Publication Date: 23/03/2023 ISBN: 9781529371604 Category:

Here Goes Nothing

Steve Toltz

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 23/03/2023 ISBN: 9781529371604 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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‘One of the funniest and most original writers at work today’ The Times

A firecracker of a novel by the Booker-shortlisted author of A Fraction of the Whole – a scathingly funny and affecting tale of life, death, love and the questionable existence of God.

Angus Mooney is not happy – he’s been murdered, cut off in the prime of his life. He feels humiliated – he’s never even believed in an afterlife. (How wrong he’d been). He’s confused – death has provided more questions than answers. And he desperately misses his audacious and fiery wife, Gracie, who’s expecting their first child.

The only upside is that Angus has found a way to see what his murderer is up to, and how Gracie is faring. The downside: Gracie and his murderer are getting uncomfortably close, and a worldwide pandemic means the afterlife is about to get very crowded . . .

‘Toltz takes his time with each book and Here Goes Nothing is a funny, clever, entertaining argument in favour of cultivating the patience to get it right’ Guardian

Publisher Review

Steve Toltz's fabulously impressive third novel cannonballs straight into heady existential questions, magicking up a vision of human life at once generous and absurd while wearing its considerable ambition lightly . . . Toltz takes his time with each book and Here Goes Nothing is a funny, clever, entertaining argument in favour of cultivating the patience to get it right. -- Rob Doyle * Guardian * A morbidly two-fisted tour de force . . . energetically full of sardonic one-liners . . . it reeks of mortality, but it is thoroughly bracing. -- Phil Baker * Sunday Times * Savagely comic . . . Here Goes Nothing is a Jeremiad with jokes . . . But when the story focuses on the end of days on Earth, Toltz abandons existential standup for the detailed horror of what we all might have faced if Covid had triumphed. Wider questions persist about what it means to be alive. * Spectator * In his three books (alas, too few) Steve Toltz has shown that he is one of the funniest and most original writers at work today. -- Robbie Millen * The Times * Toltz refreshingly posits an afterlife without any religious scaffolding . . . He conjures up scenes few other novelists would dare to imagine, let alone write . . . In a book full of narrative tricks, Toltz saves the best, or strangest, for last. -- Suzi Feay * Financial Times * Steve Toltz's first two novels . . . were filled to the brim with exuberant sentences, dark jokes, large philosophical ideas and wildly imaginative, often lurid incidents . . . Now, with Here Goes Nothing he pulls off the same trick again . . . While Toltz obviously has a serious purpose - to rub our noses in what a mess we've collectively made of being alive - his usual high quotient of fizzing one-liners ensures that not many pages go by without at least one laugh -- James Walton * The Times * The greatest Mitteleuropean novelist ever to have come from Australia . . . Toltz's great skill is to make [his] monsters in a lunatic way loveable . . . I read the final pages through a veil of tears. Of course, the flipside to such remorseless, brilliantly withering contempt is sentimentality. It is perhaps the most difficult genre to do well, and Toltz does it humanely, compassionately and unforgettably. -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday * Toltz is the king of pitch-black comedy and personal catastrophe . . . his new novel grapples with big existential questions but is also stuffed with zingers. If there's no cure for being alive, laughter is still the best medicine. -- Justine Jordan * Guardian * A wildly comic riff on love, mortality and metaphysics; an extended vision of the afterlife that resembles Dante on magic mushrooms . . . Thought-provoking, inventive and full of literary pyrotechnics, this remarkable novel is unlike anything you will read this year. -- Simon Humphreys * Mail on Sunday * Sizzles with black comedy and anarchic energy * Guardian, Hot New Books for the Summer * A moving meditation on all that is wrong with our world today . . . In its epic scope charting this life and beyond, Here Goes Nothing works as a smart social commentary on our fossil fuel-guzzling, warmongering, information-obsessed, pandemic-riddled world. It is a hugely timely book. -- Sarah Gilmartin * Irish Times * I honestly think you have to resort to the likes of Oscar Wilde to find so many maxims per minute in a narrative. The book is the ideal guide to living and dying and living again in this parlous age. * Steve Stern * Clever lines drop down on these pages like flowers thrown on a casket . . . [a] zany, increasingly dark comedy * Washington Post * Dark, twisted and hilarious . . . Toltz is smart, imaginative and funny, unafraid to lob a literary grenade into hard-held beliefs of humankind. He uses Here Goes Nothing as a jumping-off point to parody the perversity and stubbornness of human nature and to highlight our uneasy relationship with mortality. Think of it as a comic, modern-day Divine Comedy with more intercourse and fewer opportunities to reach Paradise. -- Connie Ogle * Star Tribune * A story about the afterlife is ambitious enough but to make this so effortlessly funny is quite an achievement. * Penelope Debelle, Herald Sun (Australia) * What should survive of our past when we can start again from scratch? What do the dead owe the living? The answers Toltz provides are provisional, bleak and often hilarious, but they are never superficial. Here Goes Nothing reads like late-phase Saul Bellow in that it is brilliantly febrile and argumentative, though pessimistic when it comes to the human condition. Yet the implications of its character's actions are at variance to the general melancholy, and gloriously so. -- Geordie Williamson * Australian *

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