Book Review: Are You Ready To Ride The Tilt-A-Whirl?

I recently finished reading N.D. Wilson’s book Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl and I loved it! So much so I really wanted to review it here on the blog but I had no idea where to begin because it’s like no book I’ve ever read before. It really is a phenomenal book that I cannot recommend enough (I’ll be giving copies to my all friends for their birthday’s this year) and so to give you a taste of what you can expect from it I’ve asked my friend Cherith to write a review because she read the book before I even knew it existed and loves it enough to have read it more times that I’ve read any other book. Enjoy!


The scent of candyfloss and hot dogs are heavy on the night air and you’re feeling adventurous. Have you got your ticket stubbed, checked you’re tall enough to ride? Step right up, step right up and enjoy the ride.

notes 2Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by N. D. Wilson (Nathan Daniel, in case you were wondering) somehow manages to emulate the spinning and tilting effect of an actual Tilt-A-Whirl ride while at the same time arguing coherently for a world that is entirely God breathed.

And I quote, “Tree, I say, and you know what I mean. You see one in your mind, or glance out your window and remember the much-needed pruning. Tree, God says, and there is one. But He doesn’t just say the word tree; He says the tree itself… His voice is its existence.”

This book is an apologetic but not the great white shark variety that you might be used to. Where you might expect shouting and the loss of a limb, you will find laughter and possibly a sprain. But at least you’ll have fun.

Some people have compared this book to stream of consciousness and I can easily understand why, but really it follows a logical, intentional path. Granted the path isn’t exactly straight – “This is not a road in Wyoming” – but it does make sense. N D Wilson begins with the question “What is this world?” and “Where did it come from?” He moves on to the question of God, specifically, “Does He exist?” and if He does “What kind of God is He?”. The conversation progresses to questions such as, “If God does exist why do bad things happen?”, “What about evolution?” and finally, “Does hell really exist?”.

Throughout these important and serious questions, Wilson will reignite your wonder at this created world. If you’re feeling numb and apathetic towards God’s spoken world, this improbable sphere that spins on a just-so axis around a much larger, burning ball of gas that is far enough away to warm us without burning us alive, then you need to read this book. Get reacquainted with God the Creator-Artist-Poet-Playwright who is madly in love with His creation, His art, His masterpiece. Open your eyes and see the world as you’ve never seen it before.

And if that isn’t enough of a sales pitch then try this on for size. You’ll gain a fresh understanding of evil, basic philosophy, advanced physics and the fascinating activities of ants. Feeling intimidated by the scope of these topics? Fear not! There are three hiatuses placed at intervals throughout the book to give your brain a chance to catch up, zone out or consider a career as a BBC cameraman. Or camerawoman.

This is a ride you can’t afford to pass up.

And the carnies will take offence. You wouldn’t want to upset them now, would you?

Go on, let the pages flick your fingers.


Cherith Martin is an English Literature graduate from Queen’s University Belfast and is currently working as a phlebotomist for the NHSCT. She is a member of Carrickfergus Baptist Church where she serves as a leader in the children’s ministry and the youth fellowship. Cherith also loves book having read many, and is an aspiring author so keep an eye out for her name at your local bookshop!


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