Monday, May 5, 2014

This Is A Ride You'll Want To Take: A Book Review of Notes From the Tilt-a-whirl

I have to admit that I started off slightly annoyed with this book. Perhaps it was because the stupid US
Postal Service torqued the package in such a way as to rip an inch long gash in my book half way down the spine. No fault of Wilson's that. Perhaps I didn't get the vibe of the book right away because it came around the time my second daughter was born and I wasn't quite in the right mood. Whatever it was didn't matter for long because it grew on me quickly. It might take you a couple of chapters to get into it too. Kind of like a kid on a new ride, not quite sure what to make of it. Stick it out. I'm sure you'll be saying, "Wee!" before long.

Imagine that you are conversing with a philosophically minded well-read poet with a British sense of humor and enough confidence in his faith to think irreverent thoughts with the ultimate goal of holy reverence. Imagine a Christian book that uses occasional "off-color" language and references songs like "The Bad Touch" by the Bloodhound Gang. Imagine that a writer could take you on a tilt-a-whirl ride through the seasons, describing each as he lives it in order to reflect on what kind of world this really is. Imagine that and you might just imagine this book.

It's hard to describe what this book is about in a concise way because it is a well-structured ramble. It is about words being the building blocks of the universe. It is about ants and aphids. It is about thunder storms. Hawks and rabbits and kittens. It is about Heaven and Hell. It is about Nietzsche, Plato, and C.S. Lewis. It is about children and the elderly. It is about all these things rolled into one.

In many ways N.D. Wilson seems like a kindred spirit (though I don't pretend to have his talent or knack for wordplay). I guess it's his sense of humor, his understated or flippant comments in which you better know what he's referencing because he's sure as heck isn't going to tell you. I love the fact that he is able to tackle topics that normally get treated with dust dry prose and copious footnotes with style and panache. I mean, when was the last time you read a Christian book and thought: "Wow. This is really artistic. This is well-crafted!"?

I loved it and highly recommend it!

Thomas Nelson Publishers and gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for this fair and unbiased review.


  1. I also loved it! Thank you for recommending it to me.

  2. You're welcome! I also have a copy of his Death By Living that I want to read soon.