Clowning in Rome by Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen is one of my favorite writers. He gets straight to the point but he does it so eloquently. He has an amazing talent of going very deep while remaining personable and familiar. So when this book was referred to me by a friend I was looking forward to another Nouwen gem.

I knew I was in trouble when I found out this book was actually a compilation of sermons given by Nouwen. In my opinion, stringing together a handful of talks into chapters almost never makes a good book, but I hoped Nouwen could fight this trend.

The first couple of chapters were great. Drawing upon the image of clowns at a circus, Nouwen talks about the unique characters we find in our lives and how they can be the most interesting part of the show even when their on outskirts. I enjoyed his discussion on solitude, its effect on the person and the community. Who we are in solitude can help us understand who were are not and how God works with us which we can then bring to community. Though I find the other topics in the book no less interesting, Nouwen's comments did not interest me.

In the end, it is still a good read, but I found myself killing time with the book instead of engaging in it.

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