Just off the boat from Italy—the north—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. Introduction by Jacinta Tynan.
John O'Grady (Nino Culotta) was born in Waverley on 9 October 1907. He wrote for most of his adult life, but did not publish a book until he dreamed up They’re a Weird Mob to win a bet. He was fifty when it came out. It remains one of the most successful titles in Australian publishing history. In 1959 he published his famous comic poem ‘The Integrated Adjective’, better known as ‘Tumba Bloody Rumba’ in the Bulletin. He died in Sydney in 1981.
Jacinta Tynan is an author, columnist for Sunday Life, and news presenter on Sky News. Her first book, Good Man Hunting, a memoir about looking for love, earned her the accolade ‘Australia’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw’. Her second book, Some Girls Do: My Life as a Teenager is an anthology of female authors writing the true story of their adolescence. Jacinta is regarded as a commentator for her generation.
‘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
They’re a wierd mob - a term of endearment
A heartwarming and amusing story with a clear message about where we are going wrong with our migration policy in 2023. Check out the last three pages for some clear and simple advice on what we should be striving to protect in Australia. I first read this book over 50 years ago I think. Re-reading it now was even more enjoyable, moving and meaningful. Highly recommended.
Laugh and Learn
About 60 years ago I first read this and have wanted to read again ever since. So I bought a new book and I am sure learnt and laughed as much as the first time. I will insist my grandchildren read this marvellous gem.
They're a Weird Mob
At first this seems like an out of date story from times past.
It is probably the most accurate look at how others see our great country.
A masterpiece for all to enjoy.
Probably need a 2nd read to really appreciate it but it is well worth the investment.
The movie is a classic as well.