The Time Keeper – Mitch Albom

The Time Keeper It’s been years since I read Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, but I still remember the book as one of the best memoirs I have come across. Its message of love, life, and acceptance in the face of death had left me in a state of melancholy for days, and having seen his latest novel, The Time Keeper, at a library book sale, I immediately grabbed it and began reading the first pages on the spot. But I didn’t finish it that day. I kept it, like a little treasure, to be savored later, after a chunky book perhaps. Weeks later I picked it up again and this time it didn’t take me long to go through it.

Mixing fantasy with religious elements and real life situations, the novel tells the story of Dor, the first man who began to measure time ever since he was young. From hours to days and months and then years, measuring time with sticks, then water, Dor becomes obsessed, and what started as a hobby slowly takes over his life. When his wife dies, Dor is punished to live his life in solitude, in a cave, haunted by the words of the people who, having perfected the measurement of time, complain of having too much or too little of it. After many lifetimes spent inside the cave, where time has stopped, Dor is sent back among the people to find and save two souls as a way to better understand his creation.

How do you save two people, one who wants to die because of a broken heart, and the other who thinks the future holds the key to a longer life span? How do you tell them that time is precious, that it can’t be turned back, that you have to make the most of it now? How do you tell them that broken hearts can mend and that money can buy so many things but never time? Will Dor succeed in his mission? Will he be able to make two people truly understand the meaning of time and in doing so, understand it himself? Or will he forever be punished to listen to the tormented voices complaining about something they can’t control?

Once again, Albom has tried to explore human emotions in a tale that seems magical and real at the same time. Fast paced, told in snippets that alternate between stories without getting confusing or losing focus, this is a story of time and a reminder that no matter what we do, time will run its course and it can’t be stopped.

My rating: 5/5 stars
Read in August, 2014

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14 Responses to The Time Keeper – Mitch Albom

  1. Shelleyrae says:

    This has been on my TBR list for quite a while, it certainly sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing

  2. This sounds so very different and thoughtful. I tend to love novels that try to dig into the philosophical nuts and bolts of life.

    I had not heard of Mitch Albom before but I want to read him now.

    • Delia says:

      You’re in for a treat, Brain. Start with “Tuesdays with Morrie” if you can, it’s a wonderful, emotional little book. I love Albom’s books, they’re short but they pack an emotional punch that will make you remember his name.

  3. Vishy says:

    Beautiful review, Delia! I love the theme of the story – that time is precious and cannot be stopped or bought. Dor looks like a very fascinating character. I can’t wait to find out what happens during his interactions with the two people he meets. I will add this book to my ‘to be read’ list.

    I read ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ years back and loved it. It was very inspiring and touching. It is a book that I used to love gifting to friends. I am getting tempted to read it again 🙂

    • Delia says:

      That’s a great idea, Vishy, to give this book as a gift. It today’s world where we try to do so many things at once, it could be a reminder to enjoy our time. It’s not that long anyway (the time, and the book 🙂 ).
      I’m glad to see you loved “Tuesdays with Morrie”, I think you’ll enjoy this one, too.

  4. Athira says:

    I am sure I would not have picked this book to read just from its synopsis, but your review has made me want to pick it up. I haven’t read this author yet, but I will check this one out.

    • Delia says:

      I hope you give it a try, Athira. I probably would have skipped it if the author’s name didn’t jump at me. Like “Tuesdays with Morrie”, his most famous book, this one tells a beautiful story.

  5. TBM says:

    Yesterday I was walking through the park and the book ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ popped into my head. Maybe it’s a sign I should read this one.

  6. Priya says:

    It’s been years since I read Tuesdays with Morrie too. I remember I was completely touched by it then – like you’ve said here, it’s such a small book packed with such an emotional punch. I wouldn’t have picked another book by the author on my own, but this sounds worth a read. 🙂

    • Delia says:

      Hi Priya,
      I’m glad to see you liked “Tuesdays with Morrie”, too. Lovely book, isn’t it?
      I was intrigued by the blurb of “The Time Keeper” but even more curious to see what the author has come up with this time. A story about the man who invented time – that is not something I read every day.
      If you do get to read it I’ll keep an eye out for your review. 🙂

  7. Violet says:

    I read Tuesdays with Morrie ages ago, but have not yet got around to reading this one. I think we all probably need to read more fables. Albom has a lovely touch when transmiting important messages that have the potential to change the way we live and think about life.

    • Delia says:

      Hi Violet,
      I think you’re right, we could all read more fables. Albom’s writing has that ability, to make you love the story and think about its meaning, without being steeped in literary references. This book made me remember a line from “The Lord of the Rings”: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”. I think that pretty much sums it up.

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