Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

An Audience with a Geek Chic Author

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

An Audience with a Geek Chic Author

Article excerpt

Byline: Susie Mesure of The Independent

I PITY Jeff Kinneyas sons. Itas hard enough growing up, without worrying that your merest indiscretion might get immortalised in one of the worldas best-selling books, especially when said work mocks the exploits of one Greg Heffley, aka the Wimpy Kid.

Such is the peril of having a father who earns his living poking fun at the everyday angst of a boy approaching adolescence, not that the dad in question seems the least bit perturbed.

aItas funny you should ask,a he says in his monotone American twang, inviting me to laugh at a story involving his oldest child, a amock spanka, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll and an audience of some 30,000 people.

The sons a aged 10 and seven a were sitting next to Kinney, 41, during a book reading on the famous lawn. Head charged them to behave, and thought theyad pulled it off, but a video clip on the White House website suggests otherwise.

aMy younger son bends over to look at the book on my lap and my older son seizes the opportunity and mock spanks him. My son is embarrassed when I talk about it but I say, a[approximately]Hey, you did it for the public. You have to live with it.aa

The mind boggles at what else the 10-year-old Will might have to live with now that heas approaching the same age as his fatheras notorious pen-and-ink creation. In the latest instalment of Gregas escapades, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel a which outsold every other book in the UK in the first two weeks it was published a chicken pox, pimples and an inability to score a date for the school dance are just a few of the plights that befall Kinneyas anti-hero.

Cringe-worthy stuff but hugely popular: a total of more than 75 million Wimpy Kid books have been sold in more than 44 countries around the world and UK sales top 10 million. Children canat get enough of Heffleyas adventures or, rather his misadventures, which generally invite ridicule. The hapless middle child cuts a gauche line between his tougher older brother, Rodrick, and his spoiled younger sibling, Manny, against the backdrop of that trickiest of pre-teenage breeding grounds, the American middle school. …

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