Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Published in 1997
Genre: Nonfiction, memoir
“The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves.”
Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom, is probably one of the most famous works of writing to come out of the 1990s. After being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a professor of sociology decides to use the remaining time he has to spread a message of love and hope. Throughout this process, he is reunited with a former student who helps him as he makes the transition toward his next journey after life.
Morrie Schwartz, a long-time professor, has his “final class” with Mitch Albom, a former student. Mitch last saw Morrie at his graduation before 16 years without contact, and it wasn’t until a chance interview with Ted Kopel aired on television that Mitch decided to reach out again. He had spent the years becoming a sports writer and pursuing money, fame, and all the trappings they entail. It isn’t until he is brought back to Morrie’s humble abode that Mitch begins to see how he has changed from the promising student he was.
Mitch begins visiting on Tuesdays, which he and Morrie worked into the title of the book, and as the two spend time together, they tackle many issues. Morrie has a unique perspective in that he is looking death in the face and can now qualify life and what is important. The book covers the topics of death, family, emotions, the fear of aging, money, how love goes on, marriage, culture, forgiveness, and the perfect day before Mitch and Morrie say goodbye for the last time.
The short chapters in Tuesdays with Morrie are interspersed with Mitch’s recollections from their time together in college. His writing paints vivid pictures of Morrie, a man who loved to listen to others, sympathize, and dance to music. Mitch goes through a change and by the end of his time with Morrie, he has gained a new outlook and perspective on life and death.
Tuesdays with Morrie is not a long book, and I feel that the review should reflect that. Though the subject matter is heavy, and brought me to tears multiple times, this illuminating look at mortality allows the reader to take a step back and continue spreading the love that Morrie found to be the center of his life. Love those around you, let them know, show others you care; these lessons, and more, are taught throughout his final course and are shared with a caring sentiment by a loving pupil. This is a book that makes me wish that I had known Morrie in life, though I am glad his message continues to live beyond death.
Verdict: 5 discussions of life and death out of 5
Recommended for: Fans of thoughtful messages, those willing to take in the wisdom of the elderly, people with fond memories of teachers, and you!
Not recommended for: The apathetic, those who dislike being brought to tears, people who would rather not reflect on the dichotomy of life and death, or people without fond memories of teachers.