Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Time Keeper

Title:  The Time Keeper
Author:  Mitch Albom
Publication Information:  Hyperion. 2012. 224 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book based on how much I enjoyed some of Mitch Albom's other books.

Favorite Quote:  "Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out."

The Time Keeper is the fictionalized story of Father Time - who he was, how he came to be Father Time, and what he would change if he could. In the context of the story, of course, is the lesson for all of us. A lesson that can be summarized in the following quote from the book:  "You marked the minutes .... But did you use them wisely? To be still? To cherish? To be grateful? To lift and be lifted?"

Essentially, the story goes that in a time long long ago, no one measured time. Then, one man figured out how and became obsessed with his measurements. The consequence of his obsession turned him into Father Time. However, now he has a chance to redeem himself if he can teach two individuals the lesson he learned too late.

The two individuals come from opposite ends of the spectrum - one feeling like he has no time and needs more and the other feeling like even one more moment of life is too much. They both take steps - drastic steps - to remedy their problem of too little or too much time. Do they learn in time? That is the crux of the book.

The lesson of the book is a useful one, but unfortunately the story seems so contrived and the lesson is too obvious. I could see where the story was going and was not at all surprised when it got there. The characters (Father Time, the old man, the young woman) are not compelling enough to draw me into the story.

So, while I love some of Mitch Albom's other books, I am disappointed by this one.

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