The Time Keeper (Mitch Albom)


Spoilers Alert

The plot is about this guy, Dor, who invents a way to measure time and is punished by God, I presume, by being banished to live in a cave for thousands of years hearing voices of people who complain about time – the lack of time, time moving too fast, time moving too slow etc. Until, one day, this old guy, I presume to be God, comes to Dor and gives him a chance to make things right. The old man asks Dor to find two souls, one that wants more time, an ageing businessman, and one that wants time to stop, a young girl. Only by making things right for these two, will Dor will be saved.

You know, I actually I didn’t like the synopsis when I first read it. An ageing guy and a young girl tag team didn’t really sound like it would work for me. But I like Mitch Albom. So I decided to give it a try.

I really liked Dor’s storyline. He was this guy in ancient times who liked counting things and measuring things. And he was just quirky. He had his own love story and he watched his wife die. I really liked his story. I really wish there was more of him.

I really don’t like the ageing man, Victor, and the young girl, Sarah, duo. They are two different storylines until they converge as a result of Dor bringing them together. They’re not interesting characters. Maybe Victor is more interesting. He wants to prolong life by cryonics. You don’t see that everyday. But what’s so special about Sarah? Why is she one of the two souls that Dor needs to save?

I get that the story says that their lives are not more important than the rest. That’s fine but why them specifically then? Why can’t the old man (God) have left it to Dor to save ANY two souls?

But seriously, I can’t get over Sarah. She’s quite dumb for a supposed smart girl. This is why I dislike the concept of love in works of fiction. Are people really that stupid when they fall in love? Context: Sarah ends up wanting to kill herself because the guy she likes turns out to be a jerk and humiliates her on the internet. First of all, the guy showed so many signs of disinterest. Secondly, for someone that could foresee that she was going to get bullied when school reopened, she could not fathom the consequences of committing suicide. Okay, I’ll give her a break. And move on to the ageing man.

The ageing man wants to preserve his body with the help of cryonics. Interesting. But that’s about the only interesting fact about him. His relationship with his wife is sad and boring. He’s not even trying to enjoy his time with her. Sure, the point of the book is exactly that: he doesn’t want to cherish the time he has left with her and instead is very preoccupied with preserving his life. But I mean, I don’t get much facets of his life. By the time, the novel related Victor’s dead parents and how it made him turn out, I was no longer interested to find out.

Along the way, I didn’t know how Dor was going to save the two people’s lives. Because Sarah hasn’t killed herself yet. And Victor is dying anyway. So what does making things right for these two souls even mean? And I didn’t know what on earth it meant for Dor to save his own life either. And it annoyed me more that Dor had no idea either. He was just stalking Sarah and Victor for a while, understanding how they lived their lives.

There was that gnawing feeling that something is going to happen but I have no clue what. And when something did – Sarah committing suicide and Victor about to kill himself (because apparently, you have to be medically dead before you can be frozen for cryonics), Dor was like ‘oh no can’t let them die’.

Sarah saw what her death will do to her family and the people at a shelter she volunteered at, and she realised it was not worth it to die for useless waste of space of a guy.

Victor saw that in the future, cryonics actually kind of failed. (Quite epic, Mitch Albom’s thoughts on the future of cryonics). So Victor was persuaded not to die before his time was up.

The only reason I kept reading till the end was because I wanted to know what on earth would happen to Dor. I guess Dor’s story is really the most satisfying.

But I still can’t get over the fact that God suddenly thousands of years later came to visit Dor and tell him to go find the two souls. I seriously can’t. Why so random.

Yes, I’m missing the point of the story which is that we have to cherish time. But I have too many unanswered questions.giphy3

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