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List Price: $16.99
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1613307

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Product Details:
Author: Donald Miller
Paperback: 257 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: March 08, 2011
Language: English
ISBN: 1400202981
Product Length: 8.2 inches
Product Width: 5.4 inches
Product Height: 0.8 inches
Product Weight: 5500.0 pounds
Package Length: 8.2 inches
Package Width: 5.3 inches
Package Height: 0.8 inches
Package Weight: 0.5 pounds
Average Customer Rating: based on 676 reviews
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Customer Reviews:
Average Customer Review: 4.5 ( 676 customer reviews )
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119 of 128 found the following review helpful:

5A Story About a Story About a StoryJul 25, 2009
By Crestviewer
"...to know there is a better story for your life and to choose something other is like choosing to die."

This is a great book. A book that's fun to read and pulled me in and whose pages flew by. A book that cracked me up and brought tears to my eyes. A book that challenged and inspired. It sounds overly dramatic and just a tad hyperbolic, but I'll look at life (and hopefully live life) a bit differently as a result of this read.

In the choppy/direct/engaging writing style of his best-selling "Blue Like Jazz" (but with some additional maturity and depth), Miller describes the experience of looking at his life as he works with others in developing a movie (loosely) based on his life. The result is a bit distressing for him (as his life is a bit boring), but the lessons from the screen-writing experience have some wonderful applications in real life (A Character is What He Does, A Good Character Listens to His Writer, The Importance of an Inciting Incident, and others). Significant life-change takes place.

Miller teaches almost incidentally as you watch him learn and grow, and his candor about the pain and awkwardness and joy of the process is endearing and appreciated. And encouraging.

There's a lot to chew on in "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years," and I'm not quite with Miller in all of his rifts and conclusions, but I'm grateful that he shared his journey with me.

"...in living a great story, we defy a dark force propagating what I believe to be a lie, that a human life is not worth living, that the story you have living within you is not worth living."

69 of 73 found the following review helpful:

4I Love the Style, Unsure of the Content...Sep 19, 2009
By Pamela S. Hogeweide
Ok, I'm a word snob. I write a lot and read even more. I know that Donald Miller is a good writer. A d-mn good writer. And there were many spots of superb prose on enough pages that kept me on the lookout for the next beauty of a passage. Like this one, for example, on page 155:

"And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time. The more practice stories I lived, the more I wanted an epic to climb inside of and see through till its end."

That is great writing. Miller is totally on his A-game with his craft in AMMiaTY.

Yet the whole time I was reading, there was a tension in my mind.I could not completely enter the dreamland that a book can take you to. I was distracted by a kind of angsty resistance to my perceived takeaway message of the content. The above passage is an example of what I mean.

Normal and ordinary living seem devalued in the premise of the Story about story. Epic living, like hiking the Inca Trail, biking across America, starting a non-profit....all great endeavors, and God knows we can all use a bit of epic goodness in our lives. Yet I can't help but wonder about celebrating normal and steady.

Most of us most of the time must make the best of the story we find ourselves in and make peace with the lack of epic drama. Most of us work at jobs to pay our rent and provide for the people we care for. We are kind to our neighbors and give at the office. This is our epic: that we show up everyday.

My tension with the author's premise about changing your story if you are living a boring life is perhaps just my own effed up issue. But art is in the eye of the beholder and for me it was almost a message of shame. "Live an interesting life or else all is meaningless."

I don't know what page it's on, but there was even a passage about if the people all around you are living boring lives then you are, too. Sheesh. That was harsh.

Let me end my review on a positive note. Most books I can't tell you a favorite passage. But this book I can actually tell you a favorite page: 76. The honesty and self-discovery coupled with descriptive, magical writing of this page was mesmerizing. If you only read one page in this book, make it 76.

I give this book four stars. Great style; he is undoubtedly a Writer and I hope he'll someday write a book on the craft of writing, like in about ten years when he's gone further and deeper and has some distance from the cockiness of youth. (Not a judgment. We're all like that in youth!) I was not sold on the premise of the content. But that's probably my own weirdness. Maybe I need a trip to the Inca Trail to sort my story out.

**note: I catch typos and errors in books all the time, but this one had some glaring mess-ups including misspellings and punctuation issues, like missing quotation marks, etc... I don't think this reflects on Miller's writing at all, but kinda wondered where was the copy and line editors on this one? Most glaring is top paragraph page 172. I live in Portland so it was super obvious to me that not only was the Willamette river misspelled {twice!}, but so was Fremont Bridge....I'm such a spelling geek...but that's my story. Epic. I know.

56 of 60 found the following review helpful:

5Donald Miller is backAug 04, 2009
By Scandalous Sanity
Donald Miller was in a funk. He had written a bestseller, and was now a much sought after speaker. He was accomplished. But for some reason, all of his success didn't bring the climatic ending that he was hoping for. He felt lost. Then he received a call from two men who wanted to turn his book, Blue Like Jazz, into a movie. Miller was unsure of how to turn his book, part memoir and part collection of essays, into a movie. So the two men came to visit him, and teach him about story.

From there Miller uses the elements of story to describe how people can paint a different picture of their life. Miller realizes that the majority of his life has been spent watching stories and making them up. He decides that he will turn his life into a story worth watching, rather than spending his time making up fictional stories.

Miller once again muses on his life, faith, and the human condition, all the while telling the story of his move from writing stories to living them. When he learns that characters are their actions, he resolves to do things with more meaning. He hikes in the Andes, asks out a girl he likes, and eventually meets his father for the first time ever. The comparisons he makes between stories and real life are phenomenal. I found myself reading through certain sections over and over, trying to grasp the depth of the prose. Some of his thoughts that are complex, taking a while to jog their way through your mind; others are simple and profound in their brevity.

For those that have read Miller's previous books, a couple of things will be familiar: his dry sense of humor and superb writing are prevalent throughout the book. What is new is hope. Miller no longer writes like a person wandering through his journey in life honestly searching for answers. He now writes like a person wandering through his journey in life honestly searching for answers, full of hope that one day they will be answered.

32 of 35 found the following review helpful:

4Your life... Your story... boring? or Interesting?Jul 28, 2009
By P. Hamm "p-squared"
Your life is basically you... telling a story... and for most of us, it's not a very good one. It doesn't have the pain, conflict, resolution, and joy we'd like it to have. In fact, for most of us, we're just trying to stay comfortable and boring.

This is exactly the temptation that Don Miller is fighting against in this marvelous book. Through loves found and lost, family lost and found, and dreams pursued, lost and shattered, Miller takes us through his story even as he's "re-writing it" to tell on film. This book is a great companion to his book "Blue Like Jazz" and although it may be a little less engaging than that former work, in all honesty, it reads and feels like it might make an even better movie than "Blue Like Jazz" is going to make.

Find a way to tell an interesting story with your life, and make a positive difference in the world around you. This book challenged my thinking that way, I hope it challenges you, too. All in all, a gutsy, honest, warts-and-all memoir that is actually so naked in its honesty that I'm surprised a Christian publisher like Nelson took it on. Miller's decisions, lifestyle, and perhaps beliefs won't be everybody's cup of tea, but it's good to be challenged to understand my own decisions, lifestyle and beliefs. Miller does a great job of that.

It's been too long coming, but well worth the wait.

20 of 21 found the following review helpful:

5Write the screenplay of your lifeAug 24, 2009
By Barbara Hudgins "author of "Crafting the Travel Guidebook"
If I had known this book was written by a Christian evangelist, even a post-modern hip Christian evangelist I would never have picked it up. I thought it was a memoir, and it really is a memoir /part essay. But it is written so well, the metaphors are so great, that reading it was a cinch. After slogging through a bunch of plodding memoirs, this one was like ice-surfing over a clear, frozen lake.

I'm not into books about the purpose-driven life. And in a way this is about the purpose-driven life, only disguised in a really clever way. I don't mean that Miller is marketing Christianity to the young crowd in a hypocritical manner. He seems very honest and his thoughts seem to be his own, not those of an institutional church. But he does come to the conclusion that if the story of your life is to have meaning you have to have a goal that is more than just amassing things or satisfying one's ego. You have to become involved in a cause greater than oneself--even if that is only helping people you know overcome their own difficulties. So much for the sermon--the bulk of the book is told in vignettes about Miller's own life.

What I really like about the book is its format. It is structured like a textbook on screenplay writing. In fact the book starts out with the visit of two film-makers, Steve and Ben, who want to make a movie out of Miller's previous book, Blue like Jazz. They try to teach him about story-telling and how they must make scenes and a narrative flow out of a book that is basically essays. There are some very funny scenes where they try to explain how the thought process of reading a book is much different than that of watching a movie.

How do you translate written prose into action? Miller goes off and takes a course given by Robert McKee, the screenplay guru. Now I had seen Robert McKee (or the actor playing him) in a film called "Adaptation". I thought the character was an amalgam of all screen-writing teachers, but it turns out it's a real guy who gives intensive symposiums on film writing. Many of the chapter headings are based on McKee's lectures. Here are some of the headings:

A character is what he does
A character must save the cat
An inciting incident
A character who wants something must overcome conflict

You could get a whole lesson in fiction writing just by reading the chapter headings in this book. I just loved the bit about saving the cat. I once read that in old-time movie writing, particularly westerns, it wasn't enough that the villain shoot an innocent person, or burn down some farmer's house. He had to cross the street and kick the dog. That was called, "kicking the dog." Apparently, the hero in a movie has to save a cat in order for the viewers to like him. It isn't enough that he has to achieve a goal against all odds; the audience has to like the hero.

And as a reader you like Donald Miller because his thoughts are so kindred to your own thoughts. And his metaphors are so apt. And his friends are so human. And he's just like the 30-year-old teacher who lives next door and thinks deep thoughts and you can count on to help out if you're having trouble. Only this guy writes like an angel. So even if you don't end up changing your life, or changing your religion or anything like that, and even if you hate the Chicken Soup for the Soul type of books, you might take a look at this book. It's more enjoyable than you might expect.

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