“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
I have been hearing quite a lot about “Tuesdays With Morrie”, saying that it is an inspirational work and it makes you realize the meaning of life. It has been quite a while since the last time I read something about life (like, since “Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, and that is a book targeted for younger audiences, to boot), so I decide to give “Tuesdays With Morrie” a go as my first book by Mitch Albom. To start things off, I bought the book expecting that it was fiction, but after noticing Mitch’s name in it, and the memoir/inspiration genre written on the back cover of it, I realized that I was wrong (I know, that is absurd), but regardless of that, that did not actually stop me from reading it. I heard a lot, and I wanted to know more about it. Basically, the book is about Mitch’s ‘lessons’ with his old professor, Morrie Schwartz, whom he hadn’t met for sixteen years. The reunion did not hold exactly happy moments as Mitch was having a lot of thoughts back then and Morrie was diagnosed with ALS with his condition becoming worse day by day. Still, Morrie did not lose his positive attitude and view towards life, and he decided to have a final lesson with his beloved student, a lesson about life and death. The format of the book is pretty simple and easy to follow; there is the introductory chapters, a few ‘visits’ by Ted Koppel, and the days of the lessons with Mitch and Morrie. Every chapter of these lessons attempt to share with the readers Mitch’s experience with his old professor, and it is well-written in a simplistic, to-the-point style. There are no detailed descriptions of their surroundings that take several paragraphs, but only a few general illustrations of the surroundings and we are given the heart-warming conversations between Mitch and Morrie. This is probably one of the most reader-friendly books that I have read until this moment, and of course, that is a plus, especially after considering that it is able to broaden the accessibility of the book, meaning that more and more people of all-ages are able to ‘learn together with Mitch and Morrie’.
For the content, or rather, the ‘lessons’ of the book, personally, I do not have much trouble with it, but I do realize for a fact from the moment I started flicking through the pages of the book until I finished it, that the lessons may not be suitable for certain groups of people (as expected from the books about the lessons of life in general), and I am a bit skeptical when it comes to these kinds of lessons as they pretty much teach about more or less the same core issues (love or memory), and much to my disappointment, I guessed it right. However, the way Morrie explains those general issues are splendid; he penetrated the layers of the society that few manages to do and mixed it up with his own wise thoughts. Issues such as regret, marriage, forgiveness, emotions, and ultimately, life and death, are all explained by Morrie in a manner that not only enables us to understand better, but also persuades us. Sadly, the lessons provided, although are excellent, are a tad bit too short without further analysis and solution in some parts of the book (yes, this is not a self-help book, but I do expect something more ‘life-changing’ after the constant positive auras surrounding the book); this makes the book packs a lot of deep lessons, but they are delivered in a ‘deep yet shallow’ way. Good choice of words, fluent flows of explanations, but too little. The last issue is that it is somehow too jumpy. I do not know if this was what exactly happened to Mitch, or this is simply a writing issue; there are a few ‘jumpy’ moments, sudden change of emotions and actions despite of the more prioritized issues inside Mitch, even earlier in the book. Personally, I think it will be better if Mitch includes his thought more about how they actually affect Mitch to take his courses of action, rather than just ‘meet and change’. However, if this was what happened to Mitch, in which he simply decided to do it, his old professor’s face actually sent a wave of guilt and streams of emotions that manage to change to his old-self, than I am perfectly fine with it.
“Tuesdays With Morrie” is a good book, that’s for sure. Morrie and Mitch are nice people, that’s for sure. However, I cannot say that this is a life-changing book; maybe for some, but not the majority. For some reason, I cannot help but feel that the positive vibes and all the life-changing issues are there because of the sympathy and empathy towards the wise Morrie.
Rating from me: 3.5/5
Have you read the book? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments!