Mitch Albom as a writer is not exactly likeable to many, a sentiment I could understand. Yes, he’s that subtle.

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Yet, despite several initial problems, I fell for The Time Keeper, and recently The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Why am I willing to forgive him for dropping the anvil on my head, several times at that? It’s simply because his books, cliche as they might, carry resonating messages. It’s something a lot of people will appreciate, simple stories to remind them about things they often take for granted. It’s actually one of the reasons the Chicken Soup series have such massive following.

Sometimes, people need the anvil to be dropped right on their heads.

Let me repeat. Albom’s writing is not stellar. I even felt bored in certain parts of The Time Keeper, but at the end the pace quickens and he pulled it quite nicely. TFPYMiH‘s pace is better, I think, with carefully placed flashbacks and all [1]. Do note that to some people, like me, this only works once. After reading both titles I have grasped Albom’s recurrent themes and patterns. I take a look at his other titles and I’ve decided I don’t need to read more of his books. Yup, same formula: heartfelt recipes of life, a dose of solemn-sounded prose, and happy ending helped by The Higher Order of Existence = a tale too short for a novel and too thin for a short story. People may have issues with Albom’s attitude, but his muse does him a good job. I personally step away from debates involving Albom’s view on the world, and instead enjoy his books for their own worths.[2]

Oh, and I must apologize. I realize this time it’s less of a review and more a post-reading contemplation. It’s refreshing, I guess, since doing my usual style of review will lessen the impact when you actually read these books.

[1] but my God, I need to have a word with whoever typeset the Indonesian version. It looks like the whole book is printed from Ms Word.
[2] I DO NOT condone author bashing. It baffles me that so much people dedicate their time to bash others.

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