The Next Big Thing

James Colley

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?

This debut romcom from comedy writer James Colley undersands instinctively the law of comedic profusion .... so full of warmth and appealing wit it might well be the next big thing.

- Sydney Morning Herald

A breezy, funny and sweet befut: a Castle/Dish-style Aussie romcom about a guy called Norman who has big dreams for his tiny, struggling outback town ... the payoff is delicious.

- Guardian

The Next Big THing is the kind of alugh-out-loud book you need at the start of a year.

- ArtsHub

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James Colley

James Colley is a comedy writer from Western Sydney known for work on Gruen, Summer Love, Question Everything, The 1% Club and The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, as well as regular columns for the Sydney Morning Herald. The Next Big Thing is his debut novel.

Pantera Press

Pantera Press is a young and enthusiastic publisher of titles that spark imagination, conversation and change. We publish fiction, non-fiction, illustrated non-fiction and a growing list of children’s titles.

The Next Big Thing
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Katy McEwen