Review Of The Novel Tuesdays With Morrie By Mitch Albom
Tuesdays With Morrie is a novel written by Mitch Albom, an internationally renowned and best-selling author. Albom is also a journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio/television broadcaster and musician. His books, collectively have sold more than 39 million copies worldwide, published in forty-nine territories and in forty-five languages around the world; and have been made into an Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed movie.
The novel was actually written to pay of Morrie’s hospital bills; Albom himself did not expect the book to be popular. At first, he was told that publishing the book was a bad idea. Numerous publishing companies refused to take it, said it was boring and depressing. He was told, “Mitch Albom is a known sports writer, he can’t write a book like that.” But he didn’t care about the rejections and declines; he took the risk, wanting to do this for the sake of his teacher. He wanted to help Morrie out.
When Mitch Albom found a publisher, the book was set out into stores three (3) weeks before his professor died. They only published 20,000 copies, which at the time, was a very small amount of books. Everyone, including Albom believed that the amount of books published was so small, but they did not realise that over time, the book would be raved about my many.
Tuesdays With Morrie begins with a recount of Mitch Albom’s graduation from Brandeis University in 1979. He talks about Morrie, his favourite professor, giving him a briefcase, with a hint of fear that he might be forgotten by him. He then promises Morrie that he would keep in touch, to which he had answered almost robotically, “Of course.”
Years after Mitch’s graduation, Morrie resigns from activities he once loved. He gave up dancing, one of his favourite hobbies due to being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. With all of this happening, Mitch feels dissatisfied with the life he chose. He abandoned his career as a musician when his uncle died of pancreatic cancer. He promised his wife, Janine, a family but spends his time more on work.
Upon seeing Morrie on TV, he contacts his old professor and visits his home in West Newton, Massachusetts. After a dispute that involves his work, he travels again to Boston to visit Morrie where they spend their Tuesdays together, listening to Morrie’s lessons on life.
Mitch then hears Morrie talk about his childhood, how he was deprived of love from their own father, and the emotional burden of not having to tell his little brother, Peter that their real mother had died, information he read off a telegram because he was the only one that knew how to read English. Morrie was grateful for his step-mother, Eva. She showered him love for books and desire for education.
Throughout their time together, Morrie had taught Mitch lessons on the Meaning of Life, to reject popular culture and create a culture of his kind, filled with “love, acceptance and human goodness”.
Morrie asks Mitch to contact Peter, who was in Spain battling pancreatic cancer. He insists on being fine, not wanting to talk about his illness. The old professor tells Mitch that after his death, Mitch will become closer with Peter.
When death befalls Morrie, Mitch keeps the promise he had shared with Morrie — to carry out conversations between the two of them in his head, to keep the memory of his beloved professor alive.
As readers, if we were to be honest, we found the book dull at first. It was overly descriptive, and at often times, lacked the certain wow-factor that we were waiting for in the beginning, the fish hook to keep us reading. But as we continued to read the book (unwillingly), we had found ourselves loving Morrie and resonating with Mitch — the dissatisfied life, the existential crisis and the regrets.
Morrie’s perception of life, changed not only how Mitch sees the world but also ours, as readers. We wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who may seem a little lost, or those who feel they are at a crossroad. This novel exists to be the slight nudge you feel before taking a risk. It teaches you to never hold back, to be vulnerable, to feel and express your emotions.
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