In The Noticer, Andy Andrews spins a series of parables about one of God’s messengers named simply Jones. Jones interacts with the narrator throughout the book, tying together his encounters with other people in the small town on the Gulf Coast.
Jones wanders the town, disappearing for decades at a stretch but never aging. He always encounters people at crisis moments, leading them through their struggles to see something they had missed.
The parables cover a wide spectrum of human issues from failed relationships to clinical depression, and in each Jones offers a bit of perspective. He illustrates deep truths about the human condition with little anecdotes and illustrations that gently drive his points home.
As a character, Jones is a little too perfectly situated. He has complete perception of everyone’s problems and seems to be able to diagnose and treat them within ridiculously anecdotal periods of time. In the end, the story is fairly typical of most modern day parables. No one resolves who or what Jones is and the people are given encouragement to continue in the way he taught them.
For what it is, The Noticer is well written and simply executed. It communicates truths that have become cliché in a creative, but not entirely original way. It does what it does well. There was a certain something missing that would have taken it from a good book to a great one, but what exactly is hard to say.