I normally read non-fiction but, after hearing so many positive comments about this book, I decided to add a fiction title to my library. “The Noticer” proved to be a quick read and a great collection of life lessons that would take readers decades to accumulate on their own. The wisdom is dispensed by a character named Jones who shows up in the chapters at the very moment that his insight is needed (like when a married couple is headed for divorce or a business man is about to take his life to avoid facing an impending financial disaster).
What I didn’t like about these encounters was how quickly each one went from problem to solution, making it impossible for me to put myself in the story and learn right along with the characters in crisis. I was also dismayed when several of the life lessons presented reminded me of key points that I had heard elsewhere, yet no credit was given to the original source: like the comment made on page 102 when Jones (the main character in the book) said that “life is like a game of
Monopoly” because “in the end, it all goes back in the box” (this was the point of John Ortberg’s book “It All Goes Back In The Box”). A second example appeared on page 31 when Jones said that “all people—all lives—are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or headed for a crisis.” (I heard Rick Warren say this during a message he delivered several years ago.)
Having voiced my two complaints (1. how quickly the lessons were offered up and 2. how basic some of the insight was), I must add that the very things that I disliked about the book are the characteristics that will make it popular with readers who are looking for an easy read with enough original insight to make it worthwhile. While every person will have their own, a few of my favorite quotes from the book are found below:
“Most folks figure a true friend is someone who accepts them as they are … But a true friend holds you to a higher standard. A true friend brings out the best in you.” (p. 30)
“Many people who worry too much say that they cannot focus … That is incorrect. A person consumed by worry can focus. Isn’t it obvious? Worry is focus. But it is focus on the wrong things.” (p. 56)
“it’s amazing …that a person could lose everything, chasing nothing.” (p. 49)