I had planned to review Donald Miller’s newest book today, but Justin beat me to it. His review is so good that I’m having a hard time deciding what to say…
I can say this: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is better than the last fifty books I’ve read. Better than Crazy Love. Better than Madame Bovary. Better than Bonhoeffer.
I am not a person who hands out compliments generously, especially in book world, but the way I felt while reading about Miller’s story and thinking about my story and God’s story just changed everything for me. And what it didn’t change, it affirmed.
Because of the glowing nature of my review, I want to tell you what you won’t get from reading this book:
1. You will not be a lot smarter after reading this book. Wiser, yes. Smarter, no. It’s not that kind of book.
2. You will not find the kind of no-plot story that has come to define my generation. Miller’s epiphany doesn’t come from looking at a crumpled Doritos bag tossed in the trash. This story is about big stuff and big stuff happens. It would not win a National Book Award for this reason.
3. You will not be prompted to think. You will be prompted to do. Normally, I prefer thinking to doing. I think Miller did too before he wrote this book. In reading it, I’ve discovered that maybe that’s a problem. Maybe doing is more important.
I guess I’d compare A Million Miles to Crazy Love in it’s simplicity although it is much more beautifully written. It’s similar in that “I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it that way” kind of way. But Miller’s book is more tangible than Chan’s. Chan tells you “Sell out for God.” Miller shows you, in a story, what that might look like. Everything Miller says just seems so true. And so do-able. I finished the book and I thought. “I have no excuse.”
When I read Blue Like Jazz, I liked it. A lot. But I did not like Donald Miller. Truth is, I thought he was probably a lazy punk. I like this book much, much more. And I also like Miller.
I found myself rooting for him and praising God for his transformation as the book unfolded. I wanted Miller to see how much bigger life could be. I wanted him to get off the couch, to stop watching television, to jump head-first into the life God wanted for him. And he did. And now I’m a fan for life.