The book review I present today is the first Mitch Albom book that I ever desired to read. And like I do with food, I wanted to save the best for last, so I started a few years ago by reading Albom's other well-known novel, The Five People You Meet In Heaven. Though I did enjoy the book, I wasn't thrilled and my desire to read Tuesdays With Morrie dissipated. On a trip to one of Border's final closing sales, I picked up For One More Day at 40% off and read that just this year (if you're interested in that review, you can find it here). That book didn't fuel my desire for more Albom either. However, I decided to finally pick up Tuesdays With Morrie once and for all, and here is my spoiler-free review.
|(photographed: Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie)|
As usual, I'll start off with a quick synopsis. Since the back-cover of this book is simply filled with praise, and going onto Amazon to copy and paste the book description is far too much work for me, I'll write a short and sweet description myself.
Tuesdays With Morrie is a memoir that shares the story of an aging professor, Morrie, and his former student, Mitch, as they spend the remains of the man's dying days together pondering questions of life.
When I started this book, I didn't know that it was a memoir, an instead took it as a piece of fiction. I first noticed that the narrator's name matched the author's, but I still wasn't sure if Albom just loved his name that much, or if it was meant to be a memoir. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the character of Morrie was a former professor of his and that this was his true story.
The novel, if read as a piece of fiction, is simple in plot and often a little too cheesy. It was death wrapped up in shimmering wrapping paper and a shiny bow so you can barely make out its distorted outline. However, the way Albom wrapped it up wasn't all too bad and ended up becoming what I did enjoy about the novel. It speaks of the importance of love and letting go and can resonate with many. Some readers enjoy having blunt, obvious life lessons listed for them. I don't consider myself in that category, but nonetheless, the lessons still made me assess my actions.
Stylistically, Albom's writing has always been too bare and lifeless for me, but I appreciate this book knowing that it was an ode to a man he loved. It wasn't intended to be the next great American novel, but a way to share the story of a remarkable man in a trying time.
Despite this, The Five People You Meet In Heaven remains my favorite Albom piece. But if you love The Five People You Meet In Heaven you will probably enjoy this one too.
"Death ends life, not a relationship."