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Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road Paperback – 21 Feb 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road + Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality + Scary Close (International Edition): Dropping the ACT and Finding True Intimacy
Price For All Three: £28.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing (21 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785209824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785209829
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 544,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Donald Miller is the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He helps people live a better story at www.creatingyourlifeplan.com and helps leaders grow their businesses at www.storybrand.com. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Martin on 18 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
In some ways I prefered this to Miller's big-seller `Blue Like Jazz'. The prose is richer, in a similar vein to `Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance` (which I presume inspired it originally), and Kerouac`s `On The Road`. However, where Kerouac's road feels at times lonely and melancholy Miller's journey feels positive and is uplifting.

It describes his travels from Texas to Oregon with his friend Paul in a VW camper van. With little but their young, sometimes naive, inquiring minds they encounter a range of querky individuals who help them on the way and they discuss girls and God and the universe and life.

What I love about Miller is that that he doesn't use religious clichés to describe spiritual ideas. The dialogue and down-to-earth banter is more akin to Pulp Fiction in its naturalness and realness than any theology book and yet it tackles deep issues about what it is to be a human. Having finished the book I'm going to miss Don and Paul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Riatsala on 31 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this for the second time, and it definitely deserves a place of honour on my shelf as one of my favourite books.

You'll appreciate it most if you relate to the main Character. Don isn't satisfied with the superficiality of church life, and wants to get away and find something genuine. Add to that the lure of the open road, of adventure, of the unknown, and that's where the story begins.

Don's writing style took me a chapter or two to get used to, but from that point on I loved it. Deep and meaningful one minute, then good old fashioned fun and adventure the next. Very humorous in places, and the descriptions are vivid enough that you are right there with them on the journey, which is a good thing. I got to travel across America without ever having to own a tired old Volkswagen.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LoveTheBook on 9 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book. I'd already read why Miller threw up his church job and went "on the road" (in Blue Like Jazz I think) which added to my interest. Maybe it's just another road book, but entertainingly written and much enjoyed. Yes, I bought the CD by the band he recommended and yes I did enjoy that too. Maybe I'm too easy to please...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Monaghan on 21 April 2008
Format: Paperback
I find that Donald Miller has a special way with words. These thoughts from his road trip make me smile and long for a VW van in which to travel the world.

Whether it was a cynical ploy on the part of the publishing house or not as the previous reviewer suggests I don't know. I'm glad I had the chance to read it. You might be too.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 April 2008
Format: Paperback
Through Painted Deserts AKA Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance
(First Published in Imprint 2006-07-14 as 'Hate It' in the 'Love It Hate it book Review section.)

Some books that failed the first time should stay OOP (Out Of Print), and this is definitely one of them. It should have stayed way on the shelves collecting dust.

Back in 2003 Donald Miller published a book called Blue Like Jazz and that book went gangbusters - constantly selling out at bookstores and going through a few printings. It appeared, at the time, that every time you turned around someone was recommending the book. It was a collection of penses, thoughts, and meandering recollections of a man who grew up to doubt religion but could not give up on faith. It was marketed as `Nonreligious thoughts on Christian Spirituality'. It was so popular it was even turned into a one-man stage show in Toronto, [...] and has toured the country.

Then some genius at the publishing company decided to resurrect his first book that had failed. That person is responsible for the unwarranted destruction of thousands and thousands of trees.

This book is a classic road trip journey, in the vein of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. Yet unlike that classic book, this one does not live up to all the hype. This book is a shameless money grab by the publisher and the author. This greediness is seen time and time again once an author has a successful endeavor. Everything they have written, or will write, is considered gold. That was not the case with this book. Not only is the publishing of this book shameless marketing and abuse of success, it also has a shameful plug for a band that the author listened to while `rewriting' the book.
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