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 http://bookbagsandcatnaps.com.
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