Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesday's with Morrie
Mitch Albom
Inspirational memoir

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago. Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying of ALS - or motor neurone disease - Morrie visited Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final class: lessons in how to live. This is a chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.

So this book is in every bookstore's recommended shelf and probably discussed in every book club. My grandmother gave this one to me and one of my best friends loved it, so I was really looking forward to reading Tuesdays with Morrie.

I'll be honest- I was kinda disappointed.

Maybe it was because I was raised on these life lessons since birth, maybe because I read a lot, but the novel didn't strike a cord with me. After every big revelation I was like, well, duh. The things were a bit cliche- well-known defects in American culture. (That's another thing. Not living in North America helps when it comes to perspective on world issues and life in general.) Also, being religious, I already knew and understood some ideas that Morrie brought up.

However, there were some aspects I liked.

The story- Mitch goes from starving-musician-on-the-streets-of-NY-who-hopes-to-be-a-star to rich-journalist-who-spends-his-life-trying-to-make-more-money-with-a-job-he-doesn't-even-like. Sound familiar? I would hazard to guess that was the humble beginning of many a businessman. I thought it was nice to see that narrative after the fact- as in, the story isn't about Morrie counseling the poor confused young adult against this course. After it all, student and teacher reunite and talk about mistakes made and what forward. Not a typical plotline (it's real life! As stated above, Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir) at all- no epic romance or medical miracle.

The POV- the author does not put his own words in quote- just Morrie's. I'm not sure how to explain this to you, just flip through the book and see for yourself. Anyway, it emphasizes Morrie and minimizes Mitch, which I think was the desired effect.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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