Book Review: The Time Keeper

The Time Keeper

by Mitch Albom

“The man that became Father Time.”

I’ve often wondered about our concept of time. Our lives are dictated by numbers on our dashboards and ticking second hands of wall clocks. Wake up at 6:30, eat breakfast by 7:15, leave for class at 7:45. Leaving at 7:40 would make me early. Leaving at 7:50 would make me late. Got to leave by 7:45.

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60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours in one day, seven days in a week, four weeks in a month, 12 months in a year. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. March, April, May. I was born on the thirteenth day of January in the year 1994 at 8:32 am. I can track my age to the minute. We’ve given a number and a name to every moment of every day.

But why?

Control? Perhaps. But controlling time has come to control our lives. We cannot even wake up in a leisurely manner. Instead, we use infuriating alarm clocks to jolt us from our peaceful slumber. Imagine a world without time, without clocks and seconds and hours. That’s the way things used to be. Until one man began tracking the time of day.

Dor is the inventor of the world’s first clock, the contraption that will change the world forever. He has angered God, and for that he is banished to a cave where he will spend eternity listening to the woes of those longing for more time.

Six thousand years pass before God returns to Dor, but not without a purpose. Father Time is given a mission. In order to save himself, he must save two earthly people, Sarah Lemon and Victor Delamonte, by teaching them the meaning of time.

Mitch Albom writes in a beautifully simplistic manner. His chapters are short and to the point, but filled with enough drama to keep you turning pages long after your bedtime. This book will challenge you to reconsider the idea of time, and to imagine a world without it.

Can you spend an entire day without looking at the clock or asking “What time is it?”? That is my challenge for you. A dare, of sorts.

My other dare? Read this book. You won’t regret it.

“Try to imagine a life without time keeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall, or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, time keeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”

(The Time Keeper)

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