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THE TIME KEEPER by Mitch Albom


by Mitch Albom

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2278-6
Publisher: Hyperion

Treacly fable by pop inspirationalist Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie, 1997, etc.).

Dava Sobel and Longitude be damned, God doesn’t like people who measure things. Six thousand–odd years ago—is the date a nod to Archbishop Ussher and his proto-creationism?—a fine young fellow named Dor invents the world’s first clock and is banished to a cave for the affront, since only the deity is supposed to be concerned with such things, it being the days before hourly wage work and lawyers who bill in 15-minute increments. Dor now sits in a cave, “listening to something. Voices. Endless voices.” And what do you suppose those voices want? Yup, time. More of it. Endless time. Or at least a year or two. Writing in his customary staccato (“But Father Time is real. And, in truth, he cannot age.”), Albom gives Dor a chance to redeem himself by instructing two hapless earthlings—a man dying of cancer, a teenage girl in danger of dying by her own hand—in the meaning of life. The Little Prince it ain’t: Albom seems to have taken the template for his novel from a corporate report, each page studded with boldfaced passages that would seem to signal something momentous; a person in a hurry could well read just those boldfaced passages and emerge with a pretty good idea of the storyline, which is plenty predictable in any event. Still, there are a few useful takeaways, among them these: If you’re moribund, a pocket watch will cheer you right up; if you’re worried about the prospect of imminent demise, then remember that, as the old dude who cometh from God’s side sayeth, immortality “is not a gift.”

A product less than a book; those with not enough time on their hands might spend what they have more meaningfully elsewhere.