Monday, May 30, 2011

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Reviewed by Liesl

Published: 1997

It's about: Mitch Albom's old college professor Morrie Schwartz, who he hasn't seen in 16 years, has Lou Gehrig's disease. After discovering him on Nightline, Mitch decides to get back in contact with his old teacher. Soon they agree to meet every Tuesday, and Mitch makes a list of things to talk about that plague his generation: death, regrets, love, family, emotions, fear, etc. They spend 14 Tuesdays together as Morrie's body slowly deteriorates, and Mitch reevaluates his life.

I thought: Personally, I loved it. I liked Mitch's voice and his descriptions of Morrie. Morrie is the type of man that you would love to know and probably do know. In between each chapter and discussion Mitch illustrated a class session, showing how Morrie taught, or when he first ate lunch with Morrie. As he conveyed more information, like about how Morrie liked to dance (and unfortunately for him, the first body parts to deteriorate were his legs), I came to love him more. When I learned details about Morrie's family life as a child, I understood better why he valued his own family as much as he did.

Mitch was able to create an excellent character out of Morrie. I thought some of the stuff he said was a little bit cheesy, but then again, this is an old dying man. I liked how Morrie had to change his own opinions as he became more and more dependent on people. I loved that he was unashamed to cry a lot, which he did. He was a funny man, full of life. He loved life. But mostly? This man loved people. He loved to listen to them and he found each person fascinating.

Morrie influenced not only Mitch, but me as well. I cried as I started remembering some of the people who had that same effect in my life: saw great potential in me, believed in me, and were always willing to listen to me, and when I was ready, teach me.

Verdict: Stick it on the shelf.

Reading Recommendations: It's probably some heavier material, since it does involve death, but being a pretty sensitive person myself, I recommend everyone reads it.

Warnings: Says a few swearwords, but that's it.

Favorite excerpts: 'Morrie looked straight into the eyes of the most famous interviewer in America. "Well, Ted, one day soon, someone's gonna have to wipe my ass."'

"The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn't the family. It's become quite clear to me as I've been sick. If you don't have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don't have much at all. Love is so supremely important. As our great poet Auden said, 'Love each other or perish.'"

"I came to love the way Morrie lit up when I entered the room. he did this for many people, I know, but it was his special talent to make each visitor feel that the smile was unique."

What I'm reading next: The Throne of Fire, by  Rick Riordan