The Next Level by David Gregory

I am either generous in giving author’s the benefit of the doubt or I am a glutton for punishment. After two rather inconclusive takes on David Gregory’s books I decided to give it one more shot. This time with The Next Level. This is labeled “A Parable of Finding Your Place in Life.” Having recently gone through considerable chaos in my professional life I thought this book might strike a chord. I have to say I was disappointed.

It isn’t that The Next Level is horrible or unreadable or something, it is a quick read, but rather it just left me uninspired and with no real insights.

Here is the publishers description:

Business degree in hand, Logan enters the immense Universal Systems building and is hired as an organizational analyst — a trouble-shooter. His job: evaluate the company’s five divisions, each on a separate level and each operating on startlingly unique principles. Which set of principles is successful? Why is most of the company’s profit generated by one tiny division? What is real profit, anyway? And who is the enigmatic executive that Logan ends up reporting to?

Logan engages in a life-changing pursuit for The Next Level–a fascinating parable that will help you answer some of life’s most perplexing and vital questions. Joining Logan in evaluating each level’s approach, you’ll be inspired to consider the big picture of your own life from an entirely different perspective — one that holds the key to life’s ultimate purpose. No matter where you are now, get ready to embark on your own passionate pursuit of The Next Level.

As I noted above, the book is a quick read and Gregory keeps things move at a good pace. There is a mystery involved as Logan proceeds through the levels and that keeps the readers interest as well. Gregory’s conception of the stages of Christian faith as a corporation is an interesting one. The process of Logan evaluating each level does provide some thought provoking ideas about how you approach your faith.

But as with the other books, this one just feels thin. Not in terms of length, although that is obviously true, but in terms of depth. In reading the book nothing jumped out as me as particularly insightful or interesting. It has too much of a paint-by-numbers feel to it; a rout translation of an idea into a fictional setting.

In order for a parable or fable to work it needs to bring something in the telling that can’t be communicated through a straightforward explanation; it is supposed to explore the issue from a fresh direction. I just didn’t get that from The Next Level.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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