This is a quick, fun read about a man who wants to get off the world because it’s spinning too fast. It strikes me as one of those mad ideas you get when an idle comment sets off a visual image, in this case probably someone shouting, ‘stop the world, I want to get off!’ The beauty here is that Gould has actually written this whimsical little book that speaks to the part of ourselves that wants to get away from our crazy world. If you want something light yet poignant, something that makes you look at people and the world through a different lense, then this is a good one. I recommend it for reading when you’re waiting for a doctor, a dentist, a lawyer or for that girl to show up for your date, anything. It’ll bring a smile to your face and a lightness to your heart.
Flidderbugs is like Dr Seuss without the pictures, and I loved it. This delightful novella has Jonathan Gould’s trademark whimsical touch, and in the tradition of Dr Seuss’s ‘Stars on Thars’, is a tongue in cheek analogy for aspects of human behaviour. In this case, the Flidderbugs that live on different sides of the Krephiloff Tree, represent different social and political groups with rigid ideas and prejudices, and the story shows what can happen when such groups either simply do not listen to each other or interpret what they hear through erroneous assumptions.
The main character Kriffle is the next in line to lead the Triplifers (those who believe that leaves have three points), against the Quadrigons (those who believe that leaves have four points), in the upcoming election. When he goes to the Fleedenhall, the great house of assembly where the Fliddercouncil sits, he discovers how difficult it is to convince others of the obvious truth. The leaves that he knows really do have three points, but the Quadrigons are convinced that leaves have four points.
Various occurrences make it clear to Kriffle that something strange is going on and he is determined to find out what it is. He goes to visit the leaf-scholars of the Flooderversity and discovers that although the professors know a lot about leaves, their knowledge doesn’t help him solve the mystery. When he discovers the truth and teams up with Fargeeta, the girl bug who is next in line for the Quadrigon leadership, Kriffle’s father, Proggle and his mother, Griffle throw her out of their house simply because she is a Quadrigon, and her parents do the same to him. They don’t even give their children a chance to tell them what they’ve discovered.
Eventually, Fargeeta and Kriffle discover that the Krephiloff Tree itself is in danger and that the ignorance of the bugs has inadvertently caused this crisis. They must find a way to get all the bugs to understand the truth, so they can right the problem before it is too late.
Although written for adults, this is a story that both children and adults will enjoy on different levels. I recommend it for everyone who likes absurd satire or who ever liked Dr Seuss and particularly for parents who like to read stories to their whole family. It truly is a delightful read.
Jonathon Gould is an indie author wth a distinctive voice, a great mix of whimsy and wisdom. I encourage you to support him by buying his work.