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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2009
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I really liked this CD. I was going to order the book and then decided to order the CD instead. I'm so glad I did. It was so interesting that I did not want to get out of the car. The author/reader was so convincing you felt he was telling you his story while sitting across a table or in your living room. I have ordered another copy to share and have already lent out my CD as well. I tagged this "hope" because the whole story gives hope - seeing things from a different perspective than what you've been focusing on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Noticer is only 156 pages long and a quick read. It does have some great lines, such as:

* "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." (p. 9)
* "Most folks figure a true friend is someone who accepts them as they are. But that's dangerous garbage to believe...The kid who works through at your local fast-food restaurant accepts you for who you are - because he doesn't care anything about you. But a true friend holds you to a higher standard. A true friend brings out the best in you." (p. 30)
* "Five seagulls are sitting on a dock. One of them decides to fly away. How many seagulls are left?" "Well...four." "No. There are still five. Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things." (p. 111)

Overall, though, I wasn't impressed. One chapter was a re-hashing of The Five Love Languages (a book I love, by the way; but I'd rather have the original than a chapter-long summary of it). I never bought into the premise - a semi-non-fictional account of the author's supposed encounter with a wise God-like drifter named Jones.

It's not a completely unworthy read, but for my taste it's largely cliched platitudes with some a few good insights sprinkled throughout.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Andy Andrew's "The Noticer" is one, absolutely incredible book.

If you were to look at the page count, the book is a quick read. But, the content encased by both covers offers a lifetime of hope, reassurance and inspiration.

The book's key figure goes by the name, "Jones". He is an elderly, grandfatherly man who seems to appear in peoples' lives when they are at their bleakest and darkest. The words of wisdom from the book constantly reverberate through my memory as I recall the various times throughout the reading of the book that I felt the sting of self-reflection and the warmth of hopeful reconciliation. Jones is the "Noticer" who drops in and out of people's lives and offers wisdom that penetrates hearts and inspires change. Jones' gift is the power of perspective. When trouble hits our lives, it is easy to be entangled too deeply into the weeds of life's worries and struggles. Jones steps into the lives of the people in the book and helps them to step back and view the options everyone can choose from. He patiently teaches and graciously offers the gift of perspective to anyone willing to simply listen.

There were several times throughout my reading of the book that I groaned inwardly as introspection led to revelation about my character and inspiration on where I can go from here. This isn't you're typical "feel good" book. While the messages found throughout the story come in easily managed doses they stick to you heart, soul and mind. I tried to leave this book immaculately unmarked and unscathed, thinking that this would make a great gift that I could pass on to another reader. But, I couldn't stop myself from bending corners of countless pages and highlighting favorite passages, marking up parts of the book that called me to a deeper self-reflection and a greater motivation to change. I may end up just buying copies for others to mark up and dig into. No other book since the Bible has inspired me to address my personal weaknesses and face my personal challenges and move forward to personal changes.

There is the added bonus of "A Reader's Guide" found at the back to take it even deeper. This has been one of the most rewarding and thought-provoking reads I have ever experienced. Andy Andrews is a gifted storyteller who can move our hearts and change our minds for the betterment and advancement of ourselves.

There was a song years ago from the soundtrack of the animated movie, "The Prince of Egypt" that beautifully captures the spirit of this simple and powerful book on the strength perspective can bring to our lives. The song's title: "Through Heaven's Eyes".
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
What a disappointing book. I've read a couple of so-called allegories written by motivational/self-help gurus, and all of them do the same thing-- present their list of things to do that will change your life in the guise of a story, with a wise and mysterious character doling out their ideas as precious words of wisdom. What I find most disturbing, however, is that the author has borrowed heavily from other sources. The marriage advice the Noticer gives sounds suspiciously like "The 5 Languages of Love." The story about keeping one's fork has floated around the internet for years, and comes from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, if I'm not mistaken. The story about Norman Borloff, who won a Nobel prize for his development of a new variety of wheat, is-- I swear-- right out of a script from "The West Wing." The only thing positive I can say about this book is that it's a quick read.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
THE NOTICER by Andy Andrews

THE SUMMARY: Down on his luck and with little hope, 23-year-old Andy had a life full of frustrations and little else. He lives in a hole under a pier and "bathes" in hotel pools. But when a mysterious old man named Jones finds Andy close to tears, he gives the young man a gift that changes his life--the gift of perspective. He teaches Andy to look at his life through a different lens, thus opening the door to new opportunities. And as Andy comes to find out, Jones has given this gift to many others struggling in the community.

THE MESSAGE: Life is a matter of perspective. Change your perspective and you can change your approach, opportunities, lifestyle, even what others think of you. As Jones' said, "A life filled with opportunities and encouragement finds more and more opportunities and encouragement."

THE PRESENTATION: Although Andy Andrews makes good points in The Noticer, many of his narratives lacked originality and bordered clichés. For example, to a married couple facing divorce, Jones talks about love being expressed in different dialects--a wink and nod to Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages." Individuals feel and express love in different ways, and understanding your spouse's dialect can change your marriage. And to a man who is constantly worrying, Jones tells him to every morning write down things he is thankful for because the "seeds of depression cannot take root in a grateful heart." Good advice but hardly original.

Overall, I think I was expecting more from Andy Andrews. His book is a good reminder of ways to look at life differently, and that by changing your perspective, you can change your circumstances. Unfortunately, this tale falls short of inspirational.

THE QUOTE: "You ate sardines and Vienna sausages in the sand. I dined on surf and turf with an ocean view. It's all about perspective."

THE RECOMMENDATION: 2 out of 5
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Maybe this book just wasn't my thing, but I found it to be an incredibly simplistic, thinly veiled rip-off of books like The 5 People You Meet In Heaven (which I wasn't so fond of either). The book is basically a collection of scenes / stories that involve the mysterious character "Jones" - The Noticer - visiting people at different times in their lives when they are experiencing difficulties of one sort or another to help them "step into the light" and get on the right path.

This, Jones makes it sound so unrealistically easy, is just a matter of getting "perspective" on life... well, if it was that easy no one would need it pointed out to them, would they? And while Jones does make some valid observations to those he encounters about the things he "notices", they all seem more like common sense than any great insight.

The Jones character, who never ages and who appears as "Garcia" to Hispanics and "Chen" to Asians, is obviously supposed to reflect how Christ / religion can be all things to all people but, again, I found it to be presented in a very simplistic, almost condescending manner.

I think the underlying goal of Andrews' book, to get people to "notice" things around them, understand how their actions impact others, and to show their appreciation to those who make or have made a positive impact on their own lives is a laudable one. I just found the book itself to be something more suited to grade school age children than adults given the simplistic way it goes about delivering its message.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In the Noticer, an old, friendly sage, Jones (not Mr. Jones), weaves his way in and out of the lives in one small, all-American town. He finds people in their moment of need and helps give them a little "perspective".

I really wanted to like this book. I respect the author, appreciate the publisher, and was interested in its premise. So it was with some anticipation that I dove in. I had a hard time finding a pace with the story. It felt a bit like the author had grabbed the good ideas from a handful of other gems books and tried to condense those into a chapter each (i.e. the early chapter about Jan & Barry sounds very much like Chapman's Love Languages), making it feel a bit jerky in pace. Jones was an interesting character, but I found his character development too vague. I understand that his mystery is part of the point, but there wasn't enough there to grab on to - Is he God or an angel? Does he disappear or is he traveling elsewhere?

I didn't hate this book; in fact, I'll probably pass it on to my parents next. I think it is likely one that will either really resonate with someone or it will fall flat. Unfortunately for me, it was the latter.

[...]
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
First a disclaimer: just like any other review, this one is a very subjective personal opinion based on MY points of view, preferences, likes, dislikes, previously read books, etc.
With that said, I wish I bought a regular book and not and audio book. I read the review saying how great the audio book was and decided to go with that. For me that was a mistake. While the book is good, the reader's voice was very annoying to my ears. Again, just a personal preference. If you are a fan of Eckhart Tolle (and I am) and his soothing voice, you will probably find, just as I did, this author's voice irritating (the southern? accent didn't bother me, but the screeching did). Sorry Mr. Andrews, nothing personal, just a case of tender ears :)
This book came highly recommended and, while it is a good book, I do not feel that someone who read many other books of spiritual/psychological nature will find any revelations in this one.
But for a mainstream reader it is a good introduction to spirituality and basic psychology. I would recommend following (or even replacing) it with "Be your own shrink" by Kevin Leman, PhD.
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67 of 95 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I struggle with the right words to describe The Noticer by Andy Andrews from Thomas Nelson. Is it the beginning of a movement, or a good marketing plan? Is it a feel-good book, or a short story stretched to fill about 150 pages? Is it autobiographical, or just written to sound like it? I'm afraid the latter of each of these questions is my impression.

I like the idea behind The Noticer Project ([...] Think of five people who have impacted your life and write a note of appreciation - on the website, of course. However, as I began reading the book, I began feeling the project was a marketing device for a lack-luster tale.

The story surrounds a man, named "Jones", not "Mr. Jones", who helps people change their perspective on their own lives. I kept looking for Jones to point these people to the others who influenced their lives. It wasn't there. Jones appears and disappears with regularity in the community. Each time to help someone out of a personal dilemma. Jones pointed each of them to their own lives and how to change. Not a bad thing, but not the concept I was expecting. In none of the encounters is any one thanked, except Jones.

The various vignettes of encounters with Jones reminded me of the 80s television show "The Highway to Heaven" starting Michael Landon. In fact, these short tales could have been story ideas for that program. Unlike "Heaven," where we knew that Landon's character was an angel, it is never explicit with Jones in The Noticer.

There are good principles to learn from the stories and from Jones' philosophies. There are also comments, such as "Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things," that are worthy of posting over a desk or on the refrigerator. A Reader's Guide is included at the end of the book for book discussions or personal reflections.

Although I enjoyed most of the little stories, it wasn't a page turner. I could have easily set the book aside and not gone back to it. Considering the marketing hype, I was disappointed with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a very different book.

That's probably the best way I can describe it. According to the promo information, it's not exactly fiction, although it has some fictional elements. But it's not exactly biographical either, though you'll find some of that in there, too.

It probably falls into the "historical fiction" genre, but that's not entirely accurate either. We're told that it's "a unique narrative is a blend of fiction, allegory, and inspiration".

Whatever it is, I had to tear myself away close to midnight the first day, and I finished it the second (good thing I'm reading it on vacation).

The story is of a man named simply Jones, who travels around and notices. People, situations, problems, celebrations. He notices them all. And then, at the right time, he shares what he has noticed and his take - his perspective - on it.

What is Jones' perspective?

"Experience is not the best teacher. Other people's experience is the best teacher." (p. 9)

"Whatever you focus upon, increases." (p. 13)

"The only thing crazier than the guy that says, `Watch this!' is the guy that says, `Heck, I can do that!'" (p. 53)

"One way to define wisdom is the ability to see, into the future, the consequences of your choices in the present." (p. 65)

"With a degree of intelligence and a hint of wisdom, most people can tell the difference between good and bad. However, it takes a truly wise person to discern that oh-so-thin line between good and best." (p. 65)

"There is no difference in the person who intends to do things differently and the one who never thinks about it in the first place." (p. 111)

"Forgiveness is about the past. Trust and respect are about the future. Forgiveness will be in the hands of others and can be given to you, but trust and respect are in your own hands . . . and must be earned." (p. 120)

And more. I would certainly love to have a couple of more hours with him. Maybe I can. And so could you. Because sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.
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