Posted by : Peter Landers Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Mitch Albom, the author behind Tuesdays with Morrie and a few other books, published his most recent novel in September 2012. It’s called The Timekeeper, and it’s a delightful tale about the origin of Father Time and the reasons behind man’s constant counting of the hours.
The thing about Mitch Albom is that he can never tell just one story. He always writes several stories that intermingle, and he switches between these every chapter. It’s a good technique, because it keeps you interested. At the end of every chapter, you wonder where the story goes next, and then you remember where the other story left off, and you just have to keep going. His books are the type that you can easily read in a single sitting, because of their structure and simplicity.
The primary character in The Timekeeper is Dor, a man whose life takes place very early in the history of mankind. Dor is unique because he likes to count things, and by experimenting with clay pots full of water and sticks stuck into the ground, he discovers something that no one else before him has: the sun rises and sets in regular intervals. He essentially is the first to measure the passage of time, and he invents devices to help him do this. It’s something that I never really thought about before, but is rather fascinating to ponder. Obviously someone had to be the first to do it, and that’s the story Albom tells.
There are two secondary stories in this book: one revolves around a wealthy old man named Sydney who is terminally ill and is desperate to slow down the clock before his time expires. The other depicts a teenage girl named Sarah, who can’t wait for the weekend when she’ll see her crush and maybe get to know him better.
Through supernatural circumstances, these characters—who could not be more different—meet and learn from each other about the nature of time. Was it a mistake for Dor to measure days and hours, or simply the start of something inevitable? Was mankind happier just living life instead of constantly worrying about how much time we have left? I suggest you read the book to find out.
Mitch Albom never just writes a story for fun, there’s always a deeper meaning behind it, some great truth that he feels the need to convey to his readers, and that’s cool, because isn’t that what writing is all about? I’m sure his style isn’t for everyone, but I like it. It makes you look at your own life a bit differently, and like many stories, it provides a brief escape from your own boredom.
The Timekeeper is a pretty good book. It’s an easy read, a great addition to a summer reading list, and an enjoyable narrative. It’s nothing spectacular, and will certainly never earn Mitch Albom the same attention that he received from Tuesdays with Morrie, but it’s still worth reading. His stories are simple, but his descriptions are vivid and easily visualized.