Saturday, January 9, 2010
When I agreed to review The Noticer I thought it was truly a work of fiction, yet once I got into it I found it's a mix of "based-on-a-true story", fiction, and allegory.
I wouldn't call this a "story," I would call it a collection of essays revolving around an elderly man named Jones and the wisdom he has to offer -- or perspective.
Perspective is the key word of the book. The book begins with the true part of the story - the author, homeless and living underneath a boardwalk. Jones appeared and gave him the change in perspective he needed to radically change his life. The book continues with Jones appearing in other people's lives offering them "radically" new ways of looking at things.
Personally, I love that Jesus taught in stories because a good story enables me to truly relate and empathize and put myself in someone's shoes. Once I'm in those shoes, I'm more vulnerable to see things in new ways and to embrace new truths. I love a good story so much I've often wondered if someone read all the best non-fiction and self-help books in the world and took the essential truths and put them in fiction format would it be powerful?
Andy Andrews essentially did that. The Noticer has some basic relational skill fundamentals many already know, but it also includes thought-provoking truths packed in a few sentences by an old man named Jones.
I can only recommend this book if you want to read a chapter at a time and enjoy good, short sermons.
I will say that for me the most compelling writing of the entire book was the true part - the story underneath the boardwalk. My understanding is that that brief portion was the start of the author's journey that led him to write The Traveler's Gift. I'm more interested in reading more about the author's true experiences than his fictional ones, so I might pick up a copy of the Traveler's Gift.
To sum up, thanks Thomas Nelson for providing me a copy of The Noticer. I'd give it 2 out of 5 booklights - an enjoyable middle-of-the road read but nothing that kept me engaged or satisfied my desire for a good story. If you're interested, check it out by clicking on the cover image above.