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(Adventures of Neville Lansdowne)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A Goodreads Choice semi-finalist - humor category

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
ebook, 60 pages
Published January 25th 2011 (first published January 24th 2011)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  110 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY
Recommended to Katy by: Jonathan Gould
Shelves: ebook
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/Parody
Reading Level: YA & up
Recommended 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 ast
Jeremy Rodden
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 G
Gail Baugniet
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Amy Eye
May 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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 N
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 tak
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
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
SciYourFi Team
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy, fantasy
I received this book for free through Voracious Readers Only.

Neville Lansdowne falls off the world because he can't keep up. He ends up wandering the asteroid belt, first in search of a home and consecutively gathering support to save the world, which is spinning rapidly out of control and threatens to take the asteroid belt down with it.

Doodling reads like a children's book, wildly imaginative and fascinating even though nothing makes sense. People can walk around the asteroid belt and don't se
Maria Langella  Langella-Sorgie
Absolutely love this short story. Wonderful and quirky. A must read for everyone. Thank You Jonathan Gould. I smiled from start to finish. I received a free copy from the author through Voracious Readers Only.
David Brown
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 k
"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 issu
Donna Brown
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 Ne
Timothy Davis
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 t
Bonnie Lamer
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ab
Cassie McCown
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
David King
Oct 18, 2011 rated it liked it
"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
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 Nev ...more
Todd Fonseca
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Doodling – A Modern Day Parable

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Author: Jonathan Gould
Format: Kindle

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
Cathy Speight
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 a
George Sirois
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 t
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it

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 impendi
Anna del C. Dye
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 plane
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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- a
Lynn Hallbrooks
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: now-on-my-kindle
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 o
Jessica Bronder
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Steven Drachman
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
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,
A Book Vacation
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it
To see my full review:

This 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 cours
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, fiction, sci-fi
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
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-books, own, sci-fi
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 comme
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Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn’t. He has written comedy sketches for both the theatre and radio, as well as several published children’s books for the educational market.

He likes to refer to his stories as dag-lit because they don’t easily fit into recognisable genres (dag is Australian slang for a person who is unfashionable and doesn’t follow t

Other books in the series

Adventures of Neville Lansdowne (2 books)
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