Recently a play titled Tuesdays With Morrie came to Seattle. It sounded interesting, but my schedule prevented me from going. However, the Seattle Library had a copy of the book. Lucky for me, right? Not really.
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom is an awful book. A middle-aged man, whose life is losing meaning, revisits his dying professor to learn life’s greatest lesson.
The author barely touches on the lessons from the old man. He spends most of the book talking about his professor’s health problems. Mitch Albom is yet another narcissistic navel-gazing Baby Boomer with a word processor. Instead of listening and learning the wisdom from his mentor, the story becomes a sad observation of his death and a student that learned nothing.
Apr 25, 2009 — 12:06 pm
I’ve never read this book, but was curious so I looked it up on Amazon. It is strange
– With over 2000 reviews it has about 4.5/5 stars …unusually high!
– On the other hand, nothing I read in the reviews seemed particularly outstanding. In fact one (5 star) post listed ~20 quotes from the book to show how GREAT it is, but they all seemed rather obvious and mundane to me.
My favorite book that could be considered in this vein is:
Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~Richard Bach
True story …I took my copy with me to Navy bootcamp 25 years ago and they told me I could only have a bible in bootcamp. I told them it WAS my bible and they let me keep it. I designed our bootcamp company flag with a huge seagull on it traced from the pages.
Final note… I’ve gotten immense insight from other great works of literature and philosophy, but none so simply stated.
Apr 25, 2009 — 12:14 pm
You do realize that Matt is going to write a book like this about you one day, right?
Apr 25, 2009 — 1:39 pm
Jim – thanks for the recommendation. I’ve added to my list.
Andrew – LOL. I hope if he does, it turns out a better book.
Apr 26, 2009 — 10:08 am
I liked the book.
Apr 26, 2009 — 11:08 am
I would have never picked this book up to begin with. I don’t like the cover of it. Plus lifes greatest lessons can be learned from a variety of avenues from more notable sources.
A different Ed
Apr 26, 2009 — 11:15 am
My issue with this book wasn’t the lessons. They were fine. It was the writer. Instead of taking the opportunity to really learn from and share the lessons of his professor, he devotes most of the book to a ghoulish observation on the disease affecting his death.
Now if the cover of the book stressed it was about watching a loved one die, it would have been a good book. However, the book was sold as lessons and wisdom.
The Amazon review JIM found was superior to the book. Read it and avoid the book.
Apr 26, 2009 — 11:44 am
Sounds depressing to me.
I bet if you walked into Barnes and Noble totally depressed and right in front of you were two books. “Crazy from the Heat” or this one.
I bet you would’nt hesitate to pick up the DLR book and sit down to unknowingly perk yourself up and leave with a big smile on your face.
Apr 26, 2009 — 11:49 am
LOL. True. Diamond Dave is the wisest of all.
Apr 27, 2009 — 9:23 am
Whatever happened to “To each his own” and “Never judge a book by its cover”, MAS and Ed? 🙂
Apr 27, 2009 — 4:38 pm
I think those may be myths TigerAl. Scroll back and compare covers. There’s not to much thought process ….at least for me there isn’t.
Apr 27, 2009 — 8:06 pm
That would be the “to each his own” part. I have compared the covers and based solely on that aspect (which is not how I usually assess reading material) I disagree that I would pick this book over the DLR one 🙂
Apr 27, 2009 — 8:08 pm
Typo in my statement (and don’t start on Freudian slips because it isn’t 🙂 ): it should say “I disagree that I would pick the DLR book over this one”.
Apr 28, 2009 — 6:49 am
Let me put a nice bow on this discussion.
Morrie is interesting and a good story teller.
DLR is interesting and a great story teller.
Mitch Albom is neither interesting or a good story teller.
Had Tuesdays With Morrie been written by David Lee Roth it would have been an outstanding book. But Morrie is dead, so this is not possible.
Therefore I’d like to see Josh Davis of Wired Magazine spent 16 weeks with DLR and release a book called – Tuesdays With Dave: An Old Rocker, A Young Writer and Life’s Greatest Lesson.
Sometimes I impress even myself. 😉