“Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is “Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.”—Nick Miller, Isn’t It Pretty To Think So?
Isn't It Pretty To Think So? By Nick Miller
The novel “Isn’t It Pretty To Think So?” written by Nick Miller changed my life. I didn’t think those 388 pages would affect me so greatly, but they truly did.
It was around 2010 when Nick Miller followed me on Tumblr (god knows why he did I’m sure I was the most annoying thing on this planet). That’s how I discovered him. At that time, he had posted the first chapter of his novel, and as far as I know it hadn’t be contracted or anything like that. I even spoke to him once!
The first line of his novel is flawless. It certainly grabs your attention. It reads,
“Tatiana was a prostitute”.
If that doesn’t intrigue you, I’m not quite sure what will.
I began following his novel writing journey on Tumblr along with thousands of other people. Besides being an awesome writer, Nick himself is an interesting character. He might not be the most active on social networking sites, and I’m certainly not critiquing this; when he does post, his thoughts are witty. He’s a firm believer in Moleskine notebooks, and both his Tumblr and Instagram give some photographic proof of this. There’s a fabulous picture of him looking glorious against some desert backdrop on Route 66. The dude is nothing short of inspiring. He cleans up nicely, but can certainly rock a fair amount of facial hair and a mop of hair on his head. He’s an awesome guy who seems down to Earth, but at the same time lives the kind of life you wish you could. I essentially live vicariously through Nick Miller, and I’m okay with this.
I bought the Kindle version of his novel when it came out. The very first day it came out. I had been waiting for the finished project, just like lots of his other online followers. Nick scored one for the underdog writers in this world. He was just a twenty something from California, who successfully published a novel. He made it seem tangible, and made us feel a little better about holding onto the tiny glimmer of publishing hope.
Here’s a video from last year, which explains his novel writing experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzzvWNuxq90&feature=plcp
I’ll be honest. I got 30% done with the novel, and I stopped reading it because I got swept up in school, and fell back in love with printed word. I was cleaning a few days ago though and came across my Kindle Fire. I turned that bad boy on, saw the novel, and started it up again.
I finished it in a day.
I’m a full time college student who works 26 hours a week. I can’t even give you a logical explanation to how I found the time to finish it, but goddammit I was determined and I finished it.
I’ve been telling anybody and everybody who I know to read this novel. It’s reminiscent of Hemingway in a very good way, but I don’t feel as if I’m reading a copy. Nick’s style is very fluid, and he has a way of really getting inside his character’s mind. It’s very easy to relate to the protagonist Jake Reed in one way or another. The plot he weaved was genius, and I truly cannot wait for his next novel.
Few books have really left an impression on me like this one did. I even went as far as to make a playlist corresponding to the novel because I kept hearing the songs and they’d remind me of the novel. Not a real person or anything. Fictional characters and fictional events.
I think that’s a sign of a good book.
I’m already ordering a printed copy, and can’t wait to read it again as soon as I get it. I want to absorb every word, and mull over them. I want them to engulf me again.
Nick, if for some reason you ever see this, I want to personally thank you for inspiring me to pursue my writing. I was about ready to give in and settle for something that I didn’t want to do, but your novel convinced me otherwise. It made me fall in love with words, and writing all over again. It made me accept my passion, and made me feel okay about pursuing it. So thank you. You may not realize, but you truly are an inspiration for the rest of us writers out there. You’re awesome.
PS- We all know that parts of your novel aren’t completely fictional. It’s okay though. It makes it better.
Moleskine notebooks (aka the best)
Just finished Isn't It Pretty To Think So
I laughed, and cried, and once threw my copy of the book in anger. Many aspects of IIPTTS resonated with me, especially the social media themes laced within the narrative. I think it’s one of my favourite books published in this decade, and it inspires me to write. Honestly, in Book Three, even though I’m against highlighting texts, I dragged that fluorescent yellow tip everywhere for memories sake. I don’t really know Nick Miller, but I have a feeling that he would love to know that his book was physically abused through my love of it. And it also makes me want to buy the Chicago Style Manual.