The Noticer by Andy Andrews, published by Nelson Nelson, is a newly published work that aims to teach the value of perspective. By noticing the different perspectives from which we approach the decisions in our lives, we gain understanding. This can be understanding of how others see us, understanding of the consequences of our actions, or understanding of how our lives intertwine with others.
The central figure in The Noticer is an impossibly old and mysterious man by the name of Jones. Not “Mr. Jones”, just “Jones”. He is goes by other names to non-Anglo individuals and appears of differing ethnicity to those other cultures also. Jones tends to appear basically out of nowhere to comfort and advise troubled people during their darkest hour. While the story takes place in a small Gulf Coast town, it might as well be “Anywhere, USA”. The town and the name of the protagonist aren’t important. What is important is the lessons he imparts.
The book is a quick, enjoyable read and falls into that category of self-help books that try to convey advice through parable. While the book is enjoyable and the advice worthwhile, I found The Noticer a bit hard to get through in places simply because the story was just too cloying. Much as you really get tired of the mice in the business book Who Moved My Cheese?, you start to get tired of the characters and predictability of their reactions in the work. If the book was much longer, you might just put it down.
As it stands though, this is the type of book that you will read, get out of it what you need, and then pass along to someone else because out of the 180 odd pages you will find four or five that speak directly to an issue you have. And for that, it is worth the price. (The explanation of the four ways that love is conveyed and perceived was just that tidbit for me.) I can also see The Noticer being given by many as gifts for those entering into new relationships, business opportunities, or even graduation. And in those situations, again, if the reader can even find just four or five pages that speak to them, then the reading will have been time well spent.
Note: The publisher gave me a copy of this book for the purpose of. There were no strings attached, and that gratis review copy in no way swayed my opinions towards this work.