The First Neanderthal On The Moon by Roderick MacDonald (ebook review).

‘The First Neanderthal On The Moon’ is a series of humorous essays providing a miscellany of facts and fictions about a wide range of topics. From food to the scientific method, these essays present a new way of looking at some of the things we take for granted, like who was really the first man on the moon.


Roderick MacDonald’s ‘The First Neanderthal On The Moon’ is a difficult one for me to review. The essay format makes it quite difficult to become engrossed in and I found the style frankly peculiar.

There aren’t any characters as such, with only a few mostly fictional historical characters featuring in the essays, so I found it hard to engage with. There also isn’t really any kind of plot, just a vague theme for each essay. The humour is a bit too subtle or maybe too obvious, which is really my way of saying that I didn’t get it and, although I’m pretty sure there were some actual facts in there, I couldn’t tell you what they were.

In my mind, this needs some serious editing and, if I were given that task, I’d suggest one of two things. It either needs to be a factual book interspersed with comedic stories, in a similar way to ‘The Science Of Discworld’ books and the Neanderthals could work quite well in that setting. Alternatively, it needs to have some kind of central strand linking the essays together because at the moment it feels very fragmented and confused, almost stream of consciousness in style.

I wore a confused frown for most of the book and, at the end of each essay, I didn’t really know what to take from it. I can only assume that I’m not really the target audience for this and apologise to Mr. MacDonald for not getting it…

Vinca Russell

January 2014

(Kindle ebook. 78 pages. 509kB. Price: £1.27 (UK). ASIN: B00GW3614I)

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