Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Elements of a Good Story: A Review of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

In A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, a sort of postmodern Ecclesiastes, Donald Miller describes his attempts to make his life a story worth telling. His life-editing begins when two filmmakers (one of them Steve Taylor, who remains my favorite musician fourteen years after the release of his last album) sit down with him to create an on-screen version of himself for a film adaptation of Blue Like Jazz, and he realizes his life lacks the elements of a good story.

A Million Miles assumes readers have already read Blue Like Jazz, which I never did because I had read Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance when it was first released and found it dull and forgettable. But either Miller has matured as a writer since his first book, or I have matured as a reader. Whichever the case, I thought A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was excellent. Miller’s ability to express profound ideas clearly and with good humor brings authenticity to both the human and divine elements of his story. It’s a great book for writers, single people, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone who wants a meaningful life.

This review is written as part of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Bloggers program. If you have a blog and love to read, check it out.


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