"The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom, Hyperion, 224 pages, $24.99
Father Time has a story to tell, and Mitch Albom is his voice.
It's hard to imagine a world without time, but that is where Albom begins his story. "The Time Keeper" traces our obsession with clocks and calendars, deadlines and time frames back to a young man intent on learning to count and measure. In Albom's tale, this young man, Dor, lived at the same time powerful men were intent on building a tower to reach the heavens. While they labored to rule even the gods, Dor invented the first clock and calendar. God is not pleased with either attempt.
While the tower crumbles, Dor is banished to a cave where he spends centuries listening to the pleas of people wanting more time. Eventually Dor, whom we now recognize as Father Time, is given a chance to redeem himself by changing the minds of two people in the modern world. In New York City circa 2012, Father Time must convince a despondent teenage girl intent on committing suicide to give herself more time and to show a wealthy businessman the folly of his wish to live forever.
Time and how we choose to spend it has been a theme in much of Albom's writing. When he went to Haiti two years ago to help rebuild an orphanage, he experienced a culture in which time moved more slowly, but his days were more meaningful. Many of his thoughts in "The Time Keeper" grew out of that experience.
Once again, Albom gets to the heart of a topic that touches us all. Take time to read this book.