There are very few books that I can re-read. Very few that can keep me engaged or engrossed enough even when I know what happens next. Very few authors are capable of beckoning my attention over and over again. Mitch Albom is in this very short list. The first novel of Mr. Albom that I read was “Five People You Meet in Heaven”. Ever since then, I’ve always found his novels to be…interesting. They have always been something that I can recommend to someone else. With “Tuesdays with Morrie”; Mitch Albom moved a little closer to my heart and after “For One More Day” he reached my re-readable list. I've read “For One More Day” more than once. And that’s a rare scenario in my world. So, when I saw his new novel in Crossword, I didn't hesitate… I remember I didn't even read the back-cover. I simply picked it up. Friend with whom I was in crossword, asked me if I’m sure I wanna buy that book, I told her, I can buy a Mitch Albom any day blindfolded. And I wasn't wrong.
Time keeper is very similar to his earlier work and it still is very different. This also has a touch of magic and fable-ish story telling style to it…but this one is very somber. Coz the Time Keeper is story of Father Time. The one who counted time for the first time. It’s the story of his fascination and obsession with measuring everything, its story of his unquenchable thirst for knowledge and its story of his torment and salvation from that very same obsession. It is also the story of Sarah, a geeky, intelligent, shy and socially inept teenager. About her angst to fit in and find the first love and heartbreak, her attempt to end it all. And lastly, it is also the story of Victor. World’s thirteenth richest man, a businessman, an elderly gentleman, husband to a devoted wife, boss to a hoard-load of people, a man of enormous success… a man afraid of the end of the life approaching soon. A man out to outlast death.
With the genteel touch of his earlier stories, Mitch Albom spins a story that touches your heart. Makes you smile, and make you cringe. It’s a story that teaches you to appreciate what you have and what is important. Thought the message that novel imparts is age-old wisdom, the way Mitch handles the story is simply… simple, yet effective. It’s such a fluid story that I finished the novel in less than 2 days… it’s a story that doesn't leave you even when you are done reading it. That I think is what should be seen as a sign of very good novel. There are parts of the novel when you wonder, where is this all going? How is it all going to come together? The answers come only at the last 30 odd pages or so… and when they come, you also complete the journey that you never knew you were on.
In Mitch Albom’s own words…
“There’s a reason why God limits our days.”
“To make each one precious”