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A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story Paperback – Bargain Price, March 8, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Miller, the accidental memoirist who struck gold with the likable ramble Blue Like Jazz, writes about the challenges inherent in getting unstuck creatively and spiritually. After Jazz sold more than a million copies but his other books didn't follow suit, he had a classic case of writer's block. Two movie producers contacted him about creating a film out of his life, but Miller's initial enthusiasm was dampened when they concluded that his real life needed doctoring lest it be too directionless for the screen. Real stories, he learned, require characters who suffer and overcome. In desultory fashion, Miller sets out to change his own life—to be the kind of guy who seeks out his father, chases the girl and undertakes a quest. Along the way, he comes to understand God as a master storyteller who doesn't quite control where his characters are going. An unexpected bonus of this book is Miller's insights into the writing process. Readers who loved Blue Like Jazz will find here a somewhat more mature Miller, still funny as hell but more concerned about making a difference in the world than in merely commenting on it. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Donald Miller is the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He helps people live a better story at www.creatingyourlifeplan.com and helps leaders grow their businesses at www.storybrand.com. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I have hard cover and paperback version, with 2 different tagline, "What I learned while editing my life" and "How I learned to live a better life story". Story is the same in both.
The author's style of pretending to be dumber than a child with even dumber friends gets annoying fast. I think it's supposed to be humorous or charming, but in practice it feels like a tiresome waste of my time. There's often a (much belabored) point waiting to be made after all the fluff and padding, but many are so simplistic it's not worth the trudge to get to it.
If a hyper-abridged version is ever available, I'd recommend that instead. I never would have been able to stick with it past the first few chapters on paper, so opt for the audio version instead.
Donald Miller decides to edit his life (as you would edit your character's life in a book) and the life he used to lead was just a normal life, a life, I am sure most of us can relate to.
He starts with an instant hook:
"IF YOU WATCHED a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn't cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn't tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you'd seen. The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you'd feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won't make a life meaningful either."
Who wouldn't want to read further? Isn't this, unfortunatelly, what most people strive towards, obtaining something...material? (whether they admit to it or not)
"In a pure story, there is a purpose in every scene, in every line of dialogue. A movie is going somewhere." - and this gets Donald thinking...where is his life going, where is he, as a character in it, really going?
"A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it is the basic structure of a good story." - true...yet, Donald muses, we go through our life trying to avoid conflict, tryng to have it too easy and our lives become meaningless, i.e. we do not live good stories.
"But I also wondered if he wasn't right, that we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the character arc, the change."
"But I've noticed something. I've never walked out of a meaningless movie thinking all movies are meaningless. I only thought the movie I walked out on was meaningless. I wonder, then, if when people say life is meaningless, what they really mean is their lives are meaningless. I wonder if they've chosen to believe their whole existence is unremarkable, and are projecting their dreary life on the rest of us."
This book is full of amazing wisdoms like this and it is entertaining, biographical as well as very philosophical.
It easily made my "favorites" shelf.