Summary : Giovanni 'Nino' Culotta is an Italian immigrant, who comes to Australia as a journalist, employed by an Italian publishing house, to write articles about Australians and their way of life for those Italians that might want to emigrate to Australia. In order to learn about real Australians, Nino takes a job as a brickie's labourer with a man named Joe Kennedy. The comedy of the novel revolves around his attempts to understand English as it was spoken in Australia by the working classes in the 1950s and 1960s. Nino had previously only learned 'good' English from a textbook. The novel is a social commentary on Australian society of the period; specifically male, working class society. Women mostly feature as cameos in the story with the exception of Kay (whose surname is not revealed in the novel), who becomes Nino's wife. In the novel, Nino meets Kay in a cafe in Manly and their introduction is effected by Nino trying to teach Kay that she cannot eat spaghetti using a spoon. The final message of the novel is that immigrants to Australia should count themselves fortunate and should make efforts to assimilate into Australian society, including learning to speak Australian English. However, there is also a satirical undercurrent aimed at Australian society as a country of migrants.