The Time Keeper created quite an impact on the literary world when it was released this September. The furor it caused was inevitable if for no other reason than the previously established prestige of its author. As an already respected writer of best-sellers such as Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom had some high expectations to meet. He did it though, and even surpassed them.
Albom has been known to address profound life issues in his work and The Time Keeper is no exception. From the very first page, I was captivated by this nontraditional novel. One could even call it a fable. Indeed, it teaches its readers a valuable lesson but it is not, by any means, a traditional, run-of-the-mill, children’s fable. It speaks to people in all walks of life because it concerns one of humanity’s greatest obsessions: time.
The protagonist of this captivating tale is none other than Father Time himself. It tells the story of the man who invented time and consequently destroyed the peaceful ignorance of humanity. As punishment for what he has done, Father Time (named Dor) must listen to humanity suffer under the burden of time until the end of the world.
Consequentially, two people in particular stand out to Dor and it becomes his duty to teach them the futility of measuring time. As the lives of these individuals unfold, the reader identifies with their struggles. Humans waste so much time worrying about time itself: will there be enough time? How much time is left? Is it too late? Everything is scheduled and organized to the last second so that we are slaves to time.At some point we must realize that all the time we waste worrying about time itself could be spent enjoying life instead.
The best way to express this idea is through Albom’s own words: “When you are measuring life, you are not living it.” This idea is at the very core of the novel and it rings true for all human beings.
The Time Keeper is a great deal more than just a story about the beginning of time; its message resonates for anyone who has felt cheated by time. It encourages the reader to reevaluate his or her own life and priorities. Through this book, Albom points out the futility of counting and measuring our moments on earth; instead, we should cherish every living second and stop looking toward the next one.
About the writer:
Anne Malina is a freshman at DePaul, double majoring in English & French, from Berwyn, IL.