The Opposite of Success

Eleanor Elliott Thomas

The Opposite of Success
Text Publishing
3 October 2023

The Opposite of Success

Eleanor Elliott Thomas

Wickedly sharp and absurdly funny, The Opposite of Success introduces a sensational new voice to remind us that failure is always an option.

All Lorrie wants is to get promoted, accept her body and end global warming. By Friday. Is that really too much to ask?

Council employee Lorrie Hope has a great partner, two adorable kids and absolutely no idea what to do with her life. This Friday, she's hoping for change- it's launch day for her big work project, and she's applied for a promotion she's not entirely sure she wants. Meanwhile, her best friend, Alex, is stuck in a mess involving Lorrie's rakish ex, Ruben-or, more accurately, his wife. Oh, and Ruben's boss happens to be the mining magnate Sebastian Glup, who is sponsoring Lorrie's project...

As the day spirals from bad to worse to frankly unhinged, Lorrie and Alex must reconsider what they can expect from life, love and middle management. The Opposite of Success is a riotously funny debut novel about work, motherhood, friendship-and the meaning of failure itself.


I was on page two of Eleanor Elliott Thomas’s debut novel The Opposite of Success when I laughed out loud for the first time. By page five, I was reading paragraphs aloud to my partner. I found this story about motherhood, love, friendship, and middle-management desperately relatable, and by the end of the first chapter I had a new favourite Australian author.

Council worker Lorrie is in line for a promotion that she’s not entirely sure she wants. She’s well-liked, a hard worker, and her pet project – to install community gardens on the rooftops of high rises around the city – will culminate in a fancy party hosted by noxious mining magnate Sebastian Glup that very night.

Lorrie’s best friend Alex, a nihilistic documentary maker who is working on a film about a group of eco-terrorists calling themselves the Earthlings, is determined to be in attendance; partially to interview Glup, but also because she suspects the Earthlings have something big planned for the night.

Taking place over a single day, The Opposite of Success is a firecracker of a book that crackles with quick-fire dialogue, gorgeously rendered details, and is liberally peppered throughout with precise and enjoyably unexpected similes.

Wonderfully grounded in the familiar surrounds of Melbourne and populated by characters so familiar I’m almost entirely sure I’d recognise them if I saw them walking down the street, The Opposite of Success is a wildly enjoyable book about trying to live your best life when it feels like the world is spinning inexorably towards destruction.

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