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The Next Big Thing
A boy. A girl. A big attraction.
Part young-love rom-com, part David and Goliath story, The Next Big Thing is a heartwarming, hilarious, quintessentially Australian debut.
NORM has lived in Norman his whole life. It’s where he grew up with his dad, where he went to school and met his best friend Ella. But the town is dying: the river has dried up, and with it all the jobs.
One night at the pub, on the anniversary of his dad’s death, Norm announces a plan. He’s going to build a Big Thing – like Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana or Ballina’s Big Prawn – to drive tourism to the town and give it a future. And to show Ella that she could have a future here too, maybe even with him.
ELLA, meanwhile, plans to leave Norman for the big smoke. She’s tired of being a big fish in a small pond, especially when that pond is running out of water.
Ella encourages Norm’s big idea nonetheless. If it works, Norm will have a four-metre-high reminder of her. And if not, at least they’ll have one last perfect summer together.
Will Norm from Norman build a Big Thing in time to save his town, and to convince the girl of his dreams she belongs here too – or is it too late?
‘WOW. This book will become an Aussie classic, alongside The Castle, Vegemite and Steve Irwin. Run, don’t walk to the bookstore. I laughed, I got teary and I cheered for the underdogs in this heartwarming story of overcoming adversity, following your dreams and fighting for what matters to you. Everything is big in The Next Big Thing – the humour, the heart and the smile you’ll have when you finish reading.’ Rachael Johns
‘The Next Big Thing is simply adorable. In it, James Colley gently captures the messy, ridiculous, melancholic yet joyful heart of small-town Australia and in doing so pays a well-deserved tribute to one of The Greats. This is a novel with the perfect amount of nostalgia and full of characters you can’t help but love.’ Jan Fran
‘Poignant and delightful, The Next Big Thing crackles with warmth and wry, gentle humour – a gem.’ First Dog on the Moon
‘James Colley is one of the funniest TV writers in Australia. Frankly I’m surprised he had the attention span for a whole book, but by God he’s done it!’ Annabel Crabb