This book is officially launched tomorrow (28th April). I read this book two weeks ago but Thomas Nelson asked that the review not appear until the 27th April. Check out Andy Andrews’ web site The Noticer Project.
How many self-help books have you bought in the past six months? Three months? Are you drawn to reading books with titles such as “How to Heal Your Marriage” – “The Way To Success” – “Discovering Your Purpose”? If you are anything like me, then probably not.
Andy Andrews does something quite remarkable in his new book “The Noticer.” He manages not just to entertain you with his story telling, he manages to use his ability as a storyteller to teach you, encourage you, counsel you, challenge you and move you.
The story revolves around an elderly man called Jones. Not ‘Mr” Jones, but just Jones. He seems to arrive into the lives of people who are in desperate need. Nobody knows where he is from, where he goes or how old he is. He is known by different names – to a Mexican it is Garcia, to a Chinese woman it is Chen. Yet he seems to know everyone, and he knows how to give a new, different perspective on any situation. So many lives are changed, indeed, have been changed and yet before anyone can get to know him well, he leaves, or just disappears.
The story is told through the eyes of a young Andy – homeless, alone and crying under a pier on a beach when he first met Jones. This short, brief encounter changes the direction of Andy’s life forever, and he does not see or met Jones again for nearly 30 years, when all of a sudden he arrives in Andy’s town again –looking just the same and carrying the same old briefcase he always seemed to have.
We are never told who Jones is. Yet as you read each encounter with each person he is the encourager, the helper, the counselor; he is wise, truthful, loving, kind, honest.
With each encounter you nod in agreement at the wisdom of Jones’ words and advice – you feel yourself thinking of your own life, your own situations thinking how you might apply what you are reading into your own life.
This is indeed a self help book, whether you realize it or not – but it is certainly the most enjoyable self help book you will read.
One of the mysteries of the book is who is Jones. To some extent this question is left to the reader. As a Christian I see the divine in Jones, but that is never said in the book.
A very enjoyable book from a skilled story-teller.