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They're A Weird Mob

They’re A Weird Mob: Text Classics

Nino Culotta

Introduction by Jacinta Tynan

Who the hell’s Nino Culotta. That’s what you asked yourself when you first picked up this book, wasn’t it? Well I’m Nino Culotta. My father baptised me Giovanni—John—well Giovannino is like Johnny, and Nino is an easier way of saying it. Or a lazier way, if you like.

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.

Watch film clips from the 1966 film production of They’re a Weird mob on australianscreen, a website operated by the National Film and Sound Archive.

About the Author

John O’Grady was born in Waverley on 9 October 1907. Soon afterwards his father resigned from his job as editor of the New South Wales Agricultural Gazette and moved the family to a remote farm in the Peel Valley near Tamworth, where he was eventually to go broke.

John was educated at home by his father along with several of his seven brothers...

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Text publication date:
26 April 2012
First published:
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Praise for Nino Culotta
andThey’re A Weird Mob

‘A riotous comedy.’

‘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’.’

‘…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.’

Other editions ofThey’re A Weird Mob
  • They're A Weird Mob
    ISBN: 9781921921346
    26 April 2012
    Buy ebook