I read this a few months ago but needed time to think about it before I put my thoughts down on screen, it’s strange to have ones opinions on a book so polarised that you swing from enjoyment to apathy with each thought…
This true story follows Mitch meeting up with his old college professor Morrie, 20 years after they last spoke. Morrie has Motor Neurone Disease and is slowly dying but before he does, Morrie is ready to teach his final lessons to Mitch each Tuesday just as he did 20 years ago.
You may have already gathered that this book has lots of soul searching, honesty and much emotion, it deals with a dying man’s views on the world he has experienced and is leaving and his lessons encompass culture, money, regrets, forgiveness and death amongst others.
To start off with I absolutely loved this, it has a life affirming message and will make you want to go and hug people (although make sure you know them) but then I thought about the subjects spoken about, the primary part of the book, and wondered how profound the messages actually were.
That sounds cynical I know, I don’t wish to belittle the conversations that these guys have, I mean they are a good reminder about what’s important in life and how we should treat ourselves, each other and the world but is it a life changer?
You hear about these mythical books all the time, the life changers…I am yet to meet one in person, they usually range from conspiracy theories, poorly conceived pseudo history and then the emotive books such as this one, personally I think that the revelations, or advice if you will, espoused are messages that we hear a lot, everywhere.
Again without wishing to sound like I am being disparaging, the views do seem to be less revelatory than the media hype for this would have you believe, perhaps the world has moved on more from the original publishing in 1997, there have certainly been enough major world events to make one step back and view his or her own life and the way the planet is going.
HOWEVER to balance this review out so you don’t think me a soulless beast, I really enjoyed the book despite its shortcomings, it makes you feel good to get to know the people involved, to understand what they go through, to care about them and to dwell on life and your role in other people’s lives and how you effect them each day, or how you could if you got back in touch with them.
So what have I decided? is it a good reminder of what we know of life already? Or a life changer of epic proportions? Although I lean towards the former, it is an uplifting book with beneficial ideals and the beauty of it is that everyone will take something away from this to keep them smiling. perhaps I over think things too much, or perhaps you are less of a cynic than me and will get something more out of the book, like the millions who adore it, either way it is the reading experience that keeps us happy…am I right?