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Reviews for The Crooked World

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By:Joe Ford, London
Date:Friday 28 June 2002
Rating:   10

A clever, thoughtful and most of all funny novel, continuing the excellent run the BBC books are having lately. This book could have been awful but in Steve Lyons careful hands the tale winds up being sensitive, unusual and a real blast to read.


By:John Ellison, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Date:Wednesday 7 August 2002
Rating:   10

After some of the line's more recent offerings, I cringed as I picked up this book. The cover and the cover teaser had me convinced that this was a disaster waiting to happen. (Maybe I am a purest, but I don't find the stories that "do something 'totally' un-who-like" to be my forte--if I wanted un-who-like, then I would read something else).

What I got instead was one of the most wonderful 8th Doctor stories ever told. Lyons managed to pay homage to numerous cartoon characters while still masterfully creating a story about growth and change. Satire, wit, and feeling--it is ALL present and on the mark. I even found myself moved to tears on several occassions.

It really is that good! Were it within my power, this would be a HUGO winner.

If you are in North America and hoping to wait out the current distribution problems, then find a way to get this book NOW!


By:Jerry Lewandowski, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Date:Tuesday 24 September 2002
Rating:   9

Looking at the summary and cover for Crooked World left me expecting something so outrageous that I'd be disappointed with the new Doctor line of books and thanking that they aren't sold in N. America. After reading it, however, I found myself not being able to put it down and thankful that I order through Amazon UK.

The most enjoyment I had with this book was that it wasn't your typical chase them around a space station or planet epic. It showed exactly what the Doctor's and companion's presence can do to change a world. It was nice to see them all at a total loss as to how to behave and react in a new world.

What was really fun was figuring out which real-life cartoons the citizens of Crooked World resembled. some were a bit more obvious than others and I had several of my friends remembering Saturday morning cartoons here in the States to figure out some of them (esp the Wacky Racer teams)

All in all, I'd say that this has been my favorite 8th Doctor book this year. I just hope that the continuation of this story arc is just as good.


By:Janet Harrison, UK
Date:Saturday 21 December 2002
Rating:   1

I just couldn't see the point of this book - the idea behind it has already been explored by the Roger Rabbit book and movie. This book had nothing new to add. Very poor.


By:will, Fareham, England
Date:Saturday 8 November 2003
Rating:   10

This book is funny and clever combining cartoon charcters with real death and destruction. The doctor is very well protrayed as well as the cartoons are very well protrayed.


By:Mike McGovern , Edmonton, Canada
Date:Thursday 26 January 2006
Rating:   10

A gorgeous, fantastic story! I wish it went on forever.

I began reading this book on the bus, and I was immediately living in the cheerful, charming world of the Warner Brothers. The quirky little cartoon figures were solid and real.The tiny, innocent lives of Porky Pig (aka., Streaky Bacon,) Bugs Bunny (briefly) and other familiar cartoon figures were humorous and endlessly fascinating.

The arrival of the Doctor and friends really heated things up. They accidentally expose the cartoon people to moral dilemmas, and there's something truly touching about watching Porky Pig and others learn about violent, tragic death and pain.

I read the novel over the course of a few days. I found myself utterly looking forward to re-entering the marvellous, goofy world of the cartoon and the Doctor. I felt like I'd lost a dear friend when the book was done, been locked out of a place I dearly loved to visit. It was fun and funny, and the philosophy behind it all was magnificent. Steve Lyons is a true genius, capable of conceiving endlessly clever occurences and plot twists, and every one of them was fascinating. Very rare for a writer. His other Doctor Who novel, The Witch Hunters, is equally magnificent, although in a darker way.

Outstanding. Utterly brilliant.

Far Easier on the Brain

By:ShatteredRoses, UK
Date:Wednesday 26 July 2006
Rating:   8

After being thoroughly confused by the Book of the Still, I was worried that I was going to have the same problem with all the others that I happened to pick up and read, but I found the Crooked World very easy to get my head around.

I found the story to be light, easy to read, funny, and often touching and very thought-provoking. I don’t think the point of this book was to be a masterpiece of modern fiction, it’s supposed to be light-hearted, self-referential and really good fun, and that’s exactly what it is. I have to say, after sitting through the Doctor being unconscious for most of the Book of the Still one way or another, it was great to see him actually taking control of the situation and doing what he does best in this one. With this book I got a much better idea of the Eighth Doctor’s character than I have done so far, and it was full of all the little twists, quirks and moral quandaries that no Doctor Who novel should be without.

Good fun, and a good read.


By:Anthony V., St. Albans, NY, USA
Date:Monday 21 May 2007
Rating:   8

My guess is the author was sitting down with a couple of friends, watching TV (Cartoon Network or Boomerang, the classic cartoon channel, natch!) and celebrating his getting to work on a DOCTOR WHO novel. Someone asked "So...what are you gonna write about, mate?" And the author--just kidding, mind you--might have said "What would happen if the Doctor & his friends landed in the world of cartoons?" I just gotta say some things. One: BRAVO! One of the most imaginative books I have read yet, and I have ALL of the Eighth Doctor's books! Two: I hope you didn't break any copyright laws, because you took characters from three different franchises; Tom & Jerry belong to MGM, the Warner Bros. characters are from Time Warner/WB, and the "Spooky Gang" and "Angel Falls" are really you-know-who and the dog, plus Penelope Pitstop from Hanna Barbera. What I REALLY want to know is...if you were taking from cartoons...where were Pinky & The Brain? THEY would have made good villians! All in all, a great book! Too bad I can't recommed it to any of my friends--they don't like science fiction!

Morality and the Laws of Physics

By:Leon Coward, Sydney, Australia
Date:Friday 29 January 2016
Rating:   10

"The Crooked World" explores the scope novel form allows for Doctor Who, and is an entertaining but engaging piece of fiction that will appeal to even those unfamiliar with the series.

In "The Crooked World", Lyon creates a world where the laws of reality are that of a cartoon. When the Doctor and his companions arrive, their reality and the Crooked World’s reality clash. This results in hilarious comedy and unexpected twists where the plot can take unexpected turns and become spontaneous - imagine Roadrunner-esque action, and being able to instantly produce banana skins to make the villain stumble.

The book covers serious ground, however: the inhabitants of the Crooked World are used
to cartoon-style violence that never results in tragedy or actual harm, but the reality clash means that events take unforeseen turns, and the inhabitants are introduced to experiences and concepts they’re unfamiliar with - such as death, mourning, and justice for physical harm. In essence, the story is about these bizarre creatures and their struggle as they begin to develop a concept of morality and community justice. The story eventually resolves around the premise of the cartoon-world, and remains entertaining and thought-provoking till the very end.

(This review is adapted from a review of "The Crooked World" and "The Tomorrow Windows" published by the reviewer in the February 2012 issue of "The Online Book Group" e-zine)

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