Monday, September 25, 2017

The Time-keeper by Mitch Albom | A Book Review

The Time-keeper by Mitch Albom | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I borrowed this book from a friend who is going through a hard battle. Reading this made me understand his struggles more and even shared in the experience. He let me get a glimpse of what he has to go through and he was right in saying that he would rather be broke. I didn't pity him but it was empathy I felt. Getting to know him, in a way, gave me a feel of how it is to be in his shoes. And they are uncomfortable.  It made me realize, in spite of the struggles and the lack of a few things, I should still be grateful that I am not wearing his shoes because I am not sure if I would survive. I realize he is a much stronger person than I am.

Reading a Mitch Albom always generates a melancholy feeling. After reading a few of his books and add in this one, I came to the conclusion that the name Mitch Albom equates  to melancholy, even sad. But at the end, it would be like a transcending experience. Just like reading the books of Paulo Coelho, you will feel like you have found a new nugget of wisdom that could not be found elsewhere. 

Honestly, of all the author's books, this is probably the book that I love the least. I don't hate it. It's just OK. I don't think it's as great as the other books I have read. I think the first two parts of the book were very solemn and slow. Solemn because it felt like the story was tiptoeing, like it was unsure. It was very serious. It was like a teacher giving a lecture and you have to listen very attentively or else you won't be able to pass the pop quiz after. It's as if there's no room for humor or sarcasm or witticism. Silent because it's voice is too weak. I am tempted to find something else to read but since the book isn't too thick, I carried on. I know, at the end of every Mitch Albom is a great life lesson and I don't want to miss it.

The ending made up for the earlier parts which were not as engaging to me as the final third of the story. Contrary to the first two thirds of the book, the ending made a bang. It was all I was waiting for. The symphony of a well-rehearsed orchestra performing its finale song for the performance of the night. And the life lesson that I have been waiting for made its appearance and looked me in the eye.

Of the two characters that Father Time had to help, I can find myself in the young girl who found that her life is without meaning. When I was younger, I actually thought that getting to thirty is too far. It is still a very long way. Would I ever reach that age? And now, I am past that age and I realized I have gone past about half of a normal person's lifetime. It's as if I don't know what to do with my life anymore. I think I am years too early for a mid-life crisis. People usually have mid-life crisis in their forties. I don't want to end my life, I am just frustrated. I have a lot of things I want to do like travel, new hobbies, and new experiences to try, but I feel like I am not prepared to face the problems that came with adulting. I feel like my plans only considered and anticipated things up to my twenties, I did not take into account reaching this age. Honestly, I even thought I'd die in my mid thirties. Well, I am not out of the woods yet, but I realized I don't want to die yet. I want to grow old but I also don't want to grow old alone, bitter, and miserable. I'd rather end where I am in my finest. Just like what artists, celebrities, and other successful people say, "Better quit while you are on top than when you are at your lowest or weakest." I would like to leave this life filled with great experiences I had than being beset with disappointments and sorrows that had slowly eaten my zest for life. 

I give the book 3/5 egg timers. The story is a classic Mitch Albom complete with a life lesson at the end and an experience that you don't get from any other book. But I was not so engaged in the first two thirds of the story. I was looking for something but could not exactly tell what it is that I was looking for. I had great expectations about the book because of the author but unfortunately my expectations were not met. The lesson of the story, just like the end of every fable, is to make use of time wisely. Live life to the fullest and that is putting the things that matter most first, like family and friends. This story puts things in perspective, just like every other Mitch Albom story I have read, which is also one of the few merits of this story. The other life lesson is hope. That no matter how dark times get, there is always hope. And I fervently believe that but sometimes just getting small sparks of hope is never enough. I have reached a point where I need a full blazing forest fire. Small sparks won't do for me anymore. I need something bigger and more tangible. 

There is a reason God limits our days.
To make each one precious. 
- Mitch Albom, The Time-keeper - 

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