Tuesday, February 5, 2013

REVIEW: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Title:                      The Time Keeper
Author:                  Mitch Albom 
Release Date:     Sept 4/2012
Publisher:           Hyperion Books
Page Count:        224
Acquired:            Library Borrow
Format:              Ebook (epub)
Read From:         Jan 19-Feb 2/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/The Book Depository

In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time. The inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world--now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began--and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.


I am still reeling from reading this. I haven't cried actual, real-life tears while reading a book in such a long time. I was a mess. Heart-strings were pulled, lessons were learned, and as cliche as it sounds, I can honestly say that I've found new meaning to the phrase time is precious. It's such a beautiful thing, what words can do to you, and Mitch Albom is truly a master craftsman with his.

Initially, the book alternates in very small chapters between the life and eventual introduction of Father Time (Dor), and the lives of two random citizens, Sarah and Victor. Both of them were victims of time: one wanting it to speed up, the other wanting it to slow down. The small chapters completely worked for this book, it helped move the story along at a pace more suited to it's lesson. I felt like I was able to take in a lot more this way. The story eventually reaches a collision of sorts, all three characters are within the same plane of existence. Dor has been sent to Earth, after spending 6000 years trapped in a cave, his punishment for constantly measuring time-for drinking in the power of this new found phenomena, and thinking of little else. His mission: to help Sarah and Victor-and eventually himself-realize the fault in their decisions, and the consequences that come with wanting to bend time to suit your needs.

These characters did not need long-winded back stories, they were you, and they were me. We know ourselves well enough to know that we too, are all such shameful victims of time. We all want more, sometimes we want less, it's never enough to just appreciate the now, soak in the goodness of this very second..yes, this one..and now this one...

Yes it's an obvious enough lesson, but how often is it pointed out to us? How often do we actually take it and put it to use in a positive way? This book was a much needed knock upside the head for me. Time slowed down as I read this, and by the end of it, I was in tears. Tears for the amazing eventual outcomes of the characters, and for my own realizations.

We all need this book. I don't care what genre you read, or how big or little a Mitch Albom fan you are. This book will always be needed. Appreciate the people and moments you have in your life right now, this second. Time is just numbers on a clock.

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