The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective

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A new story of common wisdom from the bestselling author of The Traveler's Gift

Orange 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 ...

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The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective

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A new story of common wisdom from the bestselling author of The Traveler's Gift

Orange 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.

Fortunately, when things look the darkest - a mysterious man named Jones has a miraculous way of showing up. An elderly man with white hair, of indiscriminate age and race, wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and leather flip flops carrying a battered old suitcase, Jones is a unique soul. Communicating what he calls "a little perspective," Jones explains that he has been given a gift of noticing things that others miss. "Your time on this earth is a gift to be used wisely," he says. "Don't squander your words or your thoughts. Consider even the simplest action you take, for your lives matter beyond measure...and they matter forever."

Jones speaks to that part in everyone that is yearning to understand why things happen and what we can do about it.

Like The Traveler's Gift, The Noticer is a unique narrative is a blend of fiction, allegory, and inspiration. Gifted storyteller Andy Andrews helps us see how becoming a "noticer" just might change a person's life forever.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bestselling inspirational writer and speaker Andrews (The Traveler's Gift) again blends fiction, allegory and inspiration and seasons it with a dash of autobiography. The result is a readable little tale of a mysterious old man named Jones-"just Jones, no mister"-who shows up in the lives of people in crisis. Jones brings the gift of perspective-he "notices" alternative ways to think about things. Some of what he says is common sense: "yes, sir" works better than "I guess." Some of what he says counters received wisdom: do sweat the small stuff, because little things can make a big difference as surely as brushstrokes make up a masterpiece. The narrator "Andy" is personable and appealing, and Jones is mysterious and brusque enough not to be a cloying Pollyanna. The title is awkward and not everyone likes motivational books, but many readers do. Andrews brings a track record, wordsmith skills and, best of all, an imagination. (Apr. 28)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780785229216
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 47,508
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy Andrews, hailed by a New York Times reporter as someone who has “quietly become one of the most influential people in America,” is a bestselling novelist and in-demand corporate speaker for the world’s largest organizations. He has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents and at military bases world-wide. Andy is also the author of The Traveler’s Gift, The Lost Choice, Island of Saints and Return to Sawyerton Springs. He lives in Orange Beach, Alabama, with his wife Polly and their two sons.
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Read an Excerpt

The Noticer

Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective

By Andy Andrews

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 Andy Andrews
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4185-7456-7


His name was Jones. At least, that's what I called him. Not Mr. Jones ... just Jones. He called me "young man" or "son." And I rarely heard him call anyone else by name either. It was always young man or young lady, child or son.

He was old, but the kind of old that is difficult to quantify. Was he sixty-five or eighty—or a hundred and eighty? And every single time I ever laid eyes on him, he had an old, brown suitcase close at hand.

Me? I was twenty-three when I saw him for the first time. He held out his hand, and for some reason, I took it. Looking back on the moment, I think that act in itself was a small miracle. Any other time, and with any other person, considering my circumstances, I might have cowered in fear or come out with my fists flying.

I had been crying, and he heard me, I guess. My cries were not the muffled sobs of loneliness or the whimpering of discomfort—though certainly I was lonely and uncomfortable—but the anguished wail that a guy will let loose only when he is sure there is no one around to hear him. And I was sure. Wrong, obviously, but sure. At least as sure as one spending another night under a pier can be.

My mother had succumbed to cancer several years earlier, a tragic event in my life that was compounded shortly thereafter by my father, who, neglecting to wear his seat belt, managed to chase my mother into the afterlife by way of an otherwise survivable automobile accident.

One questionable decision followed another during the confused aftermath of what I saw as "my abandonment," and within a couple of years, I found myself on the Gulf Coast, without a home, a vehicle, or the financial means to obtain either. I did odd jobs—mostly cleaning fish on the piers or selling bait to the tourists—and showered at the beach or swam myself clean in a pool at one of the hotels.

If it was cold, there was always a garage left open in one of the many empty vacation homes that dotted the beach. Rich people (anyone who owned a vacation home), I soon learned, often had an extra refrigerator or freezer hooked up in their garages. Not only were these excellent sources of old lunch meat and drinks, but they also worked almost as well as a heater if I lay close to the warm air that blew from the fan at the bottom.

Most nights, though, I much preferred my "home" underneath the Gulf State Park Pier. I had a large hole dug in and smoothed out right where the concrete met the sand. Visualize a monstrous lean-to: it was roomy, absolutely hidden from view, and as dry as anything ever is at the beach. I left my few belongings there—mostly fishing tackle, T-shirts, and shorts—often for days at a time, and never had anything stolen. Honestly, I didn't think anyone knew I slept there—which is why I was so surprised when I looked up and saw Jones.

"Come here, son," he said, with his hand outstretched. "Move into the light." I shuffled forward, taking his right hand with my own, and eased into the soft glow cast from the sodium vapor bulbs above the pier.

Jones was not a large man—nowhere near six feet—but neither was he small. His white hair was worn straight back over his head. It was too long, but had been carefully brushed and smoothed with his fingertips. His eyes, even in the dim light, seemed to shine. They were a clear, crystal blue, framed by a deeply wrinkled face. Though he wore jeans, a white T-shirt, and leather flip-flops, the old man seemed stately—though even now I admit that is hardly a word one would use to describe a five-foot-nine-or-so old man under a pier at night.

As I describe Jones, I might as well go ahead and tell you that I never knew whether he was black or white. I'm not sure it matters beyond trying to paint a mental picture for you, but I never asked and never decided if his café au lait–colored skin was the result of genetics or a life lived mostly outdoors. In any case, he was brown. Sort of.

"You crying about something in particular?" he asked. "Maybe somebody in particular?"

Yeah, I thought. Me. I am the "somebody in particular." "Are you going to rob me?" I asked aloud. It was an odd question. More evidence, I suppose, of the level of distrust I had in everyone and everything at that time.

The old man's eyebrows rose. Peering beyond me into the darkness from which I had emerged moments before, he chuckled. "Rob you? I don't know ... you got some furniture or a TV in there I didn't see?"

I didn't respond. I might have hung my head. Somehow, his attempt at humor made me feel worse. Not that he seemed to care.

He punched me playfully on the arm. "Lighten up, young man," he said. "First of all, you're about a foot and a half taller than me, so, no, I'm not about to rob you. Second ... there is a benefit to not owning a bunch of stuff." I looked at him blankly, so he went on: "You're safe. Not only am I not gonna rob you; neither is anybody else. You got nothing to take!" He paused, aware that I was still not smiling. In fact, quite the opposite—I was becoming angry.

The old man changed tack. "Hey, Andy, if I promise not to ever rob you, can I have one of the Cokes you have stashed back in there?" He gestured behind me. I stared back at him. "Yes? No?" he said. "Please?"

"How did you know my name?" I asked.

"You can call me Jones, by the way."

"Okay. So how did you know my name? And how do you know whether or not I have any Cokes under here?"

"No big deal, really." He shrugged. "I been watching you for a long time. I been around. And the Cokes are bound to be a product of your late-night forays into the garages of the local rich and famous. So ... can I have one?"

I watched him for a moment, considering his answer, then slowly nodded and retreated into the darkness for his Coke. Returning with two cans, I handed one to the old man.

"Didn't shake it up, did ya?" He grinned. Then, seeing once again that I refused even the slightest smile, he sighed and said, "Lord, Lord. You are a tough one." Popping the top on the Coke, Jones shifted in the sand and crossed his legs. "All right," he said, taking a long pull from the red can, "let's get started."

"Get started ... at what?" I asked flatly.

Jones set his drink can down and said, "We need to start noticing a few things. We need to check your heart. We need to gather a little perspective."

"I don't even know what you are talking about," I said. "And I don't know who you are."

"Fair enough." He smiled. "Well, let me see, now ... how do I explain?" He leaned toward me quickly. "As for who I am, call me Jo—"

"You already told me that," I interrupted. "What I mean—"

"Yeah, I know what you mean. You mean, where'd I come from, and stuff like that."

I nodded.

"Well, this evening, I came from just up the beach a ways." I sighed and rolled my eyes. Chuckling, he held up both hands in mock protest. "Hang on. Hang on, now. Don't get aggravated at old Jones." In a softer voice he added, "Okay?" Accepting my nod, he continued.

"I am a noticer," he said. "It is my gift. While others may be able to sing well or run fast, I notice things that other people overlook. And, you know, most of them are in plain sight." The old man leaned back on his hands and cocked his head. "I notice things about situations and people that produce perspective. That's what most folks lack—perspective—a broader view. So I give them that broader view ... and it allows them to regroup, take a breath, and begin their lives again."

For several minutes we sat there quietly, peering out at the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I was strangely calm in the presence of this old man, who was now lying on his side, elbow in the sand, with his head propped on his hand. After a while, he spoke again—a question this time. "So your mama and daddy passed on?"

"How did you know that?" I asked in return.

He gave the tiniest of shrugs, as if to say, Everybody knows, but I knew they didn't.

Though it alarmed me that this stranger seemed to know so much about me, I shook off the eerie feeling and answered his question. "Yeah, they're both dead."

He pursed his lips. "Well ... that's a matter of perspective too." When I questioned him with a look, he continued. "There's a big difference in 'dead' and 'passed on.' "

"Not to me," I snorted.

"You ain't the one who's passed on."

"You got that right," I said bitterly. "I'm the one who's left." On the verge of tears again and with a mean tone of voice, I blurted out, "So what's your perspective on that? Huh?"

Carefully, Jones asked, "Well, why do you think you are here? In this situation ... in this place, I mean."

"Because I chose to be," I tossed out. "My own bad decisions. My attitude." I stared hard at him. "See? I know all the right answers. So I don't need to hear it from you. It's all my fault, okay? Is that what you want me to say?"

"No," the old man said calmly. "I was just curious if you had any perspective of your own."

"Well, no, I don't," I said. "I grew up hearing that old adage about God putting a person after His own heart where He wants him to be. And He puts me under a pier?" I cursed, then added, "By the way, about that reference to the difference between 'dead' and 'passed on,' I've spent more than enough of my life in church, so I get what you're implying. I'm just not sure I buy any of that anymore."

"That's okay for the moment," Jones said soothingly. "I hear you. And I understand why you feel that way. But listen ... I'm not selling anything. Remember, I am only here for—"

"For perspective, yeah, I know."

Jones was silent for a time, and I began to wonder if I had been rude enough to shut him down completely. But, no. That was just the first of several chances I would offer him to give up on me and leave. And he didn't.

"Young man?" Jones asked as he brushed a wisp of white hair from his eyes. "What would you think if I told you that, yes, your bad choices and decisions have had a part in your ending up under this pier, but beyond that, under this pier is exactly where you should be in order for a future to occur that you can't even imagine at this point?"

"I don't understand," I said. "And I'm not sure I would believe it if I did."

"You will," Jones replied. "Trust me. One day you will." Then, suddenly smiling, he said, "Here's the thing, son, everybody seems to misunderstand that saying you threw at me a minute ago. Why does everyone think that when people say that 'God will put a person after His own heart where He wants him to be' ... that it means God will put them on a mountaintop or in a big house or at the front of the line?

"Think with me here ... everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you'll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of a mountain. Sure, the view is great, but what's a view for? A view just gives us a glimpse of our next destination—our next target. But to hit that target, we must come off the mountain, go through the valley, and begin to climb the next slope. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life's next peak.

"So, my contention is that you are right where you are supposed to be." The old man scooped up a double handful of the white sand and let it pour from his fingers. "It may look like barren sand to you, son, but nothing could be further from the truth. I say to you that, as you lay your head down tonight, you are sleeping on fertile ground. Think. Learn. Pray. Plan. Dream. For soon ... you will become."

Before he left that night, Jones opened his suitcase, holding it carefully away from my curious gaze, and removed three small, orange hardcover books. "Do you read?" he asked. As I nodded, he added, "I'm not asking if you can read; I'm asking if you do."

"Yes," I responded. "Mostly magazines and stuff, but I do."

"Good enough," Jones said. "Read these."

I looked at what he handed me in the semidarkness. The titles were all names. Winston Churchill. Will Rogers. George Washington Carver. I glanced back up at him. "History books?"

"No," he said, with a twinkle in his eye, "adventure stories! Success, failure, romance, intrigue, tragedy, and triumph—and the best part is that every word is true! Remember, young man, 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."

I read Winston Churchill until dawn. It was comforting somehow to discover a life that had endured more tragedy and rejection than my own. And it didn't escape me that by the end of his life, Churchill had met with more than an equal measure of success.

Jones had said good-bye sometime after I started reading. I barely noticed him leave, but in the morning, I wished I had been nicer to the old man. I felt embarrassed, a bit ashamed of myself, but not nearly so devoid of hope as I had been the evening before. By nightfall, I had finished George Washington Carver and was so tired that I slept until the next morning.

That day, I washed boats at the marina and thought constantly about what I had read. I also kept an eye out for Jones, but I didn't see him. Gene, the marina manager, said he knew Jones well. He told me that the old man had been coming through town for years. "In fact," Gene said, "Jones was old when I was a boy. And I'm fifty-two."

I read Will Rogers within the next twenty-four hours, but it wasn't until several days later that I saw my friend again. I was throwing a cast net in the lagoon, trying to catch shrimp and mullet minnows to sell for bait, when the old man slipped up behind me. "Doing any good?" he asked.

"Hey, Jones!" I exclaimed. "I didn't hear you come up! Where've you been? I already read the books!"

He chortled at my enthusiasm. (Actually, I was a bit surprised myself that I was so glad to see him.) "Slow down, slow down! Let me comment." He grinned. "You didn't hear me come up because you were splashing around so much you wouldn't have heard me if I was riding an elephant. As for where I've been? I've been around—even seen you a couple of times—but didn't want to be a bother. And I'm glad you finished the books. Like 'em?"

"Yes, sir," I answered breathlessly. "I really did."

"Good. I figured you were through with all three by now. I hope you don't mind ... I stopped by the pier and got them. And I left three more."

"Really?" I said, surprised. "Thanks."

"You're welcome. I'm getting them from the library. But I'm picking them out special for you." Jones then held up a plastic bag. "You hungry? I got lunch."

"I'm always hungry," I said. "Lately, I've been a 'one-meal-a-day' kind of guy, or what my mom used to call an 'opportunistic eater.' "

"Well, come on," he said. "Get out of the water. I have a feast."

The "feast" turned out to be Vienna sausages and sardines. I was hungry, so I ate, but I wasn't exactly thrilled with the fare, and Jones knew it. I wondered later if that's why he brought it in the first place.

We had settled under an oak tree on a high dune, the beach in front of us and the deep-blue lagoon at our backs. I wore old tennis shoes, blue jean cutoffs, and no shirt. Jones, in his usual casual attire, had coiled a blue bandanna around his head. The blue of that headband seemed to make his eyes glow. From where we sat, we could hear the crashing of the surf, and there was just enough breeze to make the summer temperature bearable. "So, what are you eating?" Jones asked, peering at me with a smile.

I looked up, puzzled. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, I swallowed and said, "What? You know what I'm eating. Same as you."

"Really?" the old man teased, with a sly look. "Somehow I doubt it. But let's see ..." He leaned over to glance at my food, then looked back at me. "What are you eating?" he asked again. "And where are you eating it?" Seeing that I was now more confused than ever, he added gently, "It's not a trick; just answer the questions."

I raised my eyebrows and said, "Well ..." I held up my hands as if to say, I still don't know what you're getting at, and said, "I guess I'm—"

Excerpted from The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Copyright © 2009 Andy Andrews. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 376 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 378 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Noticer book review..."Perspective"

    I was anxious to read this being the latest work of Andy Andrews, especially after having read most all of his previous books. Andy writes in a parable fashion which is both very easy and enjoyable to read as well. Also his writing is very principle based.
    Often when one is personally involved in something, it is hard to see the pitfalls that can easily trip you up and make you to fall. At times such as those, we all need some perspective that we are overlooking, and consequently we need a fresh set of eyes to give us that perspective. Andy addresses this sense of perspective through the parable of a traveler named Jones, who notices things, shares with his new found friends what he has noticed and how by making some kind of change will improve their life.
    The book begins with Andy sharing his personal story of hardship he experienced as a young man after his parents died and he found himself homeless and living under a bridge. It was at this time a mysterious old man happened on him, befriended Andy and gave him some perspective on how his life could change for the better. Like many others Andy it would seem was having a pity party and had not invited anyone to attend, although who would want to? It was through this new perspective and a generous loan from the old man of some biographies that Andy learned of how others who had gone through tough times were able to overcome and move on with life, and be the person who God intended them to be. Andy also learned that valleys provide times of learning and that experience is not the best teacher; however other peoples experience is the best teacher.
    It seems that we all like to learn things the hard way, and experience problems that could easily be avoided, if only we were willing to be open about what we are going through and seek the counsel of someone who has already been there and done that.
    Jones shared with Andy "The situation you find yourself in is fraught with difficulty, yes. It is also piled high with benefits." Difficulties are a fact of life and unfortunately often those difficulties are the consequences of our own making. Jones goes on to share a universal law that needs to be remembered, "Whatever you focus on increases."
    True friendship is explained as a "True friend does not accept you as you are; they hold you to a higher standard." In life we all need to have friends that hold us accountable.
    The story is shared of a time Jones was talking with a man named Walker who kept concentrating on the failure in his personal history and the wise counsel Jones gave Walker was "It is time to stop letting your history control your destiny." Wow, have you ever done that? I know I have and when I do that basically I am in the "Woe is me Syndrome". While each of us needs to consider our past, dwelling on the failures of one's past does nothing but drag you down, and give you a defeatist attitude. It seems that we after facing our past failures need to learn from them and go on from there not making the same mistakes again. That is a hard lesson of life but one that is best learned early in life.

    Having a proper perspective is everything and through this work Andy inspires you to have a fresh perspective on life.
    Very good book.

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2010

    One of the best books I've read!

    Notonly easy reading but it had such depth. It caused me to stop and give thought about life. Don't know when I've spent a more peaceful afternoon than one on the sofa with this book. I would recomend it to anyone high school age and above!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2010

    The Noticer by Andy Andrews

    The Noticer by Andy Andrews is a book about an individual named "Jones" who offers perspective to many different people going through many different circumstances in their lives. It is a fiction book, but they way that it is written seems like it is non-fiction. "Jones" offers advice to young, old and in-between, always seeming to be in the right place at the right time, giving the right advice.

    I thought that this book was one of the best books I have ever read. I found myself marking it up and pulling out all kinds of tidbits. Andy Andrews has definitely hit a home run here. Before I was even finished reading the book, I made a list of 15-20 people in my life who I would like to give a copy of this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who like self-help books and fiction books. A great read!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their ( book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 ( "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    The Noticer, by Andy Andrews

    The Noticer is an allegorical lesson on the importance of having the right perspective. Andrews masterfully weaves an engaging tale of a man named Jones and the profound and positive impact he has on many lives. Readers will likely see themselves in at least one of the story's characters. People with various issues encounter Jones and gain more than just a new best friend; they gain a new perspective and practical wisdom, which when applied, makes their lives better. I found the book to be entertaining as well as life changing. It was an easy read; I enjoyed Jones's perspective on life and his infectious optimism. The one thing I disliked about the book is where Andrews included some personal information at the end of the first chapter, kind of a plug for one of his other books and his availability for speaking engagements. This side note broke the spell of the story. I found it to be very distracting and incongruous with the rest of the book. Aside from that, I believe the book is definitely worth reading.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    Take no notice

    I was sent this book before it was even released in order to read it, review it, and help create buzz for it's release on Tuesday.

    I started the book and have to admit to being intrigued by the concept. A wanderer named Jones (not Mr. Jones, just "Jones") who seems to know a lot of people, and a lot about people, but they know nothing if not much about him. He seems to appear in times of crisis and bring context and insight and clarity into people's lives.

    If you've never read a book before, you'll be wowed by this book. Unfortunately, for this devourer of books I found the dialogue to be quite cumbersome and unnatural. The situations quite unbelievable and disconnected.

    What is such a shame is that there is a lot of fantastic wisdom, truth, and great insight about life contained inbetween the lines of the tale being spun.

    This book reads like a third draft. It's just not quite finished and polished. And it makes me sad to have to give it a sub-par review because there's so much great content, it just gets lost in the overzealous elements the author attempted in telling the story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2010

    He just doesn't miss!

    Andy Andrews is so very creative in the tale that he tells. As a reader, there are times when one needs to stop reading and review the messages that Andy is sharing. What a delightful and memorable way to learn about life and how to live it!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    I noticed what all I have been missing

    The Noticer was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. I had to know what was going to happen next. It is a very motivating book and one that I bought and loaned to friends. I would highly recommend reading it now!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2009

    The Noticer

    The Noticer addressed issues such as poor perspective, off-centered perception, and unfair expectations. The author (Andy Andrews) did an excellent job of speaking to the need for proper focus and attitude without sounding preachy or judgmental. He carefully included an underlying call for wise decision making by detailing the results (or near results) of failure to do so. Mr. Andrews showed that divorce, dishonesty, heartache, and heartbreak often stem from poor decision making. The story is thoughtfully arranged and the characters are engaging. The main character (Jones) is especially endearing . is he an angel or a wise old man? I guess only eternity will tell. Jones advice to look at problems, challenges, and upsets in a broader view is at first glance a simple message. Deeper reflection reveals the simple message houses profound truths. The book caused me to think of ways to improve my outlook on life, ways to reach out to those around myself, and ways to be an overall better person. This small book really packs a big wallop.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I think I'll stick to non-fiction

    The Noticer by Andy Andrews has been on my Amazon wishlist for quite a while now, after reading several bloggers who loved it. So when I joined Booksneeze and saw that it was available, I jumped at the chance. (I received the book as a complimetary copy from the publisher - Thomas Nelson.) This became my bedtime book for a few nights.

    The story revolves around the mysterious character known as 'Jones' (or Garcia or Chen - depending on your ethnic origins), who notices things about people; offers them helpful advice about looking at things from a different perspective; and thereby fixing the things that are in their lives.
    I notice things about situations and people that produce perspective. That's what most folks lack - perspective - a broader view. So I give them that broader view... and it allows them to regroup, take a breath, and begin their lives again.
    Essentially, each chapter follows this pattern and, after a short time, I found this to be predictable to the point of irritation. The advice seemed to be twee, the universal engagement with a stranger dispensing often intrusive advice completely bizarre, and ultimately, this was not an enjoyable read.

    I don't like positive such a negative review, especially as my first one for Booksneeze, but honesty requires it.

    I should also acknowledge that I rarely read works of fiction. So, maybe, there is one piece of Jones' advice that I will follow.
    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.

    I think that I'll stick with biographies at bedtime - at least for a while.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    I think we all stand to learn something from Jones.

    This book is a simple read that seemed almost too simplistic at times. At a time when I was craving some thick to-the-heart in depth reading, this book just didn't do it for me. However, when I picked it up later to finish it (because hey.I had to finish, right?), the simplicity really spoke to me.

    Jones enlightens other characters with some conventional wisdom that isn't always conventional when you're the one needing wisdom. You know.the advice that you can easily give a friend but aren't really able to see for your own situation.

    I like the simple storytelling that Jones uses to make the concepts seem easy to apply to actual life circumstances.

    I would definitely recommend this book as a great quick read or gift book. It would be wonderful for someone who is struggling and needs some insight without having to commit to reading love, wordy novel-like self-help books. Also this one would be great, in my opinion, for a good book to read while on a flight or as a passenger on a road trip. The short, concise chapters and the discussion section in the back could also make for a good choice for small group study. The ease of the read doesn't leave you feeling bogged down, yet you can walk away feeling as though you've gained something all the while. I think we all stand to learn something from Jones.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    Too simplistic. The Traveler's Gift was far superior. Disappointed

    This book was too corny. I stopped reading after the first 50 pages. Just not intelligent enough as the Traveler's Gift was. Really enjoyed that and have recommended that to many. This one- I wouldn't recommend.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    The Noticer by Andy Andrews is sure to be a bestseller.

    At least, it's written in the self-assured, commercialized, slightly condescending tone of a book whose future has already been determined.

    The book follows Jones, an elderly man with strangely angelic or Messianic qualities, who appears at just the right moment in the lives of despairing, dilapidated individuals. Without his interference, certain destruction would have followed.

    The Noticer doesn't seem to be fiction, although it reads with the eerie quality of someone who has taken real events and made them out to be stranger than fiction.

    The book is brimming with advice on how to live a better life, save a failing marriage, choose a life partner, find life after parenting, etc.

    But this Jones character seems to be filling the role of Jesus. If unchurched people read this, and it becomes the bestseller that it seems to expect, I could easily see "What would Jones do?" become a cultural mantra.

    What this world -- this society -- needs is less time in the self-help section of a Christian bookstore or otherwise. Books like The Noticer offer nice advice that may bring about a positive change.

    But positive changes are pointless if they aren't rooted in the truth.

    It seems as if Thomas Nelson is now offering a Christ-like wisdom without any mention of the real source from which it comes.

    Sure there are allusions to Christianity in the book. But part of the conclusion reads, "In desperate times, much more than anything else, folks need perspective."

    Perspective is great. But a broad, beyond-yourself perspective that truly brings redemption comes from Jesus. At least, that's what Christians used to offer.

    Now -- if this latest offering by Thomas Nelson has anything to say about it -- you can get your truth, wisdom, and perspective from an ethnicity-swapping old man who offers good advice that's been pilfered from the Bible, with no mention of the Savior who made it possible. (And Gary Chapman, as some "insight" from an early chapter seems ridiculously similar to some of the five love languages.)

    Maybe it's simply my opinion. But a little perspective can do us all good, wouldn't you say?

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Enough is enough

    Repetitive and very preachy. Read more like a series of the authors anecdotes glean from his self help lecture tour. Ick

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2012

    Highly , "HIGHLY" Reccomend to everyone!

    This book is a book everyone should read. I believe even teens should read this; in fact my 14 almost 15 year old son is reading it. I think it teaches us all how to realize that we truly do not need to read between the lines but simply take in the facts and "Notice". It makes me know that at any age we can learn. I have always wanted to be positive so that I may touch others and I believe I do, but this book touched my heart and I have now read it twice. Thank you Andy Andrews. Awesome! Take a bow!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Not Bad But, Not On My Top Books List

    Andrews "The Noticer" demonstrates the power of not just noticing things, but what those tiny things can mean in the grand scheme of life. Outside, on the surface, it's a gray, drizzly day. Some will see only the downside, the dreary day, it's just a matter of perception. Things are happening. From those flowers and seeds, just as our actions and mindset have an impact on our lives, comes life. Even when covered by gray skies, the hope of future growth and good times and places is there.

    I felt like this book was almost a collection of short stories, all sharing the same main character. Each chapter was the story of a mysterious man who helped a different person during a rough point in their lives. Although it was the same mysterious man, there were very few other overlapping characters throughout the book. One chapter toward the end was almost verbatium a chapter earlier in the book, at which point I found myself more skimming the story rather than reading because I had just read it yesterday!

    In all I give this book a 2 out of 5. If you are taking a vacation and need to kill time, this book will serve its purpose. Don't expect it to revolutionize the way you look at the world, because you will be greatly disappointed. I wouldn't recommend purchasing the book, but find a library and borrow it instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    A Must Read For All Who Can Read! Highly Recommended By Me.

    Amazing book! Suprisingly simple ways of living/viewing life and challenges we face. All too often we view our lives as complex...due to lack of perspective.

    If I could add more stars to this books overall rating I WOULD.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Good self help book

    Great story to read.....enjoyable. But, more importantly had value and a real message.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    A must read!

    ***** Highly Recommended. An eye opener. I love this book and should be read by everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    The NOTICER by Andy Andrews is an encouraging and thought provoking fiction book about perspective. You don't want to miss this read!!

    The NOTICER by Andy Andrews centers upon the life of one man who has been given a special gift. The gift bestowed upon him is the ability to "notice" things that other people dismiss or overlook. He observes people in their circumstances and is able to give valuable insight as it relates to their specific struggles.

    The back drop for the book is Orange Beach, Alabama, where the author currently resides. The narration and character development are exceptional. Nearly every chapter reveals a timely interaction between the main character, "Jones" and his latest "haphazard" meetings with hurting individuals. The book is filled with fresh tangible wisdom and hope for new beginnings. The way the author flawlessly transitions from one person's life and their challenges, to the next is seamless.

    Consider yourself forewarned, however, I had a very difficult time putting this book down, so make sure to have a good chunk of time to feast on this great work, before you start reading it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010



    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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