My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Though I previously read The Five People You Meet in Heaven, I somehow managed to miss Albom’s smash hit “Tuesdays with Morrie” until this week, when a colleague mentioned it as reference material I scrambled for the library (all praise the mighty haven of books!).
It’s safe to say that Albom’s career as a novelist would not have happened had he taken a different class in college. “Tuesdays With Morrie” is the discussion of “big questions” with Professor Morrie Schwartz. Albom had been in Morrie’s class in college–had taken all of his classes, in fact–and, when he heard about Morrie’s terminal illness, he had gone to visit his favorite professor, 16 years after they’d last seen each other. Week by week, the pair discussed the big scary questions that plague everyone, and Morrie, having the unique perspective perhaps only the terminally ill can claim, acts as the Wise Seer; Albom, and the reader, the disciples traveling afar.
Albom is clearly a talented writer, carefully folding in each bit of information about Morrie’s past as it becomes relevant to the story, but Albom would undoubtedly be just another talented fast-moving sportswriter without Morrie.
The book is poetic, a comfortable bedside-table read if you want to dream about a life beyond the mundane. It’s full of things we should all already know, but because there are so many books telling us we’re living wrong, we must not be getting the message.
Aphorisms aside, this is a good book about a teacher and the impression he can have on the lives around him. Mark this down as “possible end-of-year teacher gift.” I think most people, but teachers in particular, would like to feel they had lived as inspiring a life as Morrie Schwartz.
In the meantime, sometimes the best we can do is read about it, and take a moment to think on our own dreams and goals.