Writing in the first person this time, Andy Andrews, author of Traveler’s Gift, again presents what is very much a self-help book presented in narrative form. In The Noticer, officially releasing Tuesday (28th) the story is situated in his real-life community and refers to his real-life wife and sons, and shares experiences and principles that Andrews has found helpful in his own life. But should it end up in the fiction section with his other books? It’s clearly meant to be about Andrews himself.
The central character of the story however, is a man who simply goes by the name Jones. Not ‘Mr. Jones,’ as we’re often reminded. Christian book readers will immediately notice some similarities between Jones and John, the central character in The Shack-related title So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore, as both lead characters simply “show up” at pivotal times in peoples’ lives.
But while the John character is used to introduced a kind of Socratic dialog that deals with doctrinal matters — a similarity shared with David Gregory’s Dinner With A Perfect Stranger and its sequel — the Jones character in The Noticer leaves the title firmly planted in the “inspirational,” not doctrinal or apologetic category. Its main message is that navigating through life is often a matter of perspective. That’s the core essence of the book. Other truths are added extras, much like the added toppings on a hamburger.
Some of the ideas clearly echo concepts brought out in The Traveler’s Gift, the first Andrews novel in this series published in 2002. Both deal with people dealing with hard times, especially economic, so the release of this title right now is quite timely. One early chapter is strongly reminiscent of Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, abbreviated to four languages in this treatment.
The length of the book and the careful distance it seems to keep from stronger Christian terminology makes this an excellent gift for someone who has not yet crossed the line of faith; who is not a heavy reader; for a younger or older male reader; or for someone not interested in reading that fits into the regular “Christian living” section at the Christian bookstore.
|This review is a part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers series.
For an earlier review in this series, check out The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley reviewed here.