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Tuesdays with Morrie.
Publisher: Sphere; New edition (24 July 2003)
RRP - £7.99
Currently selling for £5.59 on Amazon.
Second hand versions available for £2.81 delivered.
This book is about an old Sociology Professor called Morris Schwartz and the rekindled relationship he has with one of his former students, Mitch Albom, shortly before his death.
This is a true story about Mitch's Tuesday visits to see his former tutor who was terminally ill with ALS - a long name for what we would call Motor Neurone Disease.
Mitch had not seen his old tutor since graduation, when he had promised to stay in touch - but didn't.
Now 37 years old and looking for meaning in his life, he finds his Tuesday visits to Morrie, who has made death his final project, very inspiring.
This is a short and easy to read book which I have re-read quite easily in a day.
It is written in an easily understood style and is set out in the form of 14 Tuesday lesson between Albom and Morrie.
After graduation Mitch fails to keep in touch with his tutor, and goes along the path of sport's journalist - being interested in career and money and too busy to have children. A chance glimpse of Morrie in a TV programme prompts Mitch to get back in touch - his old tutor now only has months to live and Mitch helps to chronicle his last fight with the illness, and also learns what are the important things in life.In a way this could be seen as a sad book as it chronicles someone's losing battle against a crippling disease which in the end will paralyse and kill him. However Mollie's spirit shines through as he refuses to feel self pity. He states he allows himself to feel sad for a little while in the morning and then he gets on with his days. One of Morrie's quotes is ' the way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning'. Morrie believed love was the most important thing in life - 'to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in'.
Mitch begins to tape their Tuesday sessions and each one tends to have a different theme - regrets, death, family, ageing, forgiveness etc.
One touching passage is when Morrie says how much he appreciates the window - weird you might think - but being housebound this window affords him a view of the changing seasons outside - as if he can actually see time passing outside the window. To well people the window would mean nothing, but to a bed bound person it can mean a whole lot more. It makes people think of things form a different perspective.
Morrie talks about detachment, and explains how of course he will feel envy for youngsters who are fit and strong - but Morrie's way is to feel the emotion, and then let it go.
Almost up until the day of his death when he was fighting for breath Mitch continued to visit - and while Morrie gained from having the visits of his younger friend, Mitch also gained insight into life from the lessons his elderly tutor was teaching him - of how to live life and how to accept illness and approach death.
Morrie know that his 'Tuesdays' would be published as a book and he even chose the title himself.
A thought provoking book which makes us confront our own impending deaths and the infirmities that old age can bring.
Although the book itself is 210 pages the last pages from 195 onwards is an introduction to Albom's other book - 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven' and contains the first chapter to whet your interest.
===Would I Recommend?===
Tuesdays with Morrie is a true story written by Mitch Albom about his relationship with his previous college teacher, Morrie Schwartz. When Albom and Morrie resume contact years after Albom has left college, Morrie is suffering from a degenerative muscle disease which is causing his body to shut down gradually. Morrie is fascinating by his ex teacher's positive and powerful demeanour in the face of death and the fact that he still has so much to offer to the world. Morrie's mind is sharp and stimulated, in stark contrast to his decaying body, and he and Albom strike up a relationship where they spend Tuesdays talking about every topic under the sun.
Albom wrote this book after realising how valuable Morrie's teachings are to the world. Although Albom had become very successful and comfortable after college, he knew that he would not have fared as well mentally in the face of an illness such as Morrie's. Indeed, most of us would not.
I think this book, though not as profound as some have argued, is essential reading for any westerner due to our unhealthy perception of death. We do not have a positive mourning process in our culture, and we can sometimes be obsessed with increasing the longevity of our life spans at the expense of enjoying every day life. Morrie is one of those rare characters who has not forgotten how to appreciate life rather than fear death, and so he enjoys his last days, staring death in the face despite becoming increasingly reliant on other people to care for him, and displaying a wellbeing of mental health that is sorely lacking in the developed western world.
Morrie and Albom discuss various philosophical issues in the book, and through them we learn to identify with Morrie's perspective. His views are similar to a lot of Eastern thinking to do with letting go of control in order to find happiness, and spending more time just 'being' rather than doing anything in particular.
This book very easy to read. Albom is not the most literary of writers, but his story does not require him to be, and it remains interesting throughout. It is only a short book, but I learned a lot from Morrie (through Albom), and I really appreciated some of his insights into life. I would recommend this book to anyone, and I think it's potentially an important text for self-growth, as the reader has the opportunity to consider Morrie's perspective of life and death and shift his own views accordingly.
Mitch Albom is a workhorse who gave up his dream of becoming a pianist, who now spends each day slaving away towards the next deadline, surrounded by people who couldn't really care less about him. However, as look would have it, one night while he is watching TV he comes across a familiar name; Morrie Schwartz, is old sociology professor who he admired greatly but has not kept his promise to him to keep in touch. When he finds out Morrie is dying from ALS, a brutal, unforgiving illness that gradually shuts down the body, he makes a weekly trip to Morrie's house to discuss life, death and everything else, "the final class of the professor's life", if you will. These classes become known as "Tuesdays With Morrie".
Given the fascination with death us humans have, it is no wonder Tuesdays with Morrie sold so many copies. A wise old man, terminally ill, offering his advice to a young man who has not been living the right way, I would say a lot of people bought this book hoping to benefit from Morrie's advice. While I of course have sympathy and admiration for a man suffering from such a horrible disease, Morrie doesn't reveal anything intriguing or vital about life and death and readers who are looking for some advice that will radically change their lives will be disappointed. Another fault is that Mitch Albom portrays Morrie as a near Saint, a man full of so much good he is impossible to relate to. If Albom shown the more human side of Morrie, the advice he offers could maybe be heeded more. Instead the angelic idolisation Albom has for his former professor makes it hard to believe that this is a true story.
Where this book does enlighten the reader is Morrie's physical battle with ALS. The disease slowly starts to go though his body from the legs up and Morrie knows when the disease hits his lungs, he will choke to death. His struggle with the disease certainly opened my eyes to his plight and those who suffer from similar diseases.
The style of writing is very simple, written for people who rarely buy books except when recommended by Oprah, it is no wonder it was so successful. Which brings up another question; why would Morrie allow a former student who failed to keep in touch suddenly reappear and make a profit from his plight? Although it is explained in the book that the profits from the book helped pay for Morrie's medical costs, as stated on the cover this book was a number one bestseller so I am sure Albom made a tidy profit. Throughout the book Albom also seems to want the readers sympathy, which is quite ridiculous.
My advice is don't believe the hype surrounding this book. It won't change your life, but it is enjoyable in parts, unfortunately though it lacks substance and Albom's writing skills aren't good enough to convey Morrie's sad demise and unbelievable kindness without coming across as preachy. All in all a rather unfulfilling read.
This clever little book is a wonderfully life affirming read which I believe will appeal to everyone on some level. At times it blurs the line between self help and fiction, but manages not to preach all the same.
I'm a relatively slow reader, but the compulsive element to this book meant I read it in 3 days. If you are a fast reader I think it would be perfect to read in one sitting as well.
The emmensely touching and often hilarious relationship betweem Mitch the author and his eccentric yet groundbreakingly honest old Professor will stay with you a long time after reading, and I caution those who like to read in public, there is a strong chance of weeping!
In my opinion the best thing about this book is the message it gives regarding forgiveness and more importantly (apologies if this sounds cheesy), learning to forgive oneself.
If you're looking for a small book with a huge impact, then you've found it.
Having read Mithc Alboms 2 other Novels (For One More Day and Five People You Meet In Heaven I was very excited to buy this and read it asap.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a true story about one of Mitch Albom's college professors, Morrie Schwartz, whom he rediscovers some 20 years after he was taught by him.
Morrie is suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), otherwise known as a form of motor neurone disease.
The book chronicals their time together through the final stages of his life as the ALS progresses. Their meetings turn into little one to one lectures, similar to when Albom was in college, and the lesson is life.
I found the novel to be a touching, heart wrenching book. I went through an entire range of emotions. I was crying, laughing and visiting the many emotions inbetween.
The fact it is a true story makes it even more poignant and I felt that knowing this made it easier for me to connect with the characters. The way Albom writes makes you, as the reader, believe the words could have been taken straight from your own head.
I also found myself feeling in awe of Morrie and his outlook on life. Here is a man that knows he is dying and rather than wallowing in self pity and melodrama he is simply good and inspiring to the end. Despite suffering a painful and long illness he is not asking, "Why me?" but is appreciative for the time he has had and the experiences he has shared with loved ones.
I felt humbled and I feel that that in itself demonstrates the quality of Albom's writing. To feel that way after reading about a man I had never met was astounding to me.
Albom is a very simplistic writter and I feel this is greatly to his credit. His personable writing skills are what makes his work so able to connect with a broad range of people, in my opinion.
Overall, I feel the novel is a small gem. Coming in at just under 200 pages it contains a wealth of emotion and life affirming, inspirational writing.
I was introduced to this book by a friend, and, I have to say, I was dubious at first. I am a great fan of fiction, novels and great stories, so I wasn't sure if a book drawn from true events would really catch my imagination.
In truth, it only took 2 or 3 pages before I was hooked. This is, without a doubt one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Mitch Albom writes with such honesty and sincerity that it's difficult not to relate to him as an author. As he rediscovers his old charismatic professor, he gradually becomes more aware of the self-induldgent way in which he lives his life. Issues such as greed, consumerism, family values and simple life enjoyment arise throughout the book, during which Morrie passes on all the advice he can before he must eventually give in to his disease.
Morrie is that one person that most people in their lives will have met at some point; that one person who inspires you to be a better person, to prioritise true happiness over material happiness, to live every day to the full, to inspire and teach people and, perhaps most importantly, to let go of the uncecessary sadness and anger in our lives.
I really can't do this book justice. My review, and many others probably make the whole thing sound very sentimental and wishy-washy, but I assure you it isn't. The author is very grounded and does not waste time with lengthy descriptions of his feelings and emotions; he is a reporter by profession and therefore simply reflects on what he is presented with at any given time.
The book may be short and snappy, but it leaves a lasting effect. Everybody should familiarise themselves with the fantastic story of Morrie Schwartz.
I read the book and watched the DVD. I thought the story was very good and the message is wonderful.
Its about Morrie Schwartz a university professor of sociology who is well liked by his students. One of his students Mitch Albom discovers Morrie is dying and gets in touch with him after several years. Mitch writes a book about the message Morrie wants to give on life. The two of them work together on the book before Morrie dies.
Morrie reflects on his life and wants to share it. He wants to spread love and happiness.
My feeling is that the book and DVD are best aimed at teenagers (over sixteen) as it gives a message easy to understand for that age group.
I feel for older people like me who are probably a little bit cynical that the DVD has been given a hollywood feel.
Morrie was an extremely good man to open his heart to the world. He felt it was his last lesson. I am glad Mitch Albom wrote the story as it has reached so many people.
Tuesdays with Morrie; an old man, a young man and life's great lesson. So, there's the title, which in itself proved a 'hook' for me, that and the fact I had read one other of Mitch Albom's books. It took me less than three days to finish this book, you really won't want to put it down once you start.
Mitch Albom wrote this book as a tribute to, and collaboration with a professor from his old college (University), Morrie Schwartz.
Schwartz had taught Social Psychology in the 1970's at Brandeis University in Massachusetts which is where Mitch graduated from in 1979. After graduation Mitch went on to carve a career in sports journalism and became a well known name in the USA, then in 1995 that he heard Morrie was ill, in fact, slowly dying.
This upsets Mitch as he has extremely fond memories of Schwartz, and though he hadn't seen him for close to 20 years (he wrote this book in 1997), he decided he would visit his old 'mentor' at least once before he died.
Schwartz has a degenerative disease and whilst his body is deteriorating, which upsets, and to some extent, repulses Mitch, he is happy to see that the old man is a sharp as ever mentally, and in fact is somewhat wiser than he remembers.
What starts as a single visit becomes a regular Tuesday visit (hence the title) and the two men become more friends than tutor and pupil, though there are many lessons that Mitch learns along the way, and he still calls Morrie 'Coach', which Morrie encourages with humour.
Morrie is resigned to his impending death, and whilst he rages at the indignity of events, such as having his backside cleaned, or being fed, he is quite philosophical about the coming end point, this has a profound impact on Mitch.
One of the nicest juxtapositions in the whole book is that whilst Morrie recognises that he is dying a slow, horrible painful death, at least he knows that it is coming so has 'time' to put his affairs in order and spend time with his loved ones and say goodbye properly. He sees this as 'lucky' as many people die without warning and are not afforded that luxury. The other point that was made that I think is so beautiful (and beautiful is not a word I have used much in my life as I think it is a word that gets 'overused') is how people can evolve and develop such an enduring and deep friendship in a relatively short space of time.
The whole tale is told in first person, through Mitch's eyes, and I have to say that I have resisted the temptation to investigate the 'truth' of the events on the internet, for fear of 'spoiling' anything.
The book is at times profound, at times very funny, at times voyeuristic, but always seems to have something to tell us that is worth hearing. I won't tell you the ending of the book, though in truth it will not be too hard to fathom.
This was the 2nd of Albom's books that I read, the first being, 'The five people you meet in heaven'. Both that book and this made me weep, though 'Just another day' was useless.
I have 'recommended' this book to at least a dozen people personally, all of whom have felt very similar about the emotions it generates and the manner in which it makes one think. One friend said it was a bit American Schmaltzy and 'tricked him' into shedding a tear..........personally, I don't mind being tricked like that.
Oh dear - I'm going to sound like a party-pooper again.
I was offered this book to read by a well-meaning friend, and read it on his recommendation. The reason he thought that I would like it is that I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and published the diary i kept during the first year after my diagnosis (It's called The Purple Butterfly, if anyone is interested).
This book is about a man called Mitch who starts to visit the terminally ill Morrie, who used to be one of his college professors. It's about the way he reacts to Morrie's illness, not so much about Morrie.
Anyway, I read the book. Perhaps it was too soon after my own diagnosis, or perhaps I just didn't like the tone, but I am afraid I didn't like it. Sorry to all those people who did, but this is my opinion.
I think I was looking at it from Morrie's point of view. Who wants a do-gooder younger, fit man coming around and giving you sympathy? No-one. Who wants a do-gooder younger fitter man coming around and making money out of writing about you? No-one. Who would try to carry on their life as long as possible eg by carrying on tutoring as long as possible even though you are ill? Everyone.
I thought the tone of the book was schmaltzy - it read to me like work a teenage who had been told to write a love sonnet, or who had been told to write an essay on how awful it was to xxx - you give a big sigh and put on a mournful face and off you go - it all comes out like a dirge!
I also thought it was patronizing - how dare he go around to Morrie's house, think all those things and then expect us to feel sympathy for HIM because he'd been made to feel that way? If you can't take it, then stay out of the way!
I didn't find it uplifting because Morrie dies in the end. I suppose it is good for people who want to think that they will die gracefully and want to get some vicarious thrill from reading a book like this. I think everyone will act with some degree of dignity because it's very often the only thing you have left. A few crotchety old ladies give the elderly/sick a bad name. Most of us just want to carry on as normally as possible up to the end. Morrie was lucky enough to have the money to do that (as I think it said in the book).
I fell a bit bad for not liking it - it's rather like saying I don't like Princess Diana to say I dont' like someone/something that other people find helpful. If this is your thing, then go ahead, and I hope you get some support from it. If you are just reading it for a vicarious thrill like people read the Dave Pelzar books, then I'm afraid I can't agree that that is a good thing to do.
I recently read, and loved, a book called The Five People You Meet in Heaven, written by American author Mitch Albom. I loved this book so much that I rushed out to buy another of his literary offerings: Tuesdays with Morrie. A Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lessons and I wasn't disappointed.
Tuesdays with Morrie was published 8 years before Albom wrote The Five People You Meet in Heaven and the book tells the true story of his relationship with his old college Social Psychology professor: Morrie Schwartz.
In the 1970's when Albom was a student, Morrie was his favorite professor and they regularly spent time together outside of classes. Sadly, after he graduated Albom lost touch with his old professor and he did not hear from him until years later, while he was in his 30's, by pure chance.
During these lost years Albom became a sports writer and presenter, obsessed with work and money. One night in 1995 he was flicking through the TV channels when he heard the host of ABC Nightline programme discussing about Morrie. This is how he learnt that his olf professor was dying and he promptly got back in touch.
Morrie had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative form of muscle disease which was gradually eating him away. ALS is the same condition suffered by Stephen Hawkings and it affects the body by gradually taking away your ability to do everything from the bottom, up, while leaving your mind intact. There is no cure and the disease progresses rapidly. Thankfully it is very rare.
Albom went to visit Morrie in the early stages of his illness although by this point he was already unable to walk. He discovered that their relationship was just as strong after all their years apart and he started to visit Morrie weekly, despite the fact that this was a plane ride away. These visits always took place on Tuesdays, because they are both Tuesday people.
Morrie has a life time of worldly experience and he wants to share this with Albom and with the world. Thus in their meetings the two of them chat about wisdoms such as the meaning of life, how to be happy, how the live the life you want, to deal with your emotions and the pressures of old age amongst other things. As Morrie's illness gets increasingly worse he is no longer able to do anything for himself and he struggles to raise his hands above his chest. Albom and his carers do more and more for him but their meetings go on until the very end .
This is an incredibly profound book and I believe that everyone can benefit from Morrie's life values significantly. It is touching and humbling but it manages to do this without being patronizing and I loved it with a passion. Thankfully the book is not overly sympathetic and 'sickly' despite the fact that Morrie's terrible illness and the pain he was suffering throughout if portrayed bluntly and realistically. These scenes are needed in order to sum up Morrie's philosophy in life. Despite his terrible misfortune he managed to remain happy and positive right until the very end. He even describes himself as lucky. Lucky that his life wasn't taken away from him in an instant, that instead he was given the chance to prepare and to say goodbye. I doubt I'd feel like that. Would you?
If you are feeling a little down in the dumps this is the book to get out. It will make you appreciate and understand the important things in life, it will help you to deal with your emotions, to stand back and to realistically evaluate the situation and to feel happier in yourself. I will never part with this book and I intend to read it again and again. Seriously I cannot recommend this enough, it is a must read for everyone of any age and gender.
Go out and buy it. FIVE STARS.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a very slim book and it could easily be read in one sitting. It was published by Doubleday in August 1997 and the ISBN: is 0385484518. The book is retailed at £5.99 but can, of course, be purchased for much cheaper on Amazon or Ebay.
I have to confess that the only reason I picked up 'Tuesdays With Morrie' by Mitch Albom, is because I had heard a reference about it on 'Will & Grace'. I'm British, I had never heard of this book before and I certainly hadn't seen Morrie's appearances on television. So it was with a naive interest that I began reading the, literally, life and death story of Morrie Schwartz while in America this summer.
By the time I turned the first page over, I was hooked.
This biography, written by one of Morrie's old students and now sports journalist, Mitch Albom, deals with a delicate subject. Death. It does so with amazing sensitivity and respect for the man who is it's subject. Mitch hears that Morrie is dying and immediately feels guilty for not keeping in touch with his old lecturer. What begins as a reunion of student and teacher, soon develops into a final project for the two of them as they discuss Morrie's impending death and his thoughts on the subject.
I'm not going to say much more, it's not a long book and I could never do it the justice it deserves. What I will say though, is by the end of the book you will wish that you had known Morrie Schwartz and you will no doubt be overcome with emotion, as I was, when you finish the book.
The most remarkable thing about this book is that it is a true story. It is written by Mitch Albom an American sports journalist and is about his old college professor Morrie Schwartz. After the initial introduction the book flashes back to Mitch's graduation, these flashbacks are written in italics so it is easy to identify past and present. Morrie is Mitch's favourite college teacher and from this brief chapter we realise they had a close bond. The chapter ends with Mitch promising to keep in touch with his college professor.
The book then skips several years until Morrie now in his 70s begins to have problems with his balance and his walking. He is then diagnosed as having Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a progressive neurological disorder which affects all the muscles of the body progressively weakening them and eventually resulting in death. Most people facing a gradual painful death would be angry, upset and perhaps bitter at the sense of unfairness. However Morrie decides to embrace the disease and use it and the knowledge of his impending death to reach out to others and share with them the lessons of life which only in death you discover.
Until now Mitch has never contacted Morrie and it is only through a televison interview that Morrie does that Mitch is reminded of his old professor and sets out to visit him. So begins a renewal of their relationship and their teaching sessions which always take place on a Tuesday as they had done in their tutorials at college.
Mitch since college has thrown himself into his work. He has married but his relationship with his wife does not seem as loving and close as it might be. He seems to be chasing success in his career rather than in his relationships. Morrie teaches Mitch with warmth and humour, an older man sharing his wisdom with a younger man. Their relationship is more a father-son relationship than a teacher-pupil relationship. Through the teaching sessions Mitch's barriers become broken down and he becomes less cold and begins to show his emotions. It appears that what Morrie is teaching him is taking effect.
For those of you who like to judge a book by its cover then you will be disappointed by the design but intrigued by the wording. It is a plain cream cover bordered by red. It says "tuesdays with Morrie, an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson. I wonder why Tuesday is spelt without a capital T, is there a significance in that, I am not sure! I have to admit the cover didn't make me read the book but a friend's recommendation did.
How the book is set out
The book begins with the opening chapter entitled "The Curriculum" it sets the scene for the rest of the book and the lessons that are taught by the professor to the student Mitch Albom. There follows another six chapters before the actual lessons begin. The chapters then are numbered from "The First Tuesday" to "The fourteenth Tuesday" and state what topics were covered. In between these chapters there are short chapters of one or two pages with either extra information about the professor or Mitchs own thoughts. The topics which are covered include The World, Feeling Sorry for Yourself, Regrets, Death, Family, Emotions, Fear of Aging, Money, How Love Goes On, Marriage, Culture, Forgiveness, The Perfect Day and the final Tuesday is to say goodbye.
The book is very easy to read. The story is only 192 pages long and I read it in two days and that was just in the evening. The language is fairly simple and easy to understand. The only thing I found was that because most of the book is conversation between Morrie and Mitch sometimes it was a bit confusing as to who was speaking when.
None of Morrie's lessons are huge relevations. Most of what he tells Mitch are practical common sense kind of things. But often these are the things that people forget and neglect.
He tells Mitch that "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let in come in." This seems obvious enough you need to love others and you need to let them love you otherwise your life will feel empty.
He also says that "Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live." This at first seems slightly strange but it was only through facing death that Morrie was made to see how important the simple things in life were like the smile of a loved one, the joy of listening to music or watching the seasons change. In facing death you change the priorities of your life.
Morrie also gives some advice on how to handle emotions. He advises against trying to bottle things up but instead advises Mitch to throw himself into the emotion be it pain, grief or whatever. In doing this you can identify that emotion and in doing so can then detach yourself from this. This seems slightly easier said than done but does make sense. You need to experience the emotion before you can try to put in behind you and move on.
What I liked
I enjoyed getting to know Morrie, he seemed like a fun, eccentric, kind and loving professor. I certainly never had any teachers like him at school or college. He was a remarkable man and this book is really a tribute to him. The book was simply but beautifully written and full of warmth and humour.
What I didn't like
What I would have liked to know was more about how Morrie had changed Mitch's life after his death. Did he view his work differently, did his relationship with his wife change, did they decide to have children? These are all questions the book left me asking, but maybe that was Mitch Alboms intention.
The other thing is at the end of the book there is the first chapter of one of Mitch Albom's other books "The Five People you meet in Heaven." Although you could see this as a good way of deciding whether you would want to purchase this book I do feel it is a little sneaky making the book look bigger than it is and is really just a marketing ploy to get you to buy the book. Having said that though I am interested in reading the book but probably would have done whether that chapter was included or not.
Would I read it again?
Well in one word - Yes. I think it does make you stop and think about life and how short it is and how important it is to make the most of the time you have and with the people you love. I think reading this book again would remind you of this and reinforce the points that you learned. It left me feeling a little sad but also with a kind of warm feeling inside. I would recommend it to everyone, young and old and male and female.
The RRP is £6.99 but currently selling on Amazon for £5.59. If you are not a bookworm then there is a DVD of the book starring Jack Lemmon which was produced in 1993 and costs £5.99 from Amazon. I haven't seen the film myself so can't really comment on its closeness to the book.
I was dubious when I saw this book classified as a biography, even though it is a true story about a real person. But more than being the story of Morrie Schwartz's life, it is a story about Morrie Schwartz dying. Now before you think it all sounds too morbid and not a worthy read, please think again. Because it is so much more than just a simple story. It is the most touching and inspiring book I have ever read - and yes that IS a bold statement! But if you read the book, you will understand perfectly. Hopefully if you read this op, you may understand at least a little! Let me start at the start. Morrie Schwartz was Mitch Albom's favourite college professor. Mitch lost touch with Morrie after graduation, until one night he heard the name Morrie Schwartz mentioned on television, twenty years later. Morrie was being interviewed, because Morrie was dying, and he had a lot he wanted to say about it. He had Lou Gherig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative neurological disorder for which there is no cure. Mitch was consumed with guilt and regret, and went to see Morrie, this man who had been so special, such an influence. Only to discover that he wasn't through teaching Mitch yet. Rather than becoming depressed, Morrie had seized life and had become a lightning rod of ideas. He had philosophies on dying, thoughts on living, and wisdom about what really matters in both. They met once a week, on Tuesdays, hence the title of the book. Each week was a different "lesson". They discussed everything from family and marriage, to fear and forgiveness, money and culture, regrets and death...and it's all there in the book. Mitch was a sports writer, and had thought himself pretty successful with a good lifestyle. But talking to Morrie leads him to redefine what is really important, and what "success" really means. He learns many simpl
e truths, things he had lost in life's everyday complexity. So it is about Mitch's life, as well as Morrie's. In learning how to die, he learns how to live. It is told with such humour and honesty, with love and sensitivity. It made me laugh out loud; it made me cry too. Really cry. Not a lot of books can do that. But in spite of this, or maybe partly because of it, this book is still so uplifting. It is touching, fascinating but most of all inspiring. I came away from it feeling like I was just so glad I had read it. I learned from Morrie too, just as Mitch did. It may not "change your life" (although it just might!), but I think some of Morrie's little philosophies can touch us all in some way. It has a lot of gentle lessons in it, without being "preachy" or wordy. It is very "readable"; the style is great, and the story so absorbing, you will not be able to put it down. I guarantee you will recommend it to anyone who will listen. And it will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. P.S. I've just found out this book has been made into a movie!!! It was co-produced by Oprah Winfrey (which is where I first heard about this book), because she loved it so much. The casting is perfect - Jack Lemmon plays Morrie, and Hank Azaria plays Mitch. Jack Lemmon actually won an Emmy for his brilliant portrayal. He died only months after filming ended, which makes many of his words kind of prophetic, and even more moving. I watched it last night, and while I think the book is far better (as is often the case), it is definitely worthwhile viewing. The movie concentrates on the relationships between Mitch and Morrie, and Mitch and his girlfriend Janine. I would have liked to have seen more about Morrie's family, and Mitch's brother is completely left out...but I guess it is only an hour and a half long! So my advice would be, read the book first
if you can. And if there's someone you wish would read the book but won't - get the movie! One of my favourite lines was when Morrie was talking about becoming more dependent on others, even to go to the "commode" or blow his nose, and how society sees this as something of which he should feel ashamed. He says, "When we are infants, we need other people to survive. When we are old, we need other people to survive. But in between, we need other people even more."
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago. Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you?