Read Doodling by JonathanGould Online


Doodling by Jonathan Gould gives us a fantastically funny social satire that never takes itself too seriously. - Neville Lansdowne fell off the world. Actually he did not so much fall off as let go. The world had been moving so quickly lately and Neville was finding it almost impossible to keep up. Doodling is an engaging comic fantasy which relateDoodling by Jonathan Gould gives us a fantastically funny social satire that never takes itself too seriously. - Neville Lansdowne fell off the world. Actually he did not so much fall off as let go. The world had been moving so quickly lately and Neville was finding it almost impossible to keep up. Doodling is an engaging comic fantasy which relates the events that befall Neville after he finds himself abandoned by the world and adrift in the middle of an asteroid field. Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll (with just a touch of Gulliver’s Travels) as Neville wanders through his new home, meeting a variety of eccentric characters and experiencing some most unexpected adventures. I don't think I've ever described something as a "romp" before, but the word definitely applies to the experience of reading Doodling. - I found myself cheering on Neville and his team, and would recommend Doodling to anyone who enjoys a fun read. - I have to say, it was truly delightful!...Please don't deny yourself a little break from this hectic world with a bit of Doodling. - ** If you like humorous pop culture-inspired fantasy, you should also search for Toonopolis by Jeremy Rodden! ** If you enjoy comic inspired sci-fi, you should also search for Excelsior by George Sirois! ** If you enjoy superhuman urban fantasy, you should also search for Darwin's Children by Natasha Larry! *** SEPTEMBER 2 – 5 ONLY *** The first ever INDIE BOOK BLOWOUT – To celebrate this exciting event, I’ve reduced the price on my book to only 99¢! Yes, it’s a weekend to remember! To score dozens of FANTASTIC indie books for only 99¢, visit While you’re there, register to win a brand new Kindle & up to $ 100 in Gift Cards (entry form on the site)....

Title : Doodling
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 10880532
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 59 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Doodling Reviews

  • Katy
    2019-02-17 07:35

    Please note: Originally read and reviewed August, 2011; making some minor corrections to the review and adding disclosure.Disclosure: I received a free copy of this novella from the author in exchange for an honest review.Genre: Surrealism/ParodyReading Level: YA & upRecommended for: EVERYBODY!!My Synopsis:: On its surface, Doodling is a surreal and rather silly story about a man named Neville who, upon losing his grip on the ever-more-rapidly spinning Earth, falls off and winds up in an asteroid field. After meeting several very strange people on different asteroids – and a failed attempt to set up his own country, which he calls Bolivia, on his own asteroid with the large rock 27 meters to his right as president – he stumbles across the lovely Helen. Helen has created a garden on her asteroid, which she tends constantly in order to maintain it against the effects of outer space. She also warns him that the Earth, which continues to increase its insane pace, is about to snap free of gravity and will go through the asteroid field like a bowling ball through pins – but with a much more serious effect, since the Earth will disintegrate everything in its path. Neville must come up with a way to stop this disaster.My Thoughts: I said “on its surface,” because underneath, Doodling is anything but silly – there are deeper meanings here. There are messages about the dangers of the ever-increasing pace of life; about the need to cease the sort of divisiveness that currently has caused so many wars based upon ridiculous things like who has the better deity; about how the need to constantly win brings nothing but wheel-spinning; about the need for people to learn to put aside their differences, embrace the unique abilities of others, and work together for the common good. And Mr. Gould has squeezed all of these ideas into a very entertaining and well-written novella. My hat is off to this most talented writer, and I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone – if you like to read, you will love this book. BUY IT – NOW! You will not regret your decision.Exciting new information!: The sequel to this novella, Scribbling, is now available! I will be reading and reviewing it very soon, so watch this space...

  • Jeremy Rodden
    2019-01-24 01:48

    When I first started reading this novella, I couldn't tell if Neville was actually falling off the world or if Gould was using this as a metaphor for trying to keep up with the fast nature of the modern world we all live in. I am happy to say that, after completing the book, I still am not sure if the entire novella was just a long extended metaphor for dealing with the struggles of keeping up. I believe it is and I say bravo to Mr. Gould for such an outstanding piece of work.Clearly, Jonathan Gould is channeling the spirit of Douglas Adams in his clever wordplay, ironic similes, and even with his simple-minded everyman of a main character who accepts the absurdities that he faces with such aplomb that you have to wonder if he is daft or brilliant.Gould takes jabs at patriotism, organized religion, modern technology, and numerous other examples of the absurdities of modern life in very a delicate way. Some satirists paint their satire with the bluntness of a can of spray-paint. Gould does it with a fine-tipped brush.My favorite part of the story was the "aimless" asteroid that Neville visited. The fast-paced dialogue was good for a few laughs but also made me think about how many times I've had such aimless conversations with people about things that were really serious, or at least seemed as though they were at the time.Ultimately, the reader is left with a simple message after experiencing Neville's travel through the asteroids and his quest to save the world: "Slow down. It'll be okay." I am glad Neville learned this lesson and I hope I remember it the next time I feel like I need to fall off this fast-moving world.

  • Gail Baugniet
    2019-02-06 03:50

    Whether allegory or metaphor, author Jonathan Gould's novel, Doodling, is masterfully written with subtle touches of humor and thought-provoking insight.I didn't realize until the story ended that it was a short story (18K+ words) but within those several thousand words, Mr. Gould thoroughly covers every aspect of the story he chose to tell.When we first meet protagonist Neville Lansdowne, he is running to keep up with a forever faster spinning world. He finally loses his grip and tumbles, not unlike Alice, into another world. Unlike Alice, he moves from one world spinning out of control into a world that almost ceases to move.As Neville explores his choice of asteroids to select a new home, he encounters people both strange and likeable. My favorite group consists of the bicycle triplets: undistinguishable from one another though probably not related. I immediately thought of NFL football, played for decades by teams eager to win and each year demanding a do-over, saying the winning "didn't count" because they weren't the team that won. Though Neville is content to take leave a world spinning out of control, he soon learns that every situation or living arrangement develops some form of leadership paradigm. by accepting the role thrust upon him to save lives and asteroids, Neville moves one step closer to coming full circle in his own life.Brilliantly executed, Mr. Gould. For originality alone, you have earned your 5-star rating.

  • Amy
    2019-01-21 02:48

    The things in life have a tendency to make your head spin. I have dreamed many times of just letting it all go, leaving it all behind. Neville gets this opportunity, and he made the most of it.Since life on Earth is no longer appealing to Neville, in fact, he let go and watched it fly away. Things were just going to fast for him. So he looks to the asteroid belt to build his new life. After an attempt at a solo asteroid, he realizes that complete control over everything just wasn't for him. So Neville starts an adventure across the asteroid field and meeting several different types of unusual people on the way. This book is great for younger readers looking for something amusing to read. It is a shorter book, so it is something they would be able to tackle on their own, while still feeling they accomplished something when they finished it. The characters in this book would amuse many younger children as some of them are fairly silly. This would also be a good book to read to your favorite young person!! :-)

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-08 02:36

    Doodling is a light, fast-paced novella that while seemed to have a humorous element to it, was actually quite deep at its core.Neville falls off the earth because it is going too fast. From there, he encounters a few little worlds on asteroids created by others who have also fallen off the earth due to it going too fast. I got a few laughs out of some of the goings on.Of course, all the events point to the idea that sometimes when things get a bit hectic and a bit crazy, it’s a good idea to take time out and focus on something little that makes you happy.Overall, I would say that Doodling is a really neat little story and I really enjoyed reading it. I liked that it seemed to be a light, funny read but at the heart of its core was a message. It’s definitely worth a read. Not to mention, I also really love the cover. The simplicity of it and the pretty colours just make me absolutely love it.

  • Sarah (Workaday Reads)
    2019-02-08 05:55

    This is a fun short story.I was a little concerned that it would be too fanciful, but it was actually quite delightful. The characters are definitely a quirky collection. Each of them was unique in their own humorous way.I found that there were some very important themes in the story: finding your purpose in life, and making time to slow down to enjoy the moment. The whole idea that Neville let go of the world because it was just moving too fast sounds like something most people can relate to at one time or another. I loved the way he took the time to have a few moments to himself before deciding to do something he considered to be important. It is definitely a lesson to be remembered.

  • SciYourFi Team
    2019-01-30 03:01

    Read the full review at

  • David Brown
    2019-01-22 07:52

    I’ve been meaning to read Jonathan Gould’s work for some time but a combination of being a slow reader and have a big TBR pile have delayed me until now. Doodling came with a wave of positive reviews and reached the semi-finals of the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards for Humour so clearly it had something going for it. I was intrigued to find out what.The story focuses on Neville Lansdowne who is not having a great day. The world has been moving too fast of late, so fast that Neville simply cannot keep up anymore. Though he does try to hang onto the world Neville ends up having to let go. He finds himself in an asteroid field where a series of weird and wonderful characters have ended up after they too couldn’t keep up with the world anymore. When Neville meets Helen, who maintains a garden on her asteroid, she informs him that the world is moving so fast it is going to break free of its gravitational pull and end up smashing through the asteroids. Neville must work fast to unite the bizarre inhabitants of the asteroid field and save the day.Mr Gould has termed his style of writing as dag-lit, believing it doesn’t really fall into any genre and demands a section of its own. I have to say I agree with him on this. As I read through the opening pages of Doodling I found myself thinking this is very random. The absurdity of Alice in Wonderland and Monty Python immediately drag you away from reality and into a fascinating group of societies that are trying to bloom on the asteroids. Helen cannot stop maintaining her garden because if she does the flowers will die. There is a society of people that worship a toaster, longing for the day when one comes to the asteroids so they can enjoy toast, even though there is nowhere to plug it in. Another couple are celebrating all the major events of the year all at once with a strange substitute for champagne, while my favourites were undoubtedly the three cyclists locked in a constant race and their shared philosophy on victory and defeat means they can never stop competing, not that this is picked up by them!On the face of it Doodling is just purely bizarre but Jonathan Gould is too clever a writer to just throw random ideas at us. There is a subtext to the novel. I particularly enjoyed Neville creating his own world on an asteroid and calling it Bolivia and having a rock for the president. It all seems so easy to build a nation but then reason takes over and Neville realises it’s more complicated than he imagined. The toaster worshippers eventually divide and begin their own faiths dedicated to different household appliances and their path becomes the only path, no willingness to embrace or listen to anyone else’s point of view.Is there anything wrong with Doodling? There is, it’s far too short. You can easily read this in one sitting and although the book’s length is a downside, it is the only criticism I have because I wanted more adventures from Neville. Hopefully he may return if Mr Gould chooses to revisit this storyline. That minor grumble aside I found Doodling to be very funny, random, wonderful and with some thought-provoking messages lurking beneath the bizarre surface. Doodling is worth all the good reviews and more. Yes, a lot of it is nonsense but that’s what makes it so good. It’s great to just be able to sit back and enjoy a book rather than analysing every segment for accuracy and logic. If this novel is what we call dag-lit then I hope the genre really takes off.

  • Adva
    2019-02-10 02:54

    "They were toast"This is a fun and quick read. You can really feel the influence Douglas Adams, Alice in Wonderland and The Little Prince had in this story. There are some truly giggle-worthy moments in the book, mostly in the tradition of said influences - nonsense uttered in complete seriousness, and completely mad characters.However, there were some things that bothered me. First, the book needs more proofing - there is the occasional missing or misspelled word and there are some grammar issues that just need careful tending. The short length of it only emphasizes the few problems. Secondly, it was lacking in show, not tell and general background information. To this moment, I have no idea how Neville looks like, how old is he, or who he is. Worse yet, one character is described as "about his age and about his height", which tells us nothing. The action scene at the end is also baffling, and I can't picture it. I think quite a few ideas could have been expanded, like the movement in space, for example. The way they are presented now creates holes in the plot and deus-ex-machina moments. It could have been viewed as nonsensical, if it was used more profusely and if the wording was different.Third, and I'm not a big science geek or anything, but even within the book there were inconsistencies in logic (even the nonsense in Alice had some internal logic to it). I had a few huh?! moments that weren't appeased at all, and some I had to think over and find the logic myself. Something the reader could avoid doing with better showing. Inconsistencies weren't only in logic, but also in story telling - one moment an object is held in place, and the next it moves without it being let go. I have to be honest, I missed the allegories and the satire until I read some of the other reviews. I may have caught on myself in a 2nd or 3rd reading, but once I read the other reviews it was easy to spot. So catching on late is probably my fault :p.All in all, although it has its flaws, Doodling is a cute story and a fun, fast read. If it had been longer: 1. Maybe most of the issues would have been resolved and thus it would have received a higher rating, 2. if not, it would have gotten a lower one."The roar of the world was like the sound of a hundred rock bands all playing at the same time, only much, much louder"Received the ebook for free through the summer hop giveaway at Jonathan Gould's blog Dag-Lit Central.

  • Donna Brown
    2019-01-22 06:02

    I always think of doodling as something a little random, innocuous, with little meaning behind it but in truth there has long been a school of thought there suggests there’s actually more that lies beneath the simple doodle. Jonathan Gould’s novella seems to fall into a similar category. On the surface, it seems lighthearted, fun and not very serious at all. Look a little closer, however, and Doodling is full of surprises. And what remarkable surprises they are.I empathise wholeheartedly with Neville. The world is racing and sometimes I – like many others – feel like I’m barely clinging on by my fingertips. What can we do but keep clinging? Neville experiences a rare look at the world beyond the world and the discoveries are – frankly – frightening. Strange party people who will celebrate any occasion possible in the strangest of ways. Competitive types who are utterly driven by the desire to win and never realise that not everyone can be a winner. Toaster people who desperately need something to worship and yet when their quite illogical beliefs prove to be founded, find themselves utterly lost. (What’s that Voltaire quote: “Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer” – “If God didn’t exist it would be necessary to invent him”. Some people need something to believe it but seeing it in front of you is a different ball game!)There are a few conclusions that can be drawn at the end of Doodling including ‘It takes all sorts of people to make a world’ and ‘As hard as it is to keep the world spinning. it’s always going to be more difficult alone’. However, there’s a very clear conclusion that Jonathan Gould is a very intelligent author who can write remarkably humorous fiction with an incredibly clever streak running through it. He’s either a satirical genius and knows it or he’s a satirical genius who doesn’t yet realise it: either way, expect a literary explosion in the future. This is not the kind of writing that can be kept under wraps.Originally published on source: Download from Smashwords during a promotion.

  • Tim Davis
    2019-02-13 06:48

    Review of Doodling for “Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh my!”Have you ever wanted to get out of the rat race? Is it all going too fast? Can’t keep up? Feel like you’re going to fall off?Maybe what you need is a good laugh, and Gould serves them up in this allegory about Neville who falls off the world because it is spinning too fast. He finds himself among the asteroid belt, and the laughs start, for almost everyone he meets is crazy.He meets a colony holding a religious ceremony to summon a toaster to their asteroid. He finds an “aimless” asteroid, where he has a particularly aimless talk with the woman who lives there. He encounters three cyclists in a never-ending race, and he meets the “Party People” who celebrate by drinking dust out of Champaign bottles.But then Neville meets Helen, and astrophysicist who has calculated that in three and a half hours the earth will break free from the hold of the sun and come crashing through the asteroid belt. Neville now has a mission; save the asteroid belt. If you’re a teen or older, read the book to laugh at the way he organizes his loony friends to save both the earth and the asteroid belt.Although Gould writes in the comic vein, he teaches some important lessons. For example, after meeting the “aimless” woman:“[Neville] jumped off the asteroid and watched as it zigzagged crazily away. In his heart, he knew that what the girl had said was wrong. It was important to have an aim. What was the point of living if you didn’t? Neville decided there and then that he had better find an aim for himself. But thinking about your life direction while you’re standing in the middle of an asteroid field isn’t such an easy thing to do. The best way to work out what his aim would be was to get out into the open, so he could concentrate better. Neville found a nice quiet spot, turned himself around so that he didn’t have to look at the asteroids any more and started to think.What would be a good aim? How could he create a fulfilling life for himself here in the middle of nothingness?”That’s a good question, and congratulations to Gould for answering it.

  • Bonnie Lamer
    2019-02-07 05:05

    When the world is going so fast you can no longer keep up with it, you sometimes have to simply let go. That’s what Neville did. He let go. Floating out into space to an asteroid field, Neville finds others who for whatever reason had also let go or had fallen off. There he might find a place for himself. If he can just stop the impending destruction of it all.Can the concept of religion be reduced to the worship of kitchen appliances? Can self-centered, oblivious people be led towards caring about the greater good? Can those who only want to float through life experiencing the happy moments and ignoring the bad be convinced to look at the bigger picture? According to Jonathan Gould, all of these things can happen.In Doodlings, Jonathan Gould creates the story of a man who just wants to live a simple life. He wants to be able to enjoy the small joys and stop having to run all the time. People are so busy trying to keep up with the world that the little things in life are all but lost. But as much as Neville wants this simple life, he has trouble finding his place amongst the asteroids. All that changes when the unthinkable is about to happen and he is driven to prevent it. He convinces those with differences in how they worship and who or what they worship to work together. He helps some of the characters see past themselves. Others, he must accept the fact that they are simply incapable of being helpful on their own and figure out how to make that work for the greater good. As for himself, he figures out there is more to him than he once thought. He may have not been born to lead, but he proves that when there is a need, he knows how to step up to the challenge and save the day.In a Douglas Adams style where the absurd can happen and does, Doodlings is a short story about hope. Maybe there is hope that one day, despite our differences, we can slow the world down and work together to solve its problems. I would certainly like to see that happen. I thank the author for a review copy and I give the book 4 stars.

  • Cassie McCown
    2019-02-16 03:56

    Neville Lansdowne just could not keep up with the desperately spinning world any longer. He simply had to let go. He soon finds, however, that life in space is just another adventure. Wandering through an asteroid field, he runs into many remarkable characters. One asteroid is home to kitchen appliance devotees, while another is the territory of a couple of party animals. Life in outer space is as diverse, eccentric, and unpredictable as it is on Earth. There is one slight complication, however. The world is out of control and on a collision course with Neville’s beloved asteroid family. It is up to Neville to figure out how to stop this horrific catastrophe from occurring and setting everything back to rights. Doodling is something I most likely would not have read under normal circumstances. Since I was given a copy to review, I was happy to try it out. I have to say, it was truly delightful! Doodling best falls under the category of comic fantasy. It rides the waves with A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and an inkling of Gulliver’s Travels. The writing is creative and perfectly paced—quite comparable to Lewis Carroll. The book is chockfull of metaphors, if you care to notice them. Although, you might just want to sit back and enjoy the wit (think a rather G-rated Monty Python production). At times it reminded me of one of my son’s favorite Nickelodeon television shows, The Upside Down Show. The quirky humor and fun, inventive resolutions fall right in line with that show’s aim at both comical entertainment and education. I think it is something that my kids would enjoy reading when their attention spans are slightly more extensive. I was able to zoom through this short read in just a couple reading sessions, but it certainly did not lack in amusement!Bravo to Mr. Gould! Right now you can snag a copy on Amazon for a mere $0.99. Please don’t deny yourself a little break from this hectic world with a bit of Doodling.

  • David King
    2019-02-02 04:05

    "Doodling" is a fun little novella by Jonathan Gould that has been influenced by the works of Douglas Adams and Lewis Carroll. It is a madcap, surreal adventure full of nonsense and rather insane characters that had me smiling multiple times. However, Gould also manages to make some deep reflections on our society in amongst this comedy which helped give the novella a sense of purpose.The story itself follows Neville Lansdowne who one day discovers that he can’t keep up with the fast pace of the world and is flung into space. Luckily he lands in an asteroid belt where he begins to create his own world completely designed based on his ideas and dreams. Of course, he soon discovers that a life alone like this just wasn't for him and journeys to other asteroids where he meets many other travellers, with many of them being completely and utterly barking mad.As mentioned earlier, there are a fair few wacky moments that should provide giggles and smiles aplenty alongside a sense of purpose that helps to drive the narrative along. Gould does a good job in making sure the story doesn't get lost in surreal mayhem and balances the need for contemplation and humour well.An issue I did have with the novella though was the characters as whilst they were initially quite amusing and varied they could be a little bit cartoon like. Within two of three pages of a character being introduced I found that they got a little bit boring as there was no real depth to their strange behaviours and choices. As for Neville himself, whilst he does have a little bit of development as the story progresses I found that I didn't really know much about him so found it hard to empathise or relate to him fully.Overall, this is an amusing novella full of imagination and fun that should keep most people entertained on some level. I actually think that it is the type of story that could be read to children who may really enjoy the short length, basic silly characters and the downright crazy almost illogical adventure.

  • Melissa
    2019-01-22 05:38

    When Neville Lansdowne falls off the world, it isn’t the end of his adventures. In fact, it’s only the beginning. The world has begun moving too quickly for Neville’s tastes, so he decides to fall off—or, rather, “let go” of it—and start over. Once Neville leaves the world, he finds himself in an asteroid field and quickly discovers that he’s not alone. Others have also let go of the world and established new colonies for themselves on the asteroids. The only downfall is that each new person Neville meets seems to be completely insane.As Neville interacts with his new neighbors and tries to find a place to call home, he soon discovers that the asteroid belt has troubles of its own. Because the world is spinning so fast, it will soon fly off its orbit, destroying any asteroid in its path. The only solution is for Neville to gather his new friends and stop the world before it obliterates the asteroid belt.It’s easy to find metaphors between the groups Neville meets and real-life people in today’s society. Gould’s Lewis Carroll-like writing style presents the asteroid dwellers in a humorous light that will appeal to readers of all ages. I found myself cheering on Neville and his team, and would recommend Doodling to anyone who enjoys a fun read.Jonathan Gould has been writing for fifteen years and has authored two children’s books that were released in Australia. Doodling is his first eBook and is currently available through Amazon: and Smashwords: From now until the end of April, you can purchase Doodling on both sites for $0.99. You can check out his blog at or follow him on Twitter.

  • Todd Fonseca
    2019-02-12 05:56

    Doodling – A Modern Day ParableRating: 4 of 5 starsAuthor: Jonathan GouldFormat: KindleStruggling 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.

  • Cathy Speight
    2019-01-31 01:44

    This is one of those short stories you read from start to finish with a big smile across your face……it was quirky, funny, imaginative, oddball and ingenious.What do you do when everything in life is going too quickly for you? The world seems to be making you run too fast and you just want to shout, 'Stop the world, I want to get off'? You do exactly what Neville did. You just get off. Yes, you read correctly, you just get off the world, it couldn't be simpler. Indeed there are minor details to attend to – you have to find somewhere to live and goodness me, there are some jolly strange asteroids out there with all sorts of bizarre and eccentric people on them. Not only that, while you are asteroid-hunting, you certainly don't suddenly want to find yourself having to find a way to stop with the world escaping its orbit and hurtling into the asteroid field.There are so many delightful elements to this short story, if I explained them all it would give far too much away. I will say, though, that it's uplifting and entertaining, and it's a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours in the company of toasterless inhabitants of an asteroid (have you any idea what it's like to live without a toaster?), a young lady who wants a book but can't read and I'm still wondering when I can go and celebrate the unmissable Venezuelan Alpaca Milking festival. Not only that, I'd love to put my finger on Everest's tip and give the world a gentle nudge. This is probably beginning to sound like I've had a glass too many of the red stuff… find out whether this makes any sense, I advise you to be magically entertained for an hour or two with Neville and his asteroid-resident friends. You will love it.

  • George Sirois
    2019-01-26 23:52

    You Had Me at “Neville Lansdowne Fell Off the World.”Sometimes, all it takes is the first line, and a book can grab you and force you to keep reading. The first line in Jonathan Gould’s “Doodling” - “Neville Lansdowne fell off the world” – had me and in a couple of days, I was finished. When I got to the second half of the book, I was so wrapped up in this wonderful, surreal, funny and sweet story that I could not stop reading until I reached the end.When you read “Doodling,” you are following the journey of Neville Lansdowne, one of many men and women who found the world was moving too fast for them and took refuge in a nearby asteroid field. With this great opportunity to start over, Neville sees people around him immediately clinging to the various elements that they thought they left behind – politics, religion, consumerism, social status, etc. – and falling right back into the routines that Neville was so anxious to leave behind him.This is a very inspired novel and I applaud Jonathan Gould for coming up with something that so brilliantly echoes some of my favorite books like Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens,” while creating an engrossing and original story. I recommend you pick up a copy of this book, and I dare you to consider that maybe this world is going too fast for you and how great it would be to get the opportunity to step off of it for just a little while. Through Neville, you get that chance, and thank you to Jonathan for showing us this.

  • Erika
    2019-01-20 01:46

    3.5/5 What a quirky, fun, meaningful ride through outer space! Supposedly a cross between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Lewis Carol, with a touch of Gulliver's Travels. This book reminded me more of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery with a touch of The Hitchhiker's Guide. Well, to each his (or her) own experience.The book is a short one but it really has a lot to offer. From Neville's escapades around the asteroid belt to his quest to save them all from the Earth's impending crash course off it's orbit and strait into the new homes the displaced have found for themselves. You have a whole cast of wacky characters and their obssession over certain things (toasters, bikes, celebrations) which make for deep reflections on society. Then you have the power of teamwork and all it can do for us.I did find the story a bit cliche in the allegorical sense. This isn't something really fresh to me. But sometimes that's just what I need. And that doesn't mean it wouldn't be something completely new to someone else. I also felt like it was fun and quirky enough and the characters were different enough to make me want to keep reading and find something fresh in it. I loved the way the ending came together and the way Gould has written the story really perked my imagination. I could actually believe for a minute that a small group of people could let go of the world and find themselves their own peice of home in outerspace (no spacesuits required!).** As reviewed on Suddenly Books

  • Anna Dye
    2019-01-27 00:54

    This is a really creative and cool book for children and all those who like books like “The Little Lame Prince.” It is divided in small chapters and written especially for kids under twelve. It relates a whimsical type of tale that will enthrall young ones during reading time. It is well done and keeps the right level throughout its pages. This tale will become a favorite of many children, teachers, and parents alike. Neville Lansdowne is just a pre-teen boy that falls off his world as the planet becomes so fast paced that he can’t hold on anymore. Because the twirling of the world becomes faster and faster, many people have done the same, and, like him, have slid off and made their homes in the nearby asteroid corridor. Neville decides to make one of the asteroids his home too and goes exploring each one. In them he finds many people who are quite different both mentally and ideologically to him. This perplexes young Neville to no end.All his dreams of a quiet home for himself come to an end when he realizes that the world’s twirling would snap the planet from its orbit to crash into many of the asteroids, killing the people who live there. Now he has to do something, but what?I enjoyed this tale that jumps from one thing to another with a great appeal. This kind of writing may feel strange to some readers, yet they will enjoy the feel of it and will soon love it. This story is clean and fun. I recommend it for good readers from eight-years-old up.

  • Emily
    2019-01-28 06:50

    I don't think I've ever described something as a "romp" before, but the word definitely applies to the experience of reading Doodling. As a lifelong fan of Douglas Adams and The Phantom Tollbooth and that style of writing and sense of humor, Doodling was a true joy to read. That in and of itself is high praise, but the wry humor and deadpan delivery were spot on, and I laughed from the beginning of the book until the end. Through all the laughs, though, is a message that definitely rings true- as chaotic and fast-moving as life can be sometimes, we can slow it down by focusing on little things that make us happy.The hero of our story is Neville and the repercussions of his decision to get off the world. From starting his own country on an asteroid (and leaving it when he realizes that a rock is simply not a proper president) to discovering a colony of people who worship toasters to ultimately having to save the world from its own breakneck pace, Neville finds himself in the thick of things.I've read other reviews that say that this would make an excellent illustrated book and I wholeheartedly agree. Despite being a very short story, the descriptions of the people and events were vivid and I could totally imagine some of my favorite illustrators having a field day.This is the perfect story to unwind with after a long, trying day. Short, sweet, and to the point, there's a lot to love here.

  • Lynn Hallbrooks
    2019-02-08 02:54

    Introduction: I was first introduced to Doodling on Independent Authors and Writers were I was impressed with the book page enough to give it Book of the Day: At some point Jonathan blessed me with a discount to the Smashwords version. It was on the terms that I was not seeking this from my review of his page but that I was happy for the opportunity to read and review his book with an open mind and an honest review. Story line as I see it: Neville falls off the world and visits several asteroids. Why does he do this...well you'll have to read the book to find out. Commentary: I think this is a cross between Fantasy and Satire. Fantasy because we all know that people can't really survive in outer space without forms of protection. A Satire because there are subliminal references to society yet they are not caustic in nature.Review: My imagination was captivated by Mr. Gould's descriptions of the people and places. I couldn't help but wonder how this was all going to turn out. I was quite pleased when all the pieces of the proverbial puzzle fell into place in the end. I'm really looking forward to reading Flidderbugs.

  • Jessica Bronder
    2019-01-31 00:04

    Neville is struggling to get through the fast paced world when he is suddenly thrown off. When he realizes what happens, he makes his was to an asteroid field. He wants to claim one of the asteroids as his new home. On the first asteroid, he draws out the border of his little world and names it. But then he realizes that someone is going to have to run his world since he doesn’t want to be in a position of power. After appointing a rock as the leader, he leaves the asteroid and starts wandering around the asteroid belt. He meets a group of people that worship a toaster. Then he meets a lady on a strange asteroid that goes everywhere but in a straight line.When he stumbles upon a little paradise run by an astophysist, he learns that the world is spinning so fast that it is going to fall off it’s orbit and go straight through the asteroid belt. Now Neville has to find some way to stop that from happening.This was a cute little story. I loved the different people that Neville meets and what keeps them entertained. It shows how everything is going by so fast that sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses. Neville, the reluctant leader, even steps up. I’m going to keep my eyes out for more stories from Jonathan Gould.I received this book for free from the author.

  • Pete
    2019-02-08 08:04

    This is a fairy story of sorts. With Neville--our protagonist--finding that the world has begun to spin so fast that he can no longer hold on, and he gets flung out into space where he ends up on an asteroid belt faced with the task of slowing the world down. The beginning of this story, where the author describes Neville's futile attempts to hold on by the tips of his fingers to an ever accelerating world was fun, whimsical--it had me smiling while I read. But once Neville reached the asteroids and started to meet up with various odd characters whose antics depict various ills affecting the world (religious fanatics, sports nuts, eco-nuts, party-animals) the fun pretty much went out of the read for me.I suspect this work will be very polarizing. Personally, I found the silliness irritating, and the thinly-veiled metaphors about modern life became repetitive. But then, I hated Alice in Wonderland, so it's all about the reader's perception. Maybe the best way to sum this up is if you enjoy Alice in Wonderland, maybe you'll enjoy this. I didn't.This review was originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. I may have received a free review copy.

  • Steven Drachman
    2019-02-10 23:37

    I read a positive review of this on the Sift Reviews website, and bought it right away - I was really disappointed. The idea is great, and so is the potential, but the execution is in my view half-baked. The denizens of the asteroid belt are really for the most part boring - with the great exception of Helen, who must water her beautiful garden, non-stop. Gould seems in love with this character, and so are we, and the sections of the book that describe her are poetic.As for the other characters, maybe they are supposed to be cartoons - a group who worship household appliances, bike-racers who never stop racing, a party couple always celebrating - but they are unfunny cartoons. The thing that frustrates me is that Gould is a good writer, with great ideas, but he just didn't pull it off. This is the downside of Indie publishing - a good editor/mentor could have helped him pull the full potential out of this book. If you are a fan of Jonathan Gould - or Mr Gould himself! - please take this in the spirit that it is intended, as a sincere critique of a talented, creative author who can, I am sure, do much better with a little more thought.Maybe next time, I guess.

  • A Book Vacation
    2019-01-25 05:49

    To see my full review: short novella has many aspects that make it utterly absurd, an aspect that I believe middle grade readers, and even the younger end of young adult readers, will really enjoy. I, myself, am not really a lover of the absurd or fantastical, however, I understand its appeal for those who just want to read something interesting and not have to find deep meaning behind every single book they pick up. The English teacher in me, of course, wants to discuss how this novella is actually a clever metaphor for the world in which we live, with our fast-paced lives and ridiculous “first world” problems, but I will refrain because I can just see my students cringing as I launch into it, them telling me to just enjoy the story and stop picking it apart… just know it’s there, and going into the reading knowing that makes it much more fun for readers like me. Overall, this is a very well written novella (with a deep-rooted meaning) and, as I said previously, I believe that younger readers will really enjoy the fantastical aspect of it all.

  • A.F.
    2019-02-09 23:59

    Doodling by Jonathan Gould is absurd, quirky, breezy, fun and a total delight to read. It is also a witty little metaphor for today’s social climate, without being preachy or heavy-handed. The book makes some subtle observations while maintaining its air of entertainment.The book begins with Neville Lansdowne falling off the world. Literally. After the shock wears off he sets out exploring a nearby asteroid field, and finds out he’s not the only one who fell. From there his adventures just commence.The premise of Doodling is unusual, surreal and not the least bit scientific, but from the moment you begin reading, the book enchants with its style. It weaves an alluring charm with its eccentric farce that amuses and captivates. Odd characters and fantastic situations abound, flit through your imagination with verve, before settling around you in a warm, clever cosiness. I couldn’t help but imagine this book as a wonderful animated film.Doodling is a thoroughly pleasing book and I highly recommend it.

  • Scott
    2019-02-10 07:56

    Doodling by Jonathan Gould is the story of Neville Lansdowne, a man who falls off the world. When the world begins to move to fast for Neville he loses his grip and ends up wandering around an asteroid field trying to find a place that will make him happy. On his journey he meets a lot of people who were also thrown off the world and have adapted to it in various, mostly crazy, ways. As he tries to find somewhere to belong he discovers that the world will soon destroy the asteroid field he is wandering through killing everyone he has just met. Even though when he fell off the world he wanted nothing more than a nice slow paced life, he finds himself rushing to enlist the aid of everyone he can to save to asteroid field. The characters Neville meets have a wide variety of personalities and seem to show various methods of escapism that people utilize when their world becomes too much for them. This story is a quick fun read that seems to be hiding a deeper meaning and may be able to make you look at your life a little closer. Remember to always make time for Doodling.

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    2019-02-07 03:49

    Neville and I could be great friends, I think. He willingly falls off the world because it's moving way too fast. I definitely know where he's coming from. He's thrust into an asteroid belt where there are many other people who have grown tired of the world and are seeking to make their way among the stars.This novella is wonderful. The characters are really fantastic and each of them represents something that we all deal with in our own life. Look at this book as sort of a fable. There are the toaster people who want nothing more than to have a toaster on their asteroid. There's the party people who want to find just about any occasion to have a party. And then there's Helen who has turned her asteroid into a gorgeous garden and now she must spend all her time watering and tending the garden. Neville is a total go getter! These characters will definitely stick with you for awhile.This book is perfect for adults who want a great metaphorical story with a little bit of a lesson. This book is magic!

  • Alysa H.
    2019-02-07 00:46

    A clever little sci-fi-esque novellette that works as an easy parable about the modern human condition. It will remind many readers of The Little Prince, I'm sure, but it is for adults, and it is much more overtly satyrical. I chuckled a lot, and I never knew what was going to happen next, but I also didn't care that much past the first half or so. One never quite gets to know any of the characters; they're all entirely symbolic apart from, perhaps, the protagonist Neville. It makes the whole thing feel a bit like an extended Monty Python sketch, which is a good thing. But unlike a Python sketch, the setting is quite hard to envision because its so very abstract.I would agree with the official description that this is "Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll (with just a touch of Gulliver's Travels)" though with far less nuance, due for the most part to its comparatively short length. But that's not a criticism: Doodling would never have worked as a long novel, and as a short it is really quite good.