A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

When two filmmakers approached Donald Miller about making a film adaptation of his best-selling memoir Blue Like Jazz he was given the opportunity to do something most of us never get to do; He edited his life.

That experience caused the always introspective Miller to consider the story his life was telling. If his experiences needed to be edited to make for a more compelling film, why not simply apply those same story telling principles and live a story worth telling? Examining his life from the vantage point of a storyteller causes Miller to go on an inward journey. A journey which leads him to (among other things) reconnect with his estranged father, hike the Inca Trail in Peru, and ride his bike across the United States. In the process he learns that by embracing the role of a mere character in a much larger story, he allows “the Writer” to write a far better story than he could have ever written for himself.

Like all of Miller’s previous memoirs A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is intelligent, funny and though provoking. But where this latest effort stood out fo rme is that it is also very inspirational. I frequently found myself applying Miller’s story telling principles to my own life and asking myself if I was living the best story I possibly could. Often times the answer to that question was “no,” but the Writer isn’t done writing my character’s story quite yet. There’s still hope for us all.

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6 thoughts on “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

  1. I enjoyed the book a lot. Not my favortite book of his but as you said it makes you take a look at your own story and ask questions. I picked up on his many references to spending less time watching tv and it made me think about my saturdays and sundays spent watching sports. Ive maybe watched 1 game since i finished the book and I’ve added a bit more “story” instead.

    On a random note I found it funny that in his book he talks about starting to bike & kayak and then he mentions a Young Life camp that he kayaks to. I recently started Biking and kayaking and was reading this book at a young life camp.

  2. The copy I had was the one I got from Miller which was a very rough draft, so I’m not sure what did or didn’t make the cut in the final edit. But some of my favorite stories were the ones he shared about his friend who is the head of the International Justice Mission. They seemed like the oddest/coolest people who have ever existed.

  3. A good friend of mine sent me an advanced readers copy a month before it came out (a few weeks later the publisher sent me 2 completed hardback copies).

    I concur with Shane’s assessment that this book in particular has caused me to consider my own story within the Story. It’s also sparked an desire to go back and re-read Searching For God Knows What, seeing that it was one of the first books I read in my spiritual awakening.

    I’m very interested to see the final product of the movie that spawned this book.

  4. I know you’ve passed the book on since. I’m curious if any of those you’ve given it to would care to share their thoughts?

    Also, any idea how different the final draft was? Apart from typos, etc. Were there wholesale changes?

  5. Yeah, your copy is on its 3rd (at least) customer… I jumped ships midway through so I’m not sure how different it really was. I did notice at least one instance that he referenced something I was sure he didn’t mention in the first half of the advance copy.

    I’ll send this link to those that read it and see if they’re adventurous enough to comment. 🙂

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