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.
Praise for Here Goes Nothing
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
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