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  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761043536
  • Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $32.99

Here Goes Nothing

The virtuoso new novel from the author of the Booker-shortlisted A Fraction of the Whole.

'Nobody was ever thinking about me. Now that I’m dead, I dwell on this kind of thing a lot.'
Angus Mooney is in a dark place: the afterlife. His days are spent in aching embarrassment; god, religion, the supernatural – he was wrong about everything. He longs for his audacious, fiery wife, Gracie, but can only watch from the other side as she is seduced by his killer, who has stepped seamlessly into Mooney’s shoes.
Meanwhile, life after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Another pandemic is sweeping the globe; Mooney’s new home is filling up fast, resources are scarce, infrastructure is crumbling, and he has to share an increasingly cramped existence with a group of people still traumatised by their own deaths. And although he should know better, he remains in the grip of the same fear as when he was alive: the opinions of others.
Narrated with the ironic hindsight afforded by life beyond the mortal plane, Here Goes Nothing is a razor-sharp, hilariously entertaining, insightful and moving meditation on our 21st-century world, and the intricate relationship between love and death.

  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761043536
  • Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Steve Toltz

Steve Toltz was born in Sydney, Australia in 1972. His first novel, A Fraction of the Whole, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, Quicksand, won the 2017 Russell Prize for Humour.

Also by Steve Toltz

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Praise for Here Goes Nothing

One of the funniest and most original writers at work today.

Robbie Millen, The Times

Toltz’s wit and black humor transform a morbid premise into a rollicking ride. The result is an audaciously creative imagining of what awaits after death.

Publishers Weekly

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

Toltz revels in the irony of an afterlife skeptic forced into a ghastly second act. Angus’ narration is thick with zingy one-liners pointing up the absurdity of it all . . . Less a novel of ideas than an exploration of big feels.

Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

Here Goes Nothing will likely work to cement Toltz’s reputation as an exceptional comic writer.

Julian Novitz, The Conversation

Dark, twisted and hilarious . . . smart, imaginative and funny, unafraid to lob a literary grenade into hard-held beliefs of humankind. Toltz 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

Blasts away at pretty much all of our current received wisdoms . . . 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

Reversing the ghost story so the haunting is seen from the ghost’s perspective is a neat touch, and while literary characters have been popping into the underworld since at least the time of Homer, Toltz refreshingly posits an afterlife without any religious scaffolding . . . As the story zigzags on its relentless satirical and metaphysical course, Toltz 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 Review

Toltz's vision of the near future and the afterlife is surreal, sharply funny and as dark as the grave. Fans of noir fiction and quirky thrillers, such as Adam Sternbergh's Shovel Ready, will dig right in.

Kristen Allen-Vogel, Shelf Awareness

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.

Lee Langley, The Spectator

A witty and darkly comic meditation on love, death, and the afterlife . . . Here Goes Nothing is a thought-provoking work that’s perfect for anyone whose dim view of our planetary existence is tempered by hope in something better than a doctrinaire ending.

Doreen Sheridan, Criminal Element

Awards & recognition

Aurealis Awards

Shortlisted  •  2022  •  Presented for science fiction, fantasy and horror writing in Australia

Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award

Longlisted  •  2022  •  Presented by Waverley Council

Russell Prize for Humour Writing

Shortlisted  •  2023  •  Australia’s only humour writing prize

The Voss Literary Prize

Longlisted  •  2023  •  Awarded to the best novel from the previous year.

Discover more

Award-winning and shortlisted books of 2022

Discover the best Penguin Random House books of 2022 with this list of award-winning and shortlisted titles this year.

2022 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award shortlist announced

Here Goes Nothing by Steve Totlz has been awarded the $1,000 Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize.

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How author abandons classic notions of the afterlife in Here Goes Nothing

Steve Toltz shares his inspiration for the afterlife, how he freed his characters from technology, and how he envisioned a near-future world in his new novel, Here Goes Nothing.