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Father Fiction: Chapters for a Fatherless Generation Hardcover – April 6, 2010

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The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
When the best option is to let go of the life you planned for yourself and find a new path, a world of possibilities can surprisingly open up.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; REV edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439169160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439169162
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


There are many books you just taste. Some you snack on. And then there are the few that you savour and devour. Donald Miller's new autobiographical narrative, Father Fiction, is a rich and memorable feast for anyone concerned about fatherlessness. It is a story that you will relish not just once but many times and it is an absolute must-read for those who want to make a loving stand against the demise of fatherhood. Dr Mark Stibbe, founder and leader of the Father's House Trust, and bestselling author --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

In 2005 Donald Miller started The Mentoring Project, an organization that helps churches start mentoring programs and pairs mentors with boys in need. Don’s work with the fatherless led the Obama administration to invite him onto the president's task force on fatherlessness and mentoring. Donald is the director of The Burnside Writers Collective, an online magazine. He is a frequent speaker, appearing at events such as the Women of Faith Conference, The Democratic National Convention, and Harvard University. He still lives in Portland, Oregon with his dog Lucy

Customer Reviews

Miller's casual writing style is fun and easy to read.
Bill Garrison
While much of what Miller describes in this book resonated with me, there seemed at times a lot of rambling on.
He is every kids spokesperson, making me a better mother for reading the book and my husband a better father.
Marsha Marks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on June 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I nearly passed on reading Father Fiction; I knew it by the former title but honestly the new title made me even less likely to read it...reason being, I grew up with a father. I only read it because I like Donald Miller. What I wasn't expecting was a lot of wisdom about life in general. And the book gets better as it goes along. Several chapters have little to do with the angst over growing up without a dad. I don't know how this book should've been marketed, but a lot of people probably won't read it who, like myself, grew up in a conventional household. And by the way, having a dad hardly means life is great. I had one and I am one, and there's baggage aplenty. "We all carry a father wound." We're all pretty disfunctional regardless of how we grew up. Eventually we realize that we're accountable for our choices and the parenting we received may be an influence but does not fate us to success or failure.

The chapters on dating, sex, and vocation should be read by everyone. This is Miller at his best. I especially liked his description of going on photo shoots with his nature photographer (and editor) friend John. He has perfected a refreshing style of writing that sounds like you're sitting with him at a coffee house. Don shares his Christian convictions without sounding preachy. Get beyond the title and enjoy.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Englewood Review of Books on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
[ This review originally appeared in
THE ENGLEWOOD REVIEW OF BOOKS - Vol 3 #13 - 09 April 2010 ]

Writing in a conversational tone that is both humorous and engaging, Donald Miller is a superb writer, certainly one of the finest living writers of spiritual memoir. And yet, for most of his adolescent years, he struggled with his schoolwork, wondering if he really was incapable of learning and doing just well enough in school to get by. The son of a single mother, who worked slavishly to provide for their family, Miller attributes many of his academic and emotional struggles to the lack of a father in his life. In his newest book, Father Fiction: Chapters for a Fatherless Generation (which some readers will recognize as a reworking of his 2006 book To Own a Dragon), Miller bares the scars on his soul left by growing up without a father figure. Miller tells the stories here of the many men who mentored him on his journey, serving as surrogate fathers for various lengths of time and to varying degrees of success. It was, for instance, a youth pastor in his church, who befriended him and saw the gift of words in him, encouraging him to write -- even in a phase of his life where he had yet to read a book from cover to cover.

Father Fiction is not a light book, full of brutal honesty that will get its readers (presumably mostly men, or women who want to understand the experience of maleness in world dominated by fatherlessness) to think about their own formational experiences with their fathers, fatherlessness. Miller observes that this book is about "the hard, shameful, embarrassing stuff ... me secretly admitting to you I needed a father, and how I felt like half a man until I dealt with those issues honestly.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Busy Reader on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book and nearly fell over when I noticed that this was actually "To Own a Dragon" with some revisions and under a new publisher. I already own a copy of the original book (which is a really good read), so I am disappointed that the product description did not include this bit of VERY USEFUL information!I enjoy Miller's writing when I am in the mood for a light, easy read. I would not consider it great enough to buy twice though. Furthermore, Miller uses this book to promote his Mentoring Project for fatherless kids. As a single mother, with little extra money to spare, I feel a little hoodwinked by this marketing ploy. In all, mama is not happy!

edited review 9/23/10: I want to clarify that I am not unhappy with the the book, or the author. I really enjoy Miller's writing. I am displeased with the Editorial Review on the product description page, and with the new publishing company's recommendations to change the title and drop the co-authors name in order to sell more copies.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Travis Peterson on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Donald Miller is, without question, a name that his easily recognized in modern Christianity. Some love his works; some, not so much. Father Fiction is my first reading of Miller's works, and my own response is mixed.

In this work, miller talks to young men about growing up without a dad in his life. The Authors own father was not present in his life, and this led to him struggling through many important developmental issues.


Many authors Endeavour to adopt a style that is conversational in tone. Sadly, most make the reader feel like they are struggling to manage this feat. Not Miller. Miller's style is easy-to-read. As a reader, I found myself feeling like I was listening to a guy sitting across my living room or addressing a small group. This makes the pages fly by, and gives a great note of realism to Miller's work.

This work has some very helpful, down-to-earth, advice to offer. Miller talks with frankness to young men about the need to grow up, to take responsibility for life, and to not let their past determine their future. The author speaks strongly about the need for young men to learn to pay their bills, to study for themselves, and to treat women and sexuality appropriately. There is an undertone of devotion to God that flows through these pages as the thing that will make all this actually able to come right.


While there is a sort of God undertone in this book that comes to the forefront, it is not nearly as prominent as would have made me happy with the work. Miller very seldom sites the holy Scriptures, and thus his writing smacks of Dr. Phil's advice as much as it does Christian writing.
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More About the Author

Donald Miller is a student of story. He's the author of New York Times Best Sellers: "Blue Like Jazz," "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years," and "Scary Close." He co-wrote the major motion picture "Blue Like Jazz" which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and was listed as one of the top four movies to get you through freshman year by USA Today. He has served on The Presidential Task Force for Fatherhood and Healthy Families, a joint effort between government and the private sector to rewrite the story of fatherlessness in America. Currently, he helps people live a better story at www.storylineblog.com and helps leaders grow their businesses at www.storybrand.com. Donald lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.

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