Book Review: Whistling in the Dark

Please read all the Frederick Buechner that you can get your hands on. Whistling in the Dark is only the second book I have read by him, but he writes in a way that not only challenges you intellectually, but nourishes your heart as well. I walked away from this book with a new perspective on a number of things. Whistling in the Dark has two companion books in Wishful Thinking and Peculiar Treasures. In these books, Buechner takes common terms or names (from the bible and elsewhere) and infuses them with meaning beyond what typically meets the eye. He writes beautiful definitions in this particular book about a wide range of topics including anxiety,  the earth, a funeral, imagination, loneliness, and the second coming. I wanted to share with you a few passages I found stirring and I think it will give you a much better sense of the book than I could explain.

When speaking about art, he writes, “Literature, painting, music – the most basic lesson that all art teaches us is to stop, look, and listen to life on this planet, including our own lives, as a vastly richer, deeper, more mysterious business than most of the time it ever occurs to us to suspect as we bumble along from day to day on automatic pilot.”

“Imagining is perhaps as close as humans get to creating something out of nothing the way God is said to.”

“But a marriage made in Heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.”

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