Not a Review: Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert

Johnny NothingI don’t really do reviews. I will post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc, but my blog doesn’t seem to be a place that I will ever review other author’s books. Maybe if I feel like I need to I’ll start a separate blog.

AnyWHO, I did want to tell you what I thought of Johnny Nothing. No . . . I want to think out loud about what the story seemed to be getting at underneath all the middle school boy potty humor (Yes, boys will find this hilarious. Yes, there is humor inserted just for us parents).

Mr. Probert thinks deeply about things, I can tell. I haven’t read any of his other books, but Johnny Nothing is a call to social change. He’s not throwing it in your face or ramming it down your throat. He’s using his skills with humor, puns, and satire to remind us, the readers, of the true meaning of generosity.

His characters have names that are have a strong resemblance to those characters Charles Dickens has created. Examples are Ebenezer Dark, Uncle Marley, etc.

Dickens was an author who used his stories to subtly encourage social change, too. I am a Charles Dickens fan, so this works very much in Mr. Probert’s favor. 🙂

While I’m not exactly a fan of farting, vomiting, and nose-picking-type humor, I am not opposed to it. I get (understand) why Ian Probert uses it for writing to this age-bracket. Boys (and some girls) like to snicker over such things. He throws in plenty of humor that Mom and Dad can appreciate, too. Eventually, I’ll let my boys read this, but not until I’m sure they know the difference between humor and a really bad idea. haha!

At this point, I’d say Johnny Nothing is a quick read and worth the point the story is ultimately leading the reader to discover: Having Everything doesn’t make you Somebody. Have Nothing doesn’t make you Nobody. And generosity is the Something worth having.

I don’t know, Ian Probert, what do you think? Did I miss the point?

13 responses to “Not a Review: Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert”

  1. […] I also talked about his previous book, Johnny Nothing. […]


  2. Yes Rachel. Social change is what I’m really after. Behind the attempted humour I’m trying to get those kids to look at our social structure with a critical eye.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You married the two desires for humor and societal awareness together very well. Your humour is much appreciated, and more so, the ideas conveyed throughout. As a mom, it’s important for me to teach my kids the joy of generosity and kindness. I love it when fun stories give them a reinforcement of positive change without it being an outright “here’s the lesson, kids.” 🙂


    2. Also, it wasn’t just attempted humor! It was funny! I did laugh, getting many of the jokes I know my kids would miss. I just have a vivid imagination so some things make me go ewwwww before I can laugh. haha 🙂


  3. Hmm, this is the first I’ve heard of this. It doesn’t sound like my usual sort of thing, but the connection to Dickens intrigues me. I haven’t read much Dickens, but I intend to,, I like the themes of social change and justice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should really read it then, Phoenix. There are plenty of things in there that will have you saying, “oh! Ha!” It’s a quick read, too. 🙂


  4. I’ve read a couple other reviews about Johnny Nothing and they were positive too. I am intrigued and want to read it. The trouble is when. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s actually a really quick read at just one hundred some odd pages. I just read it for a few (2-3) hours yesterday and finished it this morning. I only had a couple pages left. 🙂


      1. Another title to add to my TBR list. So much great reading and not enough time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That is something I fully understand!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Haha, you made me think of Pepe Le Peu ( I have no idea how to spell his name! ). Le Sigh.


            2. 😀 😀 😀 I don’t know how to spell his name either.

              Liked by 1 person

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