Book Review: The Time Keeper

Pootle List #1: 4 of 250 book reviews 3/100 #100bookspact

Time does not fly while reading Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper. Instead, it behaves like Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist, meandering through pointless prettiness. While I completely appreciate Albom taking the time and effort to painstakingly write the book, I wish he had stuck to making this a short story.

time keeperI will refrain from ruining the read for those of you who will insist on making the mistake of picking it up. Instead, I will tell you about the epiphany I had somewhere in the middle of page 103. I need a measurement system for book reviews. As you can imagine, not at all what the author wanted to leave me with. So while, Dor aka Father Time, the protagonist in the book, held his bearded head in his hands and wept through six thousand years of purgatory as penance for having the temerity to measure time, I conceptualized and put the finishing touches to my book review measurement system.

To illustrate…

Content excellence: The central message or premise of the book is a no-brainer. In short, the book is about Father Time helping out two humans, six thousand years after he is banished to purgatory. One wants more time and the other wants lesser of it. One is the fourteenth richest man on earth, and the other a geeky, over-weight, teenaged girl. Enter Father Time, who after cutting off his beard, and getting into a black turtleneck quite looks like Matt Damon. Or so one would believe. A darker hued Damon, asking important questions such as ‘who am I and what is the plan?’

Me thinks, all those Alchemist lovers out there, would appreciate the read. I would much rather take Terry Pratchett’s treatise on the subject – Thief of Time. So for that reason, the Timekeeper gets a 2/5 on content excellence.

Writing craftsmanship: Not exceptional, but not bad. A 3/5. There are sensory details, such as ‘honey-roasted pecans from a street cart’ to help you get into the skin of characters enjoying New Year’s eve in Times Square. But again, I much prefer the more powerful writing quality of Albom’s earlier work – The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Ease of reading: Scoring a full 5/5, the book is an easy read. It flows well and does not stress the heart or the mind. Time passes pleasantly enough while you are reading this.

Unputdownability: I envy you your wonder, if a few pages into the book, you don’t know how it is going to turn out. If you were to go to work, leaving this unfinished, you are not going to be anxiously biting your nails in the middle of e-mails. The fact, that you will even fix dinner before reading a page or two, earns it a 2/5 on unputdownability.

Likelihood of a re-read: I may read excerpts of it, in 2021, if I found it deserted in a doctor’s waiting room. Or on an idle evening, when it is raining outside and there is nothing on the telly. Again a 2/5.

Overall, the book averages a 2.8 on 5. So borrow it, read it, and then decide if you want to buy it. Mine was a library copy and I don’t plan on owning it.

Let me know what you think of the book if you have read it. And about my new measurement system. What factors do you have in yours? Any that I must add/edit in mine?


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