3 out of 4 stars
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Of Zots and Xoodles by "Zarqnon the Embarrassed" is an ideational and abstract book which describes the creation of the universe out of nothing. Some people might interpret the book as an indirect criticism of creationism, but I don't see it that way. To explain my train of thought, I first need to describe who the author is.
After spending some time reading the About the Author section on Amazon, the curious reader will find out that JW McLaughlin is an abstract musician. According to his own words, he is genuinely interested in many aspects of science. What is most important to know, however, is that the author is on the autistic spectrum. That's the main reason why I can't consider Of Zots and Xoodles an indirect criticism of creationism. It seems much more reasonable, on the contrary, to regard this book as an experimental work by a talented and sensitive author who has a deep interest in science-related subjects.
Theodil, the main character, is like God before the creation of the universe. There is also a child who exists to make the book easier to understand (and to avoid a dull monologue as well). As much as there are some funny situations in the book, one gets the impression that only a very narrow audience will enjoy it. That is very disappointing because the book is terrific. I don't know exactly how, but the author must add some elements that would make the text more enjoyable for the average Joe. Sad thing and probably the major flaw of the book.
The illustrations are what I liked the most about this publication. Frank Louis Allen is a fantastic artist. I was deeply impressed when I discovered he was blind. After finishing the book, I decided to visit frankdraws.com. When I saw his other draws, I was stunned by his talent. Grub Baby and the Infinite Pillar of Light is an astounding work of art. It wouldn't be absurd to say that the illustrator almost overshadowed the author.
In brief, Of Zots and Xoodles deserves 3 out of 4 stars. I found only one comma misuse. Thus, there is no question that the editing is professional. It was with a heavy heart that I took one star away. The book is unique and special in its way, but the author must do something to make the text more interesting for a broader audience. Some changes are necessary but, of course, without changing the essence and scientific content of the book. Anyone who is a science buff will love it. Anyway, I believe the book is best suited for teens. An adult who has read a lot of similar material will find nothing new in this work.
Of Zots and Xoodles
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