In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time.
The inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.
He returns to our world – now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began – and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.
The Time Keeper features a unique yet simple concept, but there are a few flaws to the book. For such a deep and mysterious topic – time – the book is surprisingly simple and easy to read. There are no pretentious words and no allegorical characters. It’s told as it’s told, and I was expecting something more complicated from a book dealing with the concept of time. However, I’m happy that it wasn’t too much of a taxing read.
The writing style was nice. The sentences were clipped and sharp, allowing for dramatic tension and appropriately executed shocking plot twists. However, there was one aspect of the writing that I absolutely hated, and that was the bold lettering. Before each paragraph about a character, there would be a statement in bold, even if it wasn’t needed. For example:
As the weeks passed, she grew bold enough to believe that he was feeling for her what she was feeling for him,
that this was not an accident, the two of them winding up in this unlikely place. She had read about fate in books like Zadie by Voltaire, or even The Alchemist, and she believed fate was at work here, too.
Seriously, what was the point with bolding half the sentence? It stilted the flow of the writing and seemed pointless.
Also, another dislike. How vain can you get, Sarah? You want to kill yourself because you were rejected by a boy?
Dude, there are bigger problems in the world right now. At least your mum doesn’t belt you each night. There needed to be more focus on her familial problems, and not just a big focus on her failed love relationship.
I also think that there needed to be more development of the characters altogether. There was quite a lot of setting up in the first 100 pages or so, but because they were split into 3 parts, there was only about 30 pages spent on the backstory of each character. I didn’t really feel that connected to the characters, probably because it kept on cutting off at points and moving to another character.
That was my biggest negative point with the book, the characters. However, the concept of the book is amazing, and it will really make you think about time again. Time is simply a human concept, and this book really tries to get you to let go of it and just live life to the full.
Welp, I was about to end the review there, but now I just remembered something. The influence of God was evident in the book, and if there ever was a pet peeve bigger than this one (apart from the when the last book is a series is a different size from the others), then I don’t know it. Please, please, please keep your religion out of your books unless you’re writing a book about religion. Do not try to preach your religion in your book. Thank you very much.
Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 8/10
The Time Keeper is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.
- Title: The Time Keeper
- Author: Mitch Albom
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books (September 4th, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401322786
- URL: Goodreads, Amazon, Author Website