30 November 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Jeff Kinney, author of the hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books – and one of Time magazine's top 100 most influential people – tells Nick McGrath why his stories resonate around the world

The parallels between unassuming middle child Jeff Kinney and his star-crossed fictional anti-hero Greg Heffley are too arresting to ignore. With his preppy shirts, earnest, toothy grin and diffident manner, Kinney – a 41-year-old father of two and self-confessed former computer games addict – was probably never picked first for the school football team.

Heffley, a luckless video games fanatic frozen in cartoon time as the simplistically drawn adolescent protagonist of Kinney's phenomenally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, is similarly flawed and – however hard he tries – rarely penetrates beyond the outer fringes of the in-crowd.

Belittled by his cooler, tougher elder brother Rodrick, frustrated by his mollycoddled younger brother Manny and ignored by the class catch Holly Hills »

- Nick McGrath

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