Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book Review: The Noticer

Five out of Five Stars Recommended

Quick Review:
Sit down to a relaxing and thought provoking conversation with The Noticer, an old man with much wisdom and a new perspective on your circumstances. Readers never discover who this Christ figure really is, but they observe the seeds of light that he leaves behind in the lives of others, and they are invited to become one of those seeds.

Based on a true story, Andy Andrews’ The Noticer is a simple, but inspiring story about an old man, the people he notices, and the wisdom he has to offer. Jones, an old, dark-skinned, white-haired, blue-eyed man who wanders from person to person carrying only an old suitcase and who meets each character where they are, under a pier, on a dark road, at a restaurant, under a tree... forget formality, these are not business meetings, although they involve serious business. With a humble attitude, Jones digs into his listeners’ hearts without judging them, and he establishes relationships and helping his new friends to live in hope, peace, gratitude, and grace.

Jones, meets with people of all sorts: a homeless man who thinks he has no hope for a positive future, a couple about to divorce because they don’t speak the same love language, a man with suicidal thoughts, a few teens wondering what positive boyfriend-girlfriend relationships should look like, an old woman who feels useless now that her husband has died and her children have grown, a workaholic so busy that he makes ethically wrong decisions and forgets to see those around him as people, a soon to be father worried he’ll be a bad influence on his child, a rich man gone bankrupt, and a woman facing her husband’s death. Each person learns a valuable lesson, lessons that the reader, too, can learn -- lessons that all lead to one ultimate lesson: The best has yet to come. So take on a new, positive perspective and live life to its fullest.

Jones leaves each character changed, and perhaps the reader, too. But whether you like The Noticer will depend on the one thing Jones seems to focus on: perspective. You can pick this book up as a quick, time-filler read (and it is a quick and easy read) and think of it as a rehashing of books that already exist, or you can sit down and allow its characters and their stories to speak to you. If you take the time to think about the wisdom Jones offers, you’ll find you gain a new perspective, a new wisdom, and a new desire to share that wisdom with others. Andrews provides enough variety in situations and lessons, allowing most readers to relate to at least one of the characters. Weaving historical lessons, real life situations, and Christian advice (without forcing doctrine on the reader) together, Andrews gives the reader a new way of looking at life.

Readers never discover who this amazing old man really is, but the man’s purpose in life gives them more than enough information about him. As Jones visits and revisits characters' lives, teaching them to never give up because the best it yet to come, he takes on the persona of Christ on earth.

Could Jones be Jesus in person? Or an angel in disguise? After all, Jones does seem all knowing, and he often disappears when characters look away. He takes on different names, appearances, and languages depending on who He talks to. His name does start with the letter J, and, like Jesus, he does act as a character that readers will both want to have and reflect in their lives.

How many of us could use a Jones in our lives? And how many of us have the potential to become a Jones in the lives of other? The Noticer opens and ends with Jones‘ invitation to step into the light. We have a light to step into -- God’s light. God has given you a new perspective; now, use it to give new perspectives to others. Show them the way to the light.

Written for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers
To visit Andy Andrews' website, click here
To learn more about the Noticer Project, click here
To view this product and its description on Amazon, click here

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