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A Million Miles in a Thousand Years


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Byron Borger is raving about the new book by Donald Miller.

The book will be out in a few weeks, and I must say that I cannot wait to sell it. I so enjoyed it earlier this summer, truly wanting to see what happens to him as he re-evaluates his life Big Time. Why does he do this, you ask? Well, you've got to read the book, but basically it is this: some guys are making a movie of his life, based on the popularity and appeal of Blue Like Jazz. They ask him---white board now moved into his living room at the condominium, starting to map out the screenplay---what he does. What does he do? He thinks about God a bit, imagines himself a writer of deep thoughts. He ponders his last and next book, goes to the coffee shop, complaining about the Christian right, maybe, with some righteous indignation. He cares about stuff. Yeah, yeah, they tell him. Nobody cares about that. It becomes evident, in chapters that are hilarious, and yet somehow very convicting (to this reader, at least), that for a movie about one's life to be compelling, it has to have some narrative arc (as they say in the story-biz) and without some admirable action, some struggle, some movement, well, there isn't much of a movie or story.

So--get this-- the real Don decides that the movie Don is much more interesting and nobleDonald Miller.jpg and important that he, the real Don, actually is, and decides to do something about it. If the real Don wouldn't be all that interesting in the movie, well, perhaps the theories of movie-making---that is, what makes a good story, what makes a good life---might help him reconfigure his own life.

The subtitle, "what I learned while editing my life" really is exactly what happened. And, man, does he fly. A listless, writerly, ironic, Portland-based, post-evangelical thinker, becomes more intentional, more earnest, more active, more radical, more really real. It is an amazing transformation, actually. Graceful? Well, it isn't without stumbles and set-backs, but I think it is graceful. Yes, this is a graceful book. It is about making a movie about your life, and what that might make you think and do. That is, he wants his real life to be as interesting and noble as the one in the movie they are making. Is that a crazy-good idea for a book, or what? Sederis or Palahniuk didn't think of that, did they?

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Hmmm. I wasn't all that impressed with Blue Like Jazz, so I'm not so sure I'll be adding this to my stacks of books any time soon.

Anyone else planning on reading it?

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Anyone else planning on reading it?

I'm reading it now... Very intriguing, since he's dealing with things very close to my heart and mind: the elements of story, how movies are examples of cultural and personal stories, and how one can live a life worthy of the calling of Christ for each one of us.

"If the Christian subculture exists primarily to condemn the world, you can be sure that Jesus is not having any part of it." - John Fischer

"Ignorance is excusable when it is borne like a cross, but when it is wielded like an axe, and with moral indignation, then it becomes something else indeed." - Flannery O'Connor

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QUOTE (CherylR @ Sep 11 2009, 01:22 PM) Anyone else planning on reading it?

I'm reading it now... Very intriguing, since he's dealing with things very close to my heart and mind: the elements of story, how movies are examples of cultural and personal stories, and how one can live a life worthy of the calling of Christ for each one of us.

Hmmm. The subject matter certainly sounds interesting. I'll keep it in mind.

I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know.~~Rob Bell April/09 CT

http://whythewritingworks.com

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<a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/october/7.63.html?start=1" target="_blank">Brett McCracken's review in <i>Christianity Today</i>... and some very hostile reader comments.</a>

I've never understood reviewers who feel compelled to write about a memoir,"There is a decided undercurrent of narcissism here,".

Anyway, here's my review of the book. I start out by talking about Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors: Blue, and then get into what I liked about the book. I do think it is his best - it was an enjoyable read.

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