Friday, April 17, 2009

Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller)

There must be something wrong with me, because I went back and read another nonfiction book. I was punished severely for it.


The cover of the book really should've tipped me off on this one: Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. Some points:

a) I don't like jazz.
b) I went to Catholic school for many years, so I've got more than enough thoughts on Christian Spirituality.
c) That title is actually a lie, since most of the thoughts were VERY religious. And poorly written.

I don't usually get quite this emphatic regarding the awfulness of a book, but I was really disappointed, because I thought I would be given some fresh insight into the spiritual world. I was not. It was mostly a book of random events in the life of a guy who says he has trouble connecting with his faith on one page, but then tells stories in which he's the most religious guy he knows on the next. And the writing is really bad, I'm sorry. He basically makes a statement. Then maybe he'll he make another statement. Often he'll make a third statement. Each of these statements will be their own complete sentence. Most of these sentences will be very simply constructed. He very rarely uses commas. I felt like I was in third grade. When I was in third grade I took my first religious classes. Stop dumbing things down, Donald Miller.

I'm pretty sure that this might actually have been a decently interesting book if it were written a little better. It's really frustrating when the author talks at length about something you actually might be connecting with, like wondering how people can be so sure of their faith when he is not, and then immediately jumping to how he tries so hard to convince his friends that Christianity is the way to go. Hold on, didn't you just say you weren't sure if it was the way to go? And I thought this was a NONreligious view on Christian spirituality? It sounds to me like a cheap ploy to get people to buy into your religious views. Mind you, I SHARE his religious views and I still got that feeling. Bad writing is bad writing, no matter how devout you are.

There really isn't much more for me to say. I hate to seem so closed-minded in a review, but aside from the random touching story of the miracle of how someone came to embrace Christ in their life blah blah blah, it's really bad. Don't read this book.


Blue Like Jazz
by Donald Miller

There are stories included, but no real story. I'm gonna cut the guy a break and give him an "N/A" instead of a 2 or something.

I guess journal entries on the glory of Jesus is stylistic?

Mindless rambling about vague spiritual dilemmas interspersed with fairly pointless stories of how people saw the light. Yeah, I got nothing.


Genoshans, I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to find me a competent book on religion/spirituality/whatever. Please. I'd really like to think that it's a coincidence that the two books on religion that I've reviewed so far were the two worst books I've read. Help me out, here. And as always, keep reading, Genoshans!

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