October 29, 2006

Mitch Albom's "For One More Day"

'Father-bashing over two generations', pretty much sums up Mitch Albom's most recent tear-jerker "For One More Day".

One of those 'let-me-be-your-counsellor' kind of novel, "For One More Day" starts off really well where Charley the main protagonist decides he wants an out of his lack-lustre life where he's failed as a son, as a husband, and as a father. However, he's unable to do even that; his suicide attempt fails! What happens next is an out-of-the-world experience where a comatose Charley establishes communication with his long dead mother; a mother he 'didn't ever stand up for'. From this point on the novel is all downhill. A set of contrived situations to showcase the sheer selflessness of motherhood against an apathetic father figure telling a young Charley "You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both."

It took me a long time to figure out my response to the novel; primarily due to a sense of guilt for not liking what Albom presented; perhaps because at some level it did pertain to me, and to Everyman. All of us have some cleansing to do; to rid ourselves of those ghosts from our past that seem to haunt us; and here was this novel doing just that, and yet I could not readily say that I liked it. The cloying sentimentality and the not-so-surreal situations made it distant, and I could not lose myself in it; I could not suspend my disbelief.

If "Tuesdays with Morrie" is what made you pick up this novel, you are bound to be disappointed.


eshuneutics said...

Hi, you cheered me up: this review has some lovely, quiet one liners. I don't know any Albom. So, I looked at his website. After that, I understood your tone, here, much better. I felt I ought to like him, he is such an earnest person, but the "ought" never seems to work with me. He made his novel--as he talked about it--sound like a comedy, but at the same time his self-belief in his work seemed to give it serious cosmic status. One more day "explores all of that", our final confrontation with our parents and personal history--you know, a little thing like that summed up in one book, a death-in-life experience over a cup over coffee. I shall remember your "let-me-be-your-counsellor kind of novel."

Anonymous said...

I liked it a lot. The emotions it brought were real. I don't see why anyone will not like it.

D said...

Hey...interestingly, this a good criticism of the book...which may make someone to actually buy and read it :-)

samuru999 said...

Have not read ths book yet...
but intend too!
I'll see if I agree with you!
Loved "Tuesday's With Morrie!


starry nights said...

I think this book madee me think of what I would do if I had just one more day to live. I think a lot.

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Anonymous said...

I am not sure about the book, but I really like the way you write your reviews.
I don't know whether the diplomacy is on purpose, but you always (well mostly anyways) toe the very thin line of actually recommending and not recommending something.

In the end, a person seems compelled (or atleast very interested) in atleast checking out the thing that you wrote about.

Has happened to me on almost all of your reviews and I really enjoy reading them and wish my reviews could go a bit your way.
Kudos :)

Anonymous said...

First i just wanted tell you that i haven't finish with the book but so far I know what you're talking about. Like I told you before this is my kind of Author and reading. Albom's books have a unique point that you should never miss. Your review is great like the others... I love it!!!!!!

PS- please! recommend me some other books like this one


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