Reader reviews for The Noticer by Andy Andrews

When an old drifter named Jones wanders through the town of Orange Beach, Alabama, he seems intent on changing the lives of everyone he meets. A typical town with typical problems, several people of Orange Beach find themselves greatly in need of the help that Jones provides. But can a change in perspective, which is what is offered by Jones, truly be enough to change their lives forever?I thought this book was mainly talk, with little true substance. There weren't really any new profound insights made, and virtually all the dialog and events were completely unbelievable, mainly because the new perspective offered is nothing that I found to be really convincing or life-changing. I had read most of the insights in other formats elsewhere, including the 'keep your fork' story that is well-known due to a popular e-mail forward that has been traveling around the world for years now already. Add to that the fact that most of what was put forward as profound revelations are conclusions I firmly disagree with, and I didn't care much for this book. That being said, I'm also not the typical audience for this type of book. I gave it a try, but it's not for me. Devout Christians and self-help fans may feel differently about it. For me, I give it 2/5 stars.Thanks to Thomas Nelson (the publisher) for the opportunity to read and review this. Though I personally didn't care for it, I appreciate the opportunity to give it a try.
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This book has a great impact on many people. It’s a simple book with thought provoking conversations between a wise older man, “Jones,” and several characters he influences on their journey in life. It is a common sense book and a very enjoyable read, but it leaves out divine reality and truth. The main character, Jones, is a drifter sort of man who meets individuals in poverty, a failing marriage, old age, failing business and other hopeless situations. Jones helps them see a new perspective to enable them to move forward out of their dire circumstances. Jones offers simple wisdom and hope. For example, in the failing marriage episode, he shares four love languages, which mirror the five love languages that Gary Smalley teaches (Jones doesn’t mention gift giving as a fifth love language). The struggling husband accepts Jones’ advice and returns to his marriage with a fresh perspective and new start. There were several other bits of advice that seem to have a spiritual background, but there is no reference to divine solutions. One of the penetrating questions Jones’ poses to his listeners is, “What would other people like to change about you?” In other words, what change is necessary in the listener for others to enjoy being around him more? If I am other-centered, as Scripture declares I need to be, then I should consider, reflect and ask others what it might change, so that I can be more effective at building bridges and having a greater influence on others. Another example is not using “if’s” or “but’s” when asking for forgiveness. For example, if I were to say, “If I hurt you, please forgive me.” That statement doesn’t acknowledge at all that the offender recognizes any offense. It’s really a statement that says, “Let’s get this over with so we can get on with life. You are just very sensitive.” It’s a biblical principle to avoid “if’s” and “but’s” in asking for forgiveness, but the author does not make that connection. In the same account, Jones asks “Henry” about his unborn child and what name his wife wants to give him. Henry mentions “Caleb” and Jones mentions that the name Caleb is from a noble man who became a ‘victorious old man’ without referring to the biblical account of the story from Joshua 14. The author, Andy Andrews, invites the reader into realistic conversations that give hope for life. Some of the drama is slow and often the advice very simple. While there are hints of spirituality, neither Jesus Christ nor the grace of God are included as beacons of hope or assurance that God is in control. I enjoyed this casual read as I was not looking for in-depth theology, apologetics, or deep answers to life’s questions.
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Roughly based on true events, The Noticer tells the story of a man named Jones who comes upon the author at a moment of crisis and offers him “perspective” that changes Andrews’ life. As time goes on, Andrews sees that Jones is having a similar effect on the lives of many people, and he starts to wonder. Exactly who is this man with his way of speaking into precisely the right moment of a person’s life to effect drastic change?Part fiction, part allegory, part inspiration, The Noticer focuses on six different people, or perhaps we should call them “types” and offers wisdom to each. Spanning everything from the confusion of youth to the listlessness of later years, there is truth here that is simple and profound.I don’t think you need to believe in God to enjoy this book and get something out of it, though I think if you do believe you will get more out of it. These are guidelines for successful living that apply to everyone who’s ever been in a relationship, been in a life crisis, or just wondered how they were going to make their vision of the future become a reality. My final word: This is a really fast read and I did enjoy it, but I admit the story is a little flimsy, and the style might remind you a little bit of a sermon from time to time. Therefore I will make two ratings and two recommendations:1. If you are the type of person who typically enjoys Christian and/or inspirational writing, you will like this book. It's a 4 out of 5 for you.2. If you are more of a cynic and you can't stand the slightest hint of corniness, you might get something out of it, but this probably won't be your favorite book. Call it a 2 or 3 for you.
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Jones is an older man with a suitcase who appears at times of need in people’s lives, and helps them sort themselves out. He comes and goes and seems to have no place to rest his head or address or any need to have one. He teaches people what they need at the time, how to correct mistakes and bad decisions and to tell the difference, how to communicate better, how to act so people want to know you. Over the ears he changed many lives in the small beach community in Alabama. Author Andrews is a motivational speaker. Words of wisdom for the new age generation.
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One man paying attention makes a difference
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a quick read being under 200 pages. The main character, Jones, gives advice to people at all stages of their lives that give them 'perspective' on their respective situations. There is advice given to everyone from teenagers on finding true love, the elderly on how every acton no mater how small can make a difference, to couples facing divorce, to those who are too caught up in the big picture and achieving success at whatever cost. It's good advice that, even if we've heard it before, we could use to hear it again and I managed to write down many quotes from this book that I found specifically meaningful.Two of the ideas in this book that struck me as the most profound were: 1. That an apology is appropriate if one makes a mistake. However, when one makes a choice, you need to make up for that choice in more than just words, in actions too. 2. That picturing success is not necessarily the same as picturing a successful life. Finally the book made me want to read more biographies, as Jones had the people he encountered read certain ones to show them that "experience is not the best teacher. Other people's experience is the best teacher. By reading about the lives of great people, you can unlock the secrets to what made them great" (9). I would definately recommend this book to anyone of any age because it does succeed in giving us a new 'perspective'.
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The Noticer which releases tomorrow is a short book by best-selling author Andy Andrews. Not knowing much in advance about this book, my first impression was that this was an autobiographical work. Then I quickly realized this was a work of fiction that blends truth, allegory and good storytelling. The main focus of this book is perspective. It is a collection of short stories where the main character Jones challenges people to change their perspective. A cast of characters who are down on their luck and going through trying times have their lives turned around by a simple change in perspective. While I enjoyed the stories, I felt it was a little too simplistic. The book gives the impression that anyone can change their circumstances by being more positive and fun to be around. From a Christian worldview, this book had great potential to really hit some deep topics. But for a book labeled in the spiritual growth and thought category, I felt it came up short in those areas. I would consider the book more of a philosophical work. A book focused mainly on perspective does not really fall into the spiritual category. If you are looking for spiritual growth, their are far better books. If you are looking for a good short book with a positive message, then this is a book for you.
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Touching, Thought-Provoking, and Inspirational.If I had to sum this book up in three words those are what they would be, but thankfully I'm not restricted to three words :-)This story follows Jones and Andy. Jones is the Noticer, because he notices things that other people can't see. Through the book he comes into peoples lives at the right time, helps them gain a little perspective on the situation they are in, then moves on to help someone else. I loved this book. Not only was it a quick read (3 hours) but I couldn't put it down. Andy Andrews writes with compassion for his characters (probably because he is one of them). Jones has a way to know exactly what each person he comes in contact needs in order to help them change their lives around. Jones' perspective on life seems so simple, yet many of us fail to see things from his perspective in our own lives. I became so attached to this story that I cried quite a few times. I think I became attached to each character that Jones helped. And each time he helped someone he simply chalked it up to the person just needed a little perspective. I normally don't post passages from the books I read but I think this one is worth mentioning: "Most people think it takes a long time to change. It doesn't.Change is immediate! Instantaneous! It may take a long time to decide to change... but change happens in a heartbeat!"I think everyone should read this. It kind of makes you think about times when you've been in a bad way and what it took or would take to help you get out of it.
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The Noticer by Andy AndrewsOrange Beach, Alabama is a simple town filled with simple people. But like all humans on the planet, the good folks of Orange Beach have their share of problems - marriages teetering on the brink of divorce, young adults giving up on life, business people on the verge of bankruptcy, as well as the many other obstacles that life seems to dish out to the masses.Andy is a guy down on his luck living under a bridge in Orange Beach, Alabama. Depression and fear grip Andy but just when fear and hopelessness are about to tangle him up he meets Jones an old guy with white hair wearing jeans and flip flops. Under the that bridge Mike sees the first glimpse of Jones gift of wisdom which he calls his gift of being a noticer. Jones explains to Andy some lessons on life and adds a little perspective to his situation and tells Mike he has been given a gift. He hands him three books autobiography's starting with George Washington. These three books open Andy's eyes and throughout the story we find Andy has read threw two hundred bios, picked up his life becomes successful marries and is happy. Later he runs into Jones again and watches how Jones effects the small towns people. People who are flawed and full of problems, marriages on the verge of divorce, young adults ready to waste their lives. Business men going broke and people just in the gutters.During the first few chapters I thought this was going to be another Inspirational climb these seven steps to a better life. Give all your money to church because God is a ATM machine…you slip your card in you get some cash back!! Thankfully it didn't follow those footsteps but focused on the steps of becoming a person that uses wisdom. The Jones character made this readable. It was written in a way that held my attention but I guess for me I didn’t get the concept. Reading biography's of other peoples success and drama just didn’t jive with me. Although I did see who the Jones character was representing and how the general message of being a person of integrity and a person that other people can depend on and trust leads to success in life and in relationships. Jones touches every character in a way that each problem can be addressed. Where each storm the person is going threw can be overcome with hope and the right direction.Basically this a story of wisdom and learning from your mistakes. Being a person of integrity, how to speak and address people how you look at yourself and building yourself into a wise person. Also with that wisdom of life's lessons to pass on to others and plant seeds of encouragement.
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Perspective.When you’re facing a crisis, having someone tell you that you need “perspective” sounds trite, simplistic, and/or offensive. You don’t need perspective, you need what’s wrong to be right.However, once you gain perspective, you look back and realize it really was was the most important thing you needed. Without the right perspective, you cannot take the right path.The Noticer is a wonderful little book about perspective. How lost our lives can become without it. How rescued our lives can become with it.The book itself plays out like a “Touched by an Angel” episode, where a variety of people in a town are all helped by a mysterious stranger named Jones. In each of their situations, the help that Jones gives them is a new perspective on their life situation. As he tells a young homeless man, “I give them a broader view… and it allows them to regroup, take a breath, and begin their lives again.”It’s a clever and winsome way to wrap up some disparate observations & wisdom on living into a book. Although I usually prefer heavy, deep, non-fiction tomes on this sort of subject, I enjoyed reading The Noticer. It made me think, and it made me smile. Jones goes up to a married couple and tells them, “Now then. You are having marital problems.” Shocked, they ask him how he knows. He slyly replies, “Because you’re married. When you’re married, those are the kind of problems you have.”Over the course of the book Jones helps a young homeless man, a married couple on the brink of divorce, a chronic worrier, some teens with dating woes, a lonely widow, and an unethical young businessman, all with a few words of insight. His last words of wisdom are perhaps his best:"Your time on this earth is a gift to be used wisely.Don’t squander your words or your thoughts.Consider that even the simplest actions you take for your lives matter beyond measure… and they matter forever."Will The Noticer change your life? Not likely. Is it a pleasant little read for a few hours when your don’t want your brain to be in high gear? Yes, I found it so, & I think you will too.
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