Thursday, June 09, 2016

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

I finished another book recently. It was Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom. It was okay. Not too long and easy read.

It's written by Mitch Albom, a name sportswriter and broadcaster. In the book Mitch frequently reminds us that he's a baby boomer at the peak of his career about age 40. The book is set against the backdrop of the OJ Simpson trial to date it. The writer indulges some baby boomer angst and he is comfortable speaking for his generation. It's a bit campy in parts. It sold 11 million copies.

It's a book about the final weeks of Mitch's sociology professor, a favourite from the writers time at Brandeis. Morrie Schwartz is dying of ALS and during his final months Mitch reconnects with the professor. The union is in strike and Mitch travels from Detroit to Massachusetts each Tuesday that fall to talk with Morrie about deep things like the meaning of life.

Morrie himself is a 60s university professor type. Strongly anti war. His sociology classes were more hands on. Morrie is in touch with his feelings. He enjoyed dancing before he got sick with ALS. While sick he continued to deal with the devastating illness in his 'in the moment' way. Some of it was a bit uncomfortable to read about Mitch describing how Morrie talked about his physical decline and loss of his legs and on upward march from the ALS.

The professor as well taken care of with outside help. Presumably anti wealth and consumerism, one wonders where the resources came from for the help and the house he lived in. The author alludes to sharing the royalties from the book toward the considerable costs of Morris's care at the end.