Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell (Book Review)

I was really excited when I recieved Rob Bell's new book Drops Like Stars: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering in the mail. I have a great deal of respect for Bell, and I've enjoyed his other books. I was a bit surprised by the sheer size of the book. I don't mean that it's particularly thick (its not). However, the book's dimensions are similar to a coffee table book. Additionally, the book is very artistic/conceptual, making use of photography and strategic placement of text.

Honestly, for the first few pages, I found the weird text placement sort of irritating and cheesy. Some pages include merely a word, a phrase, or no text at all. Normal black text would abruptly transition to much larger red text. In the beginning, it felt sort of contrived.

However...something happened several pages in. Something clicked, and it began to strike me as quite beautiful. Bell offers an innovative take on the intersection between creativity and suffering by way of an intersection between art and the written word. The text is vintage Bell and, if you've heard him speak, it is written exactly like he talks. After reading the entire book, I think this format may frankly be more Bell's style than traditional print books. I regard the reading of this book as beautiful and enlightening experience. I highly recommend it.