Autumn Reads: Book Three {Tuesdays With Morrie}

Sunday, December 30, 2012

{Note, I will be posting a few of these 2012 reviews a day as the year winds up. Need to get caught up for 2013!}

I have a like/hate/indifferent relationship with this book. Let's start there.

Mortality is a an interesting character, isn't it? Mitch Albom sees a TV special on an old, beloved professor who is dying from Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) and feels guilty for loosing contact over the years. Knowing he had very little time to reconnect with Morrie, Albom starts a weekly (Tuesday afternoon, the same time they had office hours together when Albom was at Brandeis) visit with him. During these visits Morrie imparts his dying wisdom on the young man - his "final class" as Morrie liked to call the sessions.

These lessons deal with all aspects of life and love. He focuses on all the things that really matter in life and how, though everyone says it all the time, we ought to make them the focus of our life. Morrie was an exuberant man - with a love of education, good food, and dancing. In his eyes life is about finding happiness and love and holding on to those tight and never letting go. All the messages (or "classes") Morrie gives are poignant and important - and something that everyone thinks about. It's a story about the last months of a man's life (as well as flashbacks to important moments of his life) as told by a student of his - someone who loved him dearly.

Everyone has that professor (or that teacher, or that boss, etc) that was the game changer. A mentor who altered the course of your life with a few well said words and an extra ounce of faith. I know I did. I know most of my friends did. It's remarkable how important having someone other than your parents believe in you (and having your parent's believe in you is way important too. I, for one, would be nowhere near where I am today without the belief of my parents). So, this book is intended to pull at those heartstrings. It was also designed to get you to write an email to that person and reconnect with them.

But it was just so in-your-face about the whole thing that it lost its realness to me. I felt like Albom was smug and looking at me with this look how awesome I am! I visited an old dying man! And that got annoying really quickly. It made reading the book a weird combination of emotions: because I loved Morrie and hated Albom. I didn't want to read about Albom patting himself on the back, I wanted to learn more about Morrie and his life and his dancing.

So, let's just go with: it was a quick and easy read and it got me thinking. So that's a few plusses for it. But it was also really annoying to hear Albom pat himself on the back for being such a sensitive former pupil every five pages. I enjoyed it, but that's about it.

Author: Mitch Albom
Medium: Hardcover
Pages: 192
Date Read: 29 October 2012
First Line: The last class of my old professor's life took a place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. 
Favorite Line: Death ends life, not a relationship.
Last Line: A teacher until the end. [whited out, for spoiler's sake]
Recommended: If you can get your hands on a copy without paying for it (library, friend, etc). Like I said, it is a quick and easy read that will give you a little to think over. So, if you have the free time...
Recommended For: Middle School +, Anyone who has ever had an important/memorable mentor

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