affectionate humour, it showcases our manners, our wit and our distinctive vernacular— where ‘they open their mouths no more than is absolutely necessary’.’ Jacinta Tynan ‘…a rollicking comedy about an Italian journalist in Fifties Australia trying to get his head around the natives’ vernacular. Anybody who has the subtitles on for Kath & Kim will get the joke.’ Telegraph

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tim Chiew

    As other reviewers have noted, starts out as a mildly amusing "culture shock" slice of life situation comedy, quite well written and somewhat droll, an apparent satire on 1950s Australia, but then ends up as a jingoistic propaganda piece, which is hard to stomach when you know that the author is not actually an Italian immigrant but an Australian who actually upholds all of the Australian values he has ostensibly been satirising throughout the novel. Probably in 1957 this was OK, in the same way As other reviewers have noted, starts out as a mildly amusing "culture shock" slice of life situation comedy, quite well written and somewhat droll, an apparent satire on 1950s Australia, but then ends up as a jingoistic propaganda piece, which is hard to stomach when you know that the author is not actually an Italian immigrant but an Australian who actually upholds all of the Australian values he has ostensibly been satirising throughout the novel. Probably in 1957 this was OK, in the same way that acceptance of slavery and objectification of women don't negate Plato, but it does sit very uncomfortably in the 21st century

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Sharp

    "They're a Weird Mob" is not the sort of book I normally read. Its strongest point lies in its marvellous evocation of the language of the blue-collar worker: in this case, the bricklayer. The well-educated Italian hero, Nino, accepts work as a brickie. His language skills contrast beautifully with those of his work-mates who speak in broadest Australian. There is humour throughout the tale. I particularly enjoyed the story of Nino's efforts at courtship: wonderfully unconventional and yet remark "They're a Weird Mob" is not the sort of book I normally read. Its strongest point lies in its marvellous evocation of the language of the blue-collar worker: in this case, the bricklayer. The well-educated Italian hero, Nino, accepts work as a brickie. His language skills contrast beautifully with those of his work-mates who speak in broadest Australian. There is humour throughout the tale. I particularly enjoyed the story of Nino's efforts at courtship: wonderfully unconventional and yet remarkably successful. A fun read! An Australian classic!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shane Moore

    I enjoyed this light-hearted glimpse of the culture of working-class 1950's Australia. The characters are caricatures rather than stereotypes, especially the Italian narrator, so don't expect realism. Instead, prepare for something short, easy to read, and funny. Surprisingly, there are a few moments of depth addressing racism and anti-immigrant bigotry interwoven with the book's humor, and they're appropriately tasteful. I enjoyed this light-hearted glimpse of the culture of working-class 1950's Australia. The characters are caricatures rather than stereotypes, especially the Italian narrator, so don't expect realism. Instead, prepare for something short, easy to read, and funny. Surprisingly, there are a few moments of depth addressing racism and anti-immigrant bigotry interwoven with the book's humor, and they're appropriately tasteful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jason McCracken

    I lol'ed about as much as I've lol'ed at a book in ages. I was actually listening to the audiobook whilst in the supermarket and I had to turn it off because I was lol'ing too loudly and probably looked like a crazy person. The book's 60 years old and while I'm not sure about Sydney, here in rural(ish) Tassie I swear I meet a lot of these characters every day at work, there's even a bloke I work with who greets every single person with, "How ya goin' mate, alright?" Even women. I lol'ed about as much as I've lol'ed at a book in ages. I was actually listening to the audiobook whilst in the supermarket and I had to turn it off because I was lol'ing too loudly and probably looked like a crazy person. The book's 60 years old and while I'm not sure about Sydney, here in rural(ish) Tassie I swear I meet a lot of these characters every day at work, there's even a bloke I work with who greets every single person with, "How ya goin' mate, alright?" Even women.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Will

    What is an Australian? Being married to one, this is a question I often ask myself. This very funny book, actually written by an Australian journalist using the pseudonym of an Italian immigrant, attempts to answer that question, at least in the 1950s. Thoroughly enjoyable, often hysterically funny, but also very true about Australia and Australians.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Mad funny :) The trials of an Italian in 1960s Australia, where suddenly everyone speaks rather different English to what he learned from textbooks! I loved when he was learning the use of 'bloody' and cheerfully asked a cabbie to take him to King's Bloody Cross. Mad funny :) The trials of an Italian in 1960s Australia, where suddenly everyone speaks rather different English to what he learned from textbooks! I loved when he was learning the use of 'bloody' and cheerfully asked a cabbie to take him to King's Bloody Cross.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rupert Grech

    Some of the writing seems a little racist to modern sensibilities, but taken with an historical perspective, an enjoyable read. The last chapter spoiled it a little for me. My Maltese parents thought that the movie was hilarious- racist bits and all.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jülie ☼♄ 

    Laughed myself to tears!!! I was in absolute stitches from start to finish!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andy Hickman

    “They're a Weird Mob” by Nino Culotta (John O'Grady) This book is iconic. I laughed so much reading. The best quotes I haven't had time to type up, but so many of the characters I have seen personified in the Aussies that I have known. **** - - “There is no better way of life in the world than that of the Australian. I firmly believe this. The grumbling, growling, cursing, profane, laughing, beer drinking, abusive, loyal-to-his-mates Australian is one of the few free men left on this earth. He fea “They're a Weird Mob” by Nino Culotta (John O'Grady) This book is iconic. I laughed so much reading. The best quotes I haven't had time to type up, but so many of the characters I have seen personified in the Aussies that I have known. **** - - “There is no better way of life in the world than that of the Australian. I firmly believe this. The grumbling, growling, cursing, profane, laughing, beer drinking, abusive, loyal-to-his-mates Australian is one of the few free men left on this earth. He fears no one, crawls to no one, bludges on no one, and acknowledges no master. Learn his way. Learn his language. Get yourself accepted as one of him; and you will enter a world that you never dreamed existed. And once you have entered it, you will never leave it.” - - Most Australians speak English like I speak Hindustani, which I don’t. In general, they use English words, but in a way that makes no sense to anyone else. And they don’t use our European vowel sounds, so that even if they do construct a normal sentence, it doesn’t sound like one. This made it necessary for me, until I become accustomed to it, to translate everything that was said to me twice, first into English and then into Italian. So my replies were always slow, and those long pauses prompted many belligerent remarks, such as ‘Well don’t stand there like a dill; d’yer wanta beer or dontcha?’ Now that I have had five years of practice, I find that I am able to think in English, and often in the Australian kind of English, so that when some character picks me for a dill, he is likely to be told quick smart to suck his scone in! - - That episode of Friday night and yesterday illustrates the informality of the Australian way of life, and the Australian’s unquenchable energy and thirst. He works hard, with much cursing and swearing, and is most unhappy when he has no work to do. He loves beer and tobacco, and impassioned arguments. He is kind and generous and abusive. He will swear at you, and call you insulting names, and love you like a brother. He is without malice. He will fight you with skill and ferocity, and buy you a beer immediately afterwards. He is a man of many contradictions, but his confidence and self-sufficing are inspiring. If he is beaten in a fight or an argument, he laughs about it the next day, and tells his mates, ‘ The bastard was too good fer me.’ He doesn’t resent a defeat of ‘that bastard who done me over’. It takes a European a long time to begin to understand him. - - Good-o. We’ll wash up an’ scrape off the whiskers an’ knock over a few more bottles before we go, eh? Best part of a dozen still left. Decent feed, Nino. Yer c’d get a job as a shearer’s cook any time. They’d all go on strike, Pat said I hate sheep, Dennis said. Stupid bastards. You was a jackeroo once, wasn’t you, Den? Yeah. Walgett. Nothing’s worse. Worse than layin bricks? Yeah Must a bin crook, then. Sheep! Worse than bloody turkeys. Seen a mob o’ turkey tryin’ ter’ get out through a nail hole in a tin shed once. Killed ‘emselves. Pat said Yeah, said Dennis, ‘a hawk c’n come an’ pinch all their young uns, an’ they take no notice. Bit ‘o paper blows along the ground an’ they get the tom tits an’ fly into a fence an’ knock ‘emselves cold. They have turkeys in Italy, Nino? Yes, Dennis Y’ain’t saying much. Wot’s the matter, mate? Tired? No, I’m not tired. Keepin awful quiet. I am sure the conversation is very interesting, but unfortunately I cannot understand it. - - Australians like giving people tea and advice. The tea is always very good, and sometimes the advice too."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I heard about this book on a television show talking about Australian books. It was recommended as a humorous book from the perspective of an Italian new to our land back in the late 50’s/early 60’s. I was told in a second hand bookshop I had ‘Buckley’s’ chance of finding it. However, just two weeks later I came across it at a tip shop, for one dollar. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. From the very beginning I was intrigued by the author’s narrative. As a ‘new Australian’ Nino explains every con I heard about this book on a television show talking about Australian books. It was recommended as a humorous book from the perspective of an Italian new to our land back in the late 50’s/early 60’s. I was told in a second hand bookshop I had ‘Buckley’s’ chance of finding it. However, just two weeks later I came across it at a tip shop, for one dollar. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. From the very beginning I was intrigued by the author’s narrative. As a ‘new Australian’ Nino explains every conversation and experience in his new home as you would for an alien visiting Earth. As a sixth generation Australian I am pleased to say these descriptions rang true for the time period of the book. The ocker slang and sense of mateship was very much like the Australia I grew up in. In the final chapter, Nino talks about how grateful he was to be living in such a free place. I have to admit it was a little saddening to reflect on those carefree times and compare life now replete with mandates and restrictions. Nevertheless, I believe this is a fun read for old and new Australians alike.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jacqui

    It's dated but still really humorous and enjoyable and you'd have no idea reading it that it wasn't written by an Italian immigrant in the 1950's. Memorable Quotes"Girls with their chatter and their demands for attention would spoil the peace of this day, this rock, this quiet sky, these trees. Without them, a man on a mountain was content." "Human beings are very perverse. Shackle them and you have trouble. Leave them free, and they will shackle themselves." "Australians are incredibly economical It's dated but still really humorous and enjoyable and you'd have no idea reading it that it wasn't written by an Italian immigrant in the 1950's. Memorable Quotes"Girls with their chatter and their demands for attention would spoil the peace of this day, this rock, this quiet sky, these trees. Without them, a man on a mountain was content." "Human beings are very perverse. Shackle them and you have trouble. Leave them free, and they will shackle themselves." "Australians are incredibly economical with words, and also with diction and gestures. They open their mouths no more than is absolutely necessary, and rely on emphasis more than on explanatory gestures." "There is no better way of life in the world than that of the Australian. I firmly believe this. The grumbling, growling, cursing, profane, laughing, beer drinking, abusive, loyal-to-his-mates Australian is one of the few free men left on this earth. He fears no one, crawls to no one, bludges on no one, and acknowledges no master. Learn his way. Learn his language. Get yourself accepted as one of him; and you will enter a world that you never dreamed existed. And once you have entered it, you will never leave it." "There are hundreds of ways we could spend this sunny Sunday afternoon. Or we could just stay at home and do nothing. Perhaps that would be best of all. To rest on the seventh day. To thank God for letting us be here. To thank Him for letting me be an Australian. If I am ever fortunate enough to reach Heaven, I will know I am there when I hear Him say, 'Howyergoin'mate orright?"

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amos O'Henry

    I have read this classic a few times, seen the movie once. It is a shame that most Australians have probably never heard of it as we sure could use a good dose of laughter and honesty right now. It was written in the 1950s and is the fictional story of an Italian migrant to Australia who has to adapt to our weird and wonderful customs and lingo. It is often hilarious and painfully honest about the Australian character, something we seem to have buried nowadays under the bollocky political and cu I have read this classic a few times, seen the movie once. It is a shame that most Australians have probably never heard of it as we sure could use a good dose of laughter and honesty right now. It was written in the 1950s and is the fictional story of an Italian migrant to Australia who has to adapt to our weird and wonderful customs and lingo. It is often hilarious and painfully honest about the Australian character, something we seem to have buried nowadays under the bollocky political and cultural correctness of our times. It is also a hopeful and uplifting book that describes acceptance and understanding, from two foreign cultures, that ends in great friendships. Mates for life, forged through hard yakka, laughs and a few beers. It is a book for the ages, as relevant now as it was back then, and just as funny as ever.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    An Aussie classic. John O'Grady writes several stories under the pseudonym Nino Culotta, They're a Weird Mob is the fist in this series. An amusing and insightful look into early developing multicultural Australia, in particular Sydney. Nino arrives in Sydney tasked with writing articles for an Italian magazine. Keen and wide-eyed, Nino quickly finds himself in a labourers role amongst some blue blooded Aussie blokes, and the interaction between them makes for some wonderful examination of the Au An Aussie classic. John O'Grady writes several stories under the pseudonym Nino Culotta, They're a Weird Mob is the fist in this series. An amusing and insightful look into early developing multicultural Australia, in particular Sydney. Nino arrives in Sydney tasked with writing articles for an Italian magazine. Keen and wide-eyed, Nino quickly finds himself in a labourers role amongst some blue blooded Aussie blokes, and the interaction between them makes for some wonderful examination of the Australian vernacular. Fun, reasonably short, and Aussie to a T. Howyagoin'alrightmate?!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lorry Rule

    Loved this book! Being a fellow Migrant to Australia I could empathise with many of the situations of miscommunication that Nino found himself in. Full of wonderful insights, and such light hearted comedy, it was difficult to find any negative attributes. After the initial hurdle of language used, I found this Novel a really good read. *****

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ravi Mehta

    A fun read for anyone who’s ever lived in Australia and experienced the language (it’s not English) and its people. I do wish the book explored more Aussie culture and did not rush through the second half. I’m keen to see the movie based on this book as I think it could do more justice to the language nuances. I loved “the story” behind the creation of this book !!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Henry Skey

    Very entertaining, highly readable and extremely pleasant to read. I needed exactly this heading into a cold, dark winter - lots of laughs, a classic fish out of water story. Beautifully written and makes me want to visit Australia, or at least talk to Ross on the cricket team about his home country.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Interesting that in 1960 I was 14 and new to Australia. I felt at one with Nino in having issues with the language and thought the book very funny. 60 years later, the language is amusing, but what stands out now, is the mateship and the egalitarian society in Australia. I found it interesting that the author is an Aussie who's live in Aus all his life and not an italian migrant. Interesting that in 1960 I was 14 and new to Australia. I felt at one with Nino in having issues with the language and thought the book very funny. 60 years later, the language is amusing, but what stands out now, is the mateship and the egalitarian society in Australia. I found it interesting that the author is an Aussie who's live in Aus all his life and not an italian migrant.

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