Book Review – Doodling
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: Jonathan Gould
Struggling to keep up with the ever increasing pace of the world, Neville Lansdowne eventually gives in, lets go, and the world literally leaves him behind to fend for himself. At first, Neville doesn’t know what to do; Earth is all he has ever known though lately it was hard to enjoy as it moved so fast around him. But Neville soon realizes his not the only one to have been thrown off. Others have left before him and they populate the universe on various asteroids and planets trying to make the best of life after the world has left them. As Earth continues increasing its pace, it threatens to destroy itself and all who have left. Can Neville and the others save their old world and themselves?
Jonathan Gould’s Doodling is a modern day parable exploring what happens when one lives to work instead of works to live. In tongue and cheek fashion, Gould exposes Lansdowne to the outrageous characters in the universe that if he is not too careful, he could quickly become. There are the “toaster” people who illustrate how crazy our lives can be when consumption of “things” become religion. Then there is the aimless asteroid where it is impossible to know where one is going because there is no destination. Finally, there is an intriguing look at what happens when responsibility and self sacrifice can become self destructive.
Doodling is an entertaining, light, yet deep novel. After first reading, it seems like just a quick fun romp through Gould’s imagination, but upon reflection layers of messages reveal themselves. I can’t pigeon hole Doodling into one genre but to me it felt like an adult version of the Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Currently, $0.99 on Kindle it is well worth a read.