Book Reviews

Leaves you with more than it claims – Review of “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

“Tuesdays with Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson” I believe the title of the book is understated – an old man, yes! A young man, yes! Life’s greatest lesson, no! But life’s many great lessons. The book very cleverly hooks up the interest from the beginning when it starts plotting the foundation to give you life’s greatest lessons upon.

“Who is Morrie Schwartz?” This single question leads young Mitch to search and find his old wise professor who was suffering from ALS (yes, the same “Ice bucket challenge” disease). Apart from giving the insights of how a person feels while suffering from ALS, the reader is provided with lessons from Morrie, the coach. He was not any sports coach but life’s.

“Coach,” I said suddenly, remembering the nickname. Morrie beamed. “That’s me. I’m still your coach.”

How would you feel having being called the same name after sixteen years?

One of the myths which the book debunks is that we are irreplaceable. I was stunned at how easily things went on without me. Realize that the only people who would be affected by your disappearance, for whom you are irreplaceable is your family and family alone. For the company and organization you are working in, for the institution you are studying in, you are just another person; let me correct – just another REPLACEABLE person.

Just as any inspiring specially-able person astonishes others with his positive attitude, Morrie takes his disease as a chance to live his life to the fullest:

                He smiled. “Not everyone is so lucky.”

                I studied him in his chair, unable to stand, to wash, to pull on his pants. Lucky? Did he really say lucky?

Yes, everything is in your attitude. Heaven is here on Earth, but only those with positive attitude are able to see it.

Here is another heart-throbbing piece of incident the book shares:

                One of the patients, a middle-aged woman, came out of her room everyday and lay facedown on the tile floor, stayed there for hours, as doctors and nurses stepped around her. Morrie watched in horror. He took notes, which is what he was there to do. Everyday, she did the same thing: came out in the morning, lay on the floor, stayed there until the evening, talking to no one, ignored by everyone. It saddened Morrie. He began to sit on the floor with her, even lay down alongside her, trying to draw her out of her misery. Eventually, he got her to sit up, and even to return to her room. What she mostly wanted, he learned, was the same thing many people want – someone to notice she was there.

So true! Isn’t that what we all want?

I found Morrie’s death the most mystical. Finally, on the fourth of November, when those he loved had left the room just for a moment – to grab coffee in the kitchen, the first time none of them were with him since the coma began – Morrie stopped breathing.

In a nutshell, this book would help you grow older happily and even grin on the face of paralytic old-age. “And Al?” “Yes?” “Make sure they don’t overcook me.” Morrie grinned while talking about his dealth.

It is said that a great book is one that makes you feel you lost a friend when you turn the last page. Frankly, I will miss Mr. Morrie and his wise teachings and aphorisms a lot. And I feel I have lost a friend after finishing this book. I even shed a tear or two while reading the book.

I gave Tuesdays with Morrie  stars.


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