Jonah from Tonga 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 27, 2014


Author  Chris Lilley

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781760111779
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    


Yes, well what can one say about a graphic novel full of this totally uncouth, to use an old fashioned word, youth who seems to have some sort of appeal to the ‘whatever’ generation. Looking below the obvious, which you have to do unless you enjoy reading a lot of expletive, the underlying message seems to be a total ‘up yours’, towards the establishment, portraying that anarchy rules or at least should, in his family and surroundings at least.

You’ve kind of got it once you realise it is a social commentary on the way society has gone, or at the very least is heading, when in spite of everyone best efforts towards the hopeless case that is Jonah, he seems to be on a self-motivated pathway to destruction. Somehow he seems to be able to wreak havoc wherever he goes, even Tonga, where is sent to his relatives after going just that one step too far.

His new school on Tonga is simply fresh territory and his behaviour there finally gets him returned to Australia where he goes from bad to worse, eventually ending up in more trouble than even he had considered.

Funny, irreverent, and somehow a little sad, as all Jonah really wants to do in his dysfunctional way, is to make his family proud of him. He so wants Moses to go to LA for a record deal, but does not realise breaking the law is not the way forward, landing both himself and Moses in ‘juvie’ for his efforts.

Does a little something good finally come out of all this? Thankfully it does, until Moses is given a laptop computer to help with him with his learning difficulties and the boys discover there is more to the world than life in their patch of Sydney.

 Jonah now has dreams of becoming an astronaut and anarchy has taken on a whole new meaning in the family.

For those fans of Jonah from Tonga, you will totally love this book, for others, well, it is a specialist kind of cult after all, isn’t it!