tuesdays with morrie - 'an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson'. that's the book's tagline.
life's lesson? pfft. i was sceptical. what's new? i just don't like this kind of theme in books that gives you words of wisdom on how to live your life. forgive and forget. mean what you say and say what you mean. hope is frail but the hardest to kill. live life to the fullest. when one door closes, another opens. never give up. think positive. love conquers all.
i've heard it all before. too often.
we've read these magic phrases a thousand times. there's nothing new. they all say the same thing. i know i have to live life to the fullest. i know that hugging a friend today may do me good. i know that money isn't everything (though it can certainly buy a LOT of things).
that's why i greatly despise the 'chicken soup for the soul' series (sorry to the fans!). it's too sickeningly sweet and bordering on pretentious. i guess eventually the writers have to cook up stories just to meet deadlines - that's how bad it was.
but woah-hey! read 'tuesdays with morrie', and you'll get hot, thick chicken soup with homemade croutons, together with corn and carrots. wholewheat bread and a bowl of salad on the side. yum.
it IS about life's lesson. but with *life*!
this book doesn't try too hard to be anything but positively endearing.
a guy, mitch. successful, but drowns himself in work, work, work. then he found out about his dying college professor, morrie. mitch then took time to visit morrie every tuesday for the final 'course' - no textbook, but taught through experience - simply lessons in life.
the story basically revolves around inspirational conversations between the student and teacher; mitch and morrie. morrie in his positive spirit in spite of his crippling disease, while mitch sits in admiration, listening to his favorite professor.
towards the final chapter, i kept carrying the book here and there without really reading it. i almost didn't want to finish it, because i know if i keep reading, morrie will die.
however, funnily enough, i didn't cry when i read about morrie's eventual death.
i cried when he talked about seeking forgiveness. i cried when morrie listens to mitch's wife's singing, and i cried reading about morrie organizing his own 'pre-funeral'! but not when he finally dies - why?
because like mitch the student, even us readers are made to prepare for morrie's death throughout the many examples of how positive morrie is accepting his dying state. to be so close to death, and yet embracing life as never before.
a must-read. oh, dump that chicken soup book, and grab this one, please!
* * *
before reading 'tuesdays with morrie', i had actually read this book sometime last year, written by the same author.
'the five people you meet in heaven' belonged to my sister syida. again, i'm not a fan as i have a feel of the 'kind' of story this writer writes. however,
- the book was just lying around the house,
- it's not that thick,
- it IS after all, a bestseller so i wanna see what's all the fuss about,
- AND i was bored -
so i gave it a go.
well, you and i both couldn't possibly imagine what heaven would be like.
so, taking this book metaphorically, it's about reflecting on your life - if you can name FIVE people that has affected you, and affected by you, even after you die - who would it be?
now if you started thinking ONLY about people closest to you, or important to you like your parents, or husband or bestfriend, this book will tell you that ANYONE in your life could have an effect on you, or you might have effect on them. and it doesn't always have to be a positive experience.
the makcik nasi lemak who had always been the place you get your breakfast, so that you may start your day strong and tummy-full ready to face the day -
or a few coins that you give to a beggar was used by him to buy soap, so that he can start amik upah cuci kereta, which eventually earned him more coins to feed his family, as well to continue to wash cars for a living. so to him, you're one of the 5 people who affected his life!
can you think of YOUR 5 now?
* * *
mitch albom writes in short, simple sentences. smooth flow of words and so easy to digest. highly recommended if you want a light reading. although i enjoy the colorful descriptive writings of stephen king, and the funny, cyptic style of terry pratchett - albom's easy-going style is a pleasant change of pace.
pick up a copy today if you're in the mood to have a good cry...