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Summary

After decades of failed relationships and painful drama, Donald Miller decided he'd had enough. Impressing people wasn't helping him connect with anyone. He'd built a life of public isolation, yet he dreamed of meaningful relationships. So at forty years old he made a scary decision: to be himself no matter what it cost.

From the author of Blue Like Jazz comes a book about the risk involved in choosing to impress fewer people and connect with more, about the freedom that comes when we stop acting and start loving. It is a story about knocking down old walls to create a healthy mind, a strong family, and a satisfying career. And it all feels like a conversation with the best kind of friend: smart, funny, true, important. Scary Close is Donald Miller at his best.

©2015 Thomas Nelson Publishers (P)2015 Thomas Nelson Publishers

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Great book. I didn't feel I related to the first half of the story as much (although I enjoyed it for the the author's insights and gift for storytelling), but I really feel that I learned some valuable nuggets from the second half that I can apply to my own relationships. The author writes so candidly-- full of great insights. Enjoyed the narrator, too.

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  • C
  • 14-02-15

Very Good, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hit home on quite a few issues for me! Still single at 42 and I'm aware of my need to be more open and vulnerable with people. He accurately picks on many issues preventing people from intimacy. An enjoyable read.

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  • Tex Warren
  • 25-03-15

Outstanding book frustrating recording

What made the experience of listening to Scary Close the most enjoyable?

honesty

Any additional comments?

The book is outstanding but the producer(?) cut all the pauses and silent space out of the recording. Clearly, the narrator didn't do this in his performance, so I can't imagine why someone would do this on purpose? Please! Please! Please rerecord this book or remaster it from the original narration.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • drgardner
  • 13-05-15

Folksy, Religious Memoir

It's unfortunate I didn't notice this is categorized as a personal memoir as I could have skipped it and saved myself the time and money. The description suggests the book will deliver guidance on improving intimacy. If you're Christian and in reasonably good mental health you'll probably find the string of anecdotes heart-warming, and you can likely tease out some guidance in the author's experiences that may be applicable to your life. Otherwise, not so much -- there's little in the stereotypical stories that's relevant. Probably fine for most, but personally disappointing. (And, as others have mentioned, the editing work is annoying. No breaks, and at least a few repeated sections.)

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 24-06-15

Great Book, Iffy Editing

The book was fantastic, but the editing of the audio itself was a little iffy. Sometimes he would finish a very profound sentence and thenChapter2We were on the dock by the river...the lack of spaces and pauses was a little annoying, but not enough to ruin it for me. Still worth a listen!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Natalie
  • 05-08-15

Good but don miller should have narrated

It was a slow start but worth finishing. A book like this I probably would have preferred to read a physical copy. It requires some reflection that is hard to accomplish with an audio version.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mel
  • 23-02-15

Editing was poor

The content was great, the narrator was good, but it's the editing that needs work. There are no pauses between chapters or profound thoughts! Give the listener a chance to soak in truths. There are so many in this book.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam Shields
  • 21-09-15

Not much for long time Miller readers

I both thought this was very good and a bit cliche. Donald Miller has a way of saying things that are really fairly simple, but in profound ways. But also saying simple things that I would think should not need to be said (but probably do.)

The real message of the book is that we often hide from ourselves and others and in hiding we hinder real intimacy. I have a problem with my own hiding and was inspired by parts of the book. But I was also a bit annoyed a parts too. Not really sure what annoyed me except the fact that I felt like some of this should have been learned already. I have read all of Miller's previous books, so when you have a career of sharing what you have learned about yourself, at some point it seems that some of that learning needs to take hold a little better.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy Jundi
  • 21-07-18

The Best Bits are Already Quote Images

It just wasn’t as impactful as I had been lead to believe or had hoped. Maybe because I’ve heard so many others talk about it or maybe I bought the wrong version?

Miller just spends an inordinate amount of time dismantling his own narcissism and then attributing much of his healing to his bride-to-be and what she and her family taught him. Not God. Really, God is sprinkled in like an after thought - not even the salt, but rather the pepper of the book.

While an interesting look at one man’s journey, it’s hard to escape the egotism and blatant disregard that much of what he shares comes from a place of having already built his wealth and ability to dissect his life on the back of his brokenness. The irony of his savior stance is a bit too much to get past, especially when (for most) some secluded coastal retreat to battle our demons is unattainable.

Disappointed, but glad I finally read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • matthew
  • 07-06-18

Good Book.

A few thoughts pertaining to this book. 1) Having heard Donald Miller in person - I found the narrater's voice, pace, and rhythm as a hurdle to jump over because it just wasn't close to Donald's voice. To be fair, I had just finished listening to two other books that were narrated by the author. 2) Books have to strike you at the right time to make a big impact - I know that Miller's style is a very personal one - always sharing his personal experience, which normally I really appreciate. A big portion of this book feels like a journal entry about his dating experience with his wife. There were portions that could be gleaned but I found a majority of it more informative and less transformative. 3) There were a few glimpses of brilliance sprinkled throughout - the chapter that talk about building a safe family culture and the chapter that talked about highly manipulative people (and the 5 types) were in fact pure gold.

In short - I think this is a wonderful book for someone in their early to mid 20's who is learning how to date to read. (Or anyone else who is a perpetual dater that seemingly has destructive dating patterns) It is helpful with examining how to see your own brokenness in relationship, the unfortunate part is if you brokenness doesn't really align with Donald's former brokenness it is hard to really let it lead you into a transforming experience. Again, that isn't bad, simply because when it comes to brokenness there is no "one size fits all" approach. If it helps address needs in your life - fantastic - we need more healthy people in this world. :)

Also, you can't review this book without applauding his boldness and willingness to expose his life and inner man to whomever decides to read this, and that to me is amazing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • drewrob19
  • 15-03-15

Walking Away Full

Don't read (or listen) often, but I was hooked. This one had me. Addresses so many key areas of life and made me think of many people who could also benefit from the book. Scary Close is scary good.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • CKF
  • 13-05-18

Best book I’ve read in years

Life changing. I highly recommend this book for everyone. I’m now going through it a second time.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful