The Noticer by Andy Andrews

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Have you ever found that, during the hard times in your life (and we all have them), perspective makes a lot of difference?  For me, at least, this lesson has been one that I have learned, have relearned, and am still learning, so it never hurts to hear it again. That’s what happened when I read the book The Noticer by Andy Andrews.

The story Andrews tells is fiction and, like all fiction, based on truth.  He tells of hard times in the life of a young man named Andy and how a man named Jones changed all that by changing him into someone that people would want around them.  Andy is homeless, but Jones finds him somehow and changes his perspective by bringing him biographies of famous people to read.  When young Andy reads about Winston Churchill’s life, he realizes that he is not the only one whose life has been hard, and as he reads more and more, he is encouraged by the people who have had things hard and been successes in spite of it all.  For Andy, Jones has a simple strategy.  If he reads about great people, he can begin to understand what made them great.  All Andy has to do is notice, and the things he needs to notice, Jones says, are already in plain sight.

Jones works his magic on many people in the little town of Orange Beach in Alabama, and what he does has an element of the supernatural.  He shows up at the right time, knowing the names of the people he visits and exactly what their problems are.  He goes through locked doors and onto ships that are on the water.   Jones is old; nobody knows exactly how old, and nobody can tell, exactly, if he is black, white, or Hispanic.  For Andrews, he is Jones, but for some he is Garcia, and for others he is Chen.  So…is he an angel?  Or God?  Or…?  Nobody knows.  They know his name, and they know that they have never seen him without his old, worn suitcase.

I thought this book was a pleasing read.  Jones is right that a different perspective can change what seem like hopeless circumstances.  If you want to notice the bad things about life, they are certainly there so that you can do so.  If you choose to notice the good things, the life you live will be far happier.

Andy Andrews has started the Noticer Project.  The idea behind it is to “notice” the five most influential people in your life.  He has a point.  How often do we wait until birthdays or holidays to even talk to people?  How often are the best things about someone said at their funeral?  This world would be a better place if people only noticed those who have impacted their lives.  If you haven’t already done so, maybe The Noticer will give you the incentive to start.

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2 Responses to “The Noticer by Andy Andrews”


  1. 1 writeathome April 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    It sounds like a great book, Becky. I like what you had to say too about noticing the influential people in your life andDo not waiting until a birthday, anniversary or funeral to tell them and thank them for their influence. Maybe they have no idea how they have encouraged us, and our words of affirmation could do a lot for them. Is this a relatively new book or would it be available at the library?

  2. 2 Aurora May 19, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Saw you haven’t written in a few weeks, are you ok?

    I’m fine. It was sweet of you to ask. School is crazy busy. We have six days left, and then I will have time, or so I tell myself. Hope you are doing well.


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