Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Zigzag Street” as Want to Read:
Zigzag Street
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Zigzag Street

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  784 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Richard Derrington's doing it tough.

Since Anna trashed him his job seems pointles, Tuesday seems moderately fucked by ten, his tennis appalling.....long periods of complete crap, punctuated by flashes of very random glory and the future bleka.

This is a hiatus? There I was thinking I was sinking and it's just a hiatus.

Apart from his friens, the only thing keeping Richard go
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 6th 1998 by Pan Books (first published 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Zigzag Street, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Zigzag Street

48 Shades of Brown by Nick EarlsThe Beach House by Helen McKennaWings of Fear by Helene YoungThornwood House by Anna RomerA Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Queensland Fiction
7th out of 50 books — 43 voters
Johnno by David MaloufHe Died With A Felafel In His Hand by John BirminghamZigzag Street by Nick EarlsBachelor Kisses by Nick EarlsThe Mayne Inheritance by Rosamond Siemon
Brisbane Stories
3rd out of 28 books — 17 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,104)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 06, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
Almost slapstick in some places yet very poignant in others, this is a novel I have read and re-read many a time.

Rick is a twenty-something corporate lawyer - and a much more engaging and likable character than that description perhaps implies. Recently dumped by his long term girlfriend Anna, he lurches from one debacle to another as he struggles to come to terms with his singledom.

In between 'renovating' the home that belonged to his recently deceased grandmother, Rick falls for his boss, play
Michael Mcclelland
Aug 01, 2011 Michael Mcclelland rated it it was amazing
One of the very few books that I find worthwhile re-reading. Also one of the very few books that caused me physical pain (in a good way, through laughing so hard). Even now, into what must be double-figure re-reads, there's still hearty chuckles. I've loaned my copy to a dozen or more people with different reading preferences, from different countries, with different first languages even, and all who've taken the time to read it (yes, I'm excluding YOU pair, who found the first 30 pages too depr ...more
Michaela Shea
Jul 15, 2011 Michaela Shea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone living in Brisbane who's been to uni.
Recommended to Michaela by: My mum
It's great to read a book based in Bris vegas rather than Sydney, Melbourne, the US or the UK. Nick Earls captures the heat, the group dinners with too much alcohol and the ridiculously steep hills around Zig Zag street. I finally read this after resisting for so long. It gave me pangs for my uncomplicated past when being dumped seemed like the end of the world. It lurches from funny to sad to "why the hell are you doing that?" but I have to wonder, do men really talk to each other like that? Ab ...more
Robyn Philip
3.5 stars
This is very enjoyable book. It's funny, imaginative, full of self-deprecation, well structured, and there's a rhythm to the language that I like. Nick Earl's is a Brisbane institution but I've only just found him.

I thought the first half of the book was the best, where Richard Derrington, a 20 something, bumbles about his life in a sad-sack way. He's lost his girlfriend and is now failing to thrive in most aspects of his Brisbane existence. He lives on popcorn, Tim Tams and the occasio
Aug 14, 2016 Emlikescake rated it it was amazing
I just re-read this for the first time in many years, and loved it even more than I used to. I laughed just as hard, but this came out when I was in Grade 11, so back then I didn't get the loneliness and the heartbreak and the utter shit of being dumped. I love this book. So much. But now I'm a bit homesick. Bummer.
Jan 27, 2014 Lightblue rated it liked it
Shelves: lingua_originale
Take it easy
Note negative: la storia è talmente povera che si potrebbe riassumere in due parole.
Note positive: pur non parlando praticamente di nulla, l'autore lo fa in modo ironico e pungente, con un senso dell'umorismo mai banale.
Prestato da mio cognato
Jun 28, 2008 Kerry rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Emo's
life from a whiny/whingers point of view - perfect for Emo's who feel everything in life is stacked up against them and people who are so utterly useless thay fail to seize the day - any day that is ;-)
Jul 20, 2014 Tara rated it liked it
I can't endorse the review of "laugh out loud funny", but it was amusing and filled a lull between books.
Jill Smith
Apr 23, 2013 Jill Smith rated it really liked it
This is a real laugh, the situations twenty-eight year old and very single Richard Derrington gets into, have you giggling throughout. He is clearly an over thinker.

Everything Richard Derrington does is a disaster. He just can’t get his had together since Anna left. His work is a computer game filled blur, and his attempts to renovate his Grandmother’s home are entirely unproductive. His mother only lets him live there so that he can do up the place the colours she’s chosen. Somehow Richard lik
Jun 25, 2012 TheMadHatter rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 2.5

If you are in your late 20s/30s and have lived in Brisbane then this book will seem very familiar to you - we have all lived it. There are some serious laugh-out-loud moments and it is interesting to get a male take on the whole dating/relationship scene.

However, the writing of conversations in this book (using italics to represent different speakers) really annoyed the hell out of me. I found it hard to follow who was saying what and whether it was a thought or something he a
Donna Spencer
Jun 07, 2014 Donna Spencer rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favourite books & one that I re-read when I want a laugh. I'm just a bit careful about reading some of it in public as I know I'll laugh out loud!
Lucien Romano
A mate in Brissie recommended this, so I gave it a go and tried hard to like it. The style is readable and there are some funny moments, but as a normally positive person myself, the protagonist's relentless parade of dysfunctional self-pity eventually wore me down. I kept reading in the hope that things would eventually get better, but it didn't happen and I ran out of patience because there are so many other things I want to read.

If Schadenfreude is your thing, you might love this, but I could
Jessica Kate
Feb 14, 2014 Jessica Kate rated it liked it
I found myself rooting for Richard, waiting for someone to come along and make him happy. I loved reading a book set where I live.

Great Australian writing.
Patrick Book
Apr 06, 2016 Patrick Book rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This book is adorable and emotionally honest and relatable. I've never identified so much with a piece of Australian culture. Suck it, Baz Luhrmann!
Pamela Briant
This is the second time I have read this book and I laughed just as much the second time around.
Jul 30, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
Liked this one more than some of his others. Found this one very amusing at the time.
Damien Ayers
Aug 27, 2013 Damien Ayers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has been on my radar for a while, I lived around the corner from Zigzag St and heard it was an entertaining read.

Not knowing quite what to expect, I slipped into familiar surroundings, albeit several years before I lived here. The dialogue characterises this as 'world of snark' trope, and there were echoes of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, one of my favourite movies, in scenes of chaos and wit the protagonist finds himself in.

Recommended for anyone familiar with Brisban
Claudi Feldhaus
Jun 22, 2016 Claudi Feldhaus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eloquent, fortschrittlich und witzig - so mag ich das!
Dec 03, 2013 Clio added it
Shelves: 2013
Nostalgic blast from the past Earls. I love his awkward fumbling heros, and his long rambling thought processes that typify his writing. Zigzag st is fun, full of classic lines and cring-worthy moments. It's true, I love a crap character, and Rick is no exception.
I listened to the audio of this book, and often my partner and I both stopped whatever we were doing just to listen in mounting laughter to the story. A great fun book, really captures the early '90s Brisbane, even though I wasn't ther
Aug 18, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it
As a 16 year old high school student I (was made to) read Nick Earls classic tale of a slightly crap 28 year old living in inner-western Brisbane. At the time I remember not being entirely impressed. However being now 28 and living in the inner western suburbs of Brisbane I figured I owed the book a re-read and found myself laughing out loud at parts and identifying a little too much at others.
Definitely worth a read if you are in your twenties and live in Brisbane.
Meredith Walker
Aug 24, 2012 Meredith Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I love how Nick Earls writes. He lets you into the Richard/Rick/Ricky’s post-relationship head, especially due to its first person, present tense narrative style. He also describes Brisbane exactly the way it is/was. Being set in Brisbane means that references to cricket, Timtams and The Triffids will be lost on some readers but if not, they are a huge asset to the likeability of this tale. It is an engaging, genuinely funny book.
Bronwyn Rykiert
This story took a bit to get into and I don't know even at the end if I was actually into it or not. Richard has recently broken up with his girlfriend, he has been trashed as he tells it. He tells us how he is feeling which is not very good and even when he meets Rachael he's not sure how he should feel.

I have to admit that I am glad that I have finished it.

Fiona Lowe
I always enjoy Nick Earls
Jan 12, 2016 4ZZZ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-fiction, australia
Read this back in the day. I recall that at the time it was very important but I came out thinking it was just "nice"
Jun 06, 2012 Evelyn rated it liked it
This is a warm, fuzzy, feel good kind of book. At times I laughed out loud, but I also enjoyed the more poignant moments, like the hair brushing scene.

I had the audiobook version and was amused that while the reader got the pronouciation of "Toowong" right this time he stuffed up "St Lucia".
Jul 12, 2012 Rochelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh I loved this book. It reverberated to my core with me in my early 20's.....I felt like I was living in a Nick Earls book. I understood his characters cos they were me and my friends....I lent this to my brother and thought it was stupid!!! Ah, the relevance of a time!
May 04, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite young when I read this book but I still remember reading this book on the bus and laughing out loud. The person next to me asked me for the name of the book so they could buy it.
Apr 02, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it
I recommend as laugh out loud funny.
Check out the full review at
Zigzag Street
Stephen Carlyon
I used to live a block away from Zig Zag street in red hill. Earls gets the character of the suburb down perfectly. Still a pretty dopey story, but easy going and good fun.
Nov 21, 2013 Melinda rated it liked it
I needed a good laugh and this is what I got. Light and humorous in an Aussie kind of a way. I've enjoyed a few Nick Earl novels over the years - this is one of his best.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 36 37 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dark Palace
  • He Died With A Felafel In His Hand
  • Last Drinks
  • The Drowner
  • The Great World
  • Poor Man's Orange
  • Dark Places
  • Stiff (Murray Whelan, #1)
  • Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
  • Maurice Guest
  • The Lucky Country
  • The Fine Colour of Rust
  • The Girl Most Likely
  • The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
  • Too Many Men: A Novel
  • How to Make Gravy
  • Drylands
  • The Twyborn Affair
Nick Earls is the author of twelve books, including bestselling novels such as Zigzag Street, Bachelor Kisses, Perfect Skin and World of Chickens. His work has been published internationally in English and also in translation, and this led to him being a finalist in the Premier of Queensland’s Awards for Export Achievement in 1999.

Zigzag Street won a Betty Trask Award in the UK in 1998, and is cur
More about Nick Earls...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »