Monday, August 24, 2009

Book Review: Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl

It took me all summer to finish N.D. Wilson's Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl. It seemed I could never get through more than a few pages without stopping to reflect on it. Hands down, one of the best books I've read in ages. How to describe a books that's been called stream of conciousness? (It's not). That opens its introduction with "What excuses can I possibly make for this book?" Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl is intentionally written to be as dizzying as its titular ride. It's a book to be felt--not analyzed. Though it would stand up to analysis. Just as distilling and titrating a bottle of Dom Perignon would give you a certain type of information. But it's not the way it's meant to be consumed. Nor, Wilson shows us, leads us, is God a being to be thought about, or proved, or deconstructed. He is one to be lived with, lived into, imbibed.

Two measures of a good book. One--how likely am I to re-read it? Very--I'm quite sure that it's one of those books that will read differently a number of times depending on what experiences I've accumulated and what I bring to my reading. Two--how many people am I thinking of who I've got to get to read this book? Lots. Regretfully, I cannot loan my single copy to my parents, best friend, music minister, cousin, and my entire book club all at the same time. The review in the current Books and Culture says that Wilson's "God is definitely NOT too small." That's a truth that none of us will ever grow out of growing into--the experience shattering gut-knowledge that God is infinite . . . Wilson demands that we experience more than we can handle, and that we stagger away, drunk and reeling from the spoken Word and the spoken World.

Five stars. Easily.

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