Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Time Keeper (SF/Fantasy Novel)

A long time. Right on time. Out of time. Mind the time. Be on time. Spare time. Keep time. Stall for time.
There are as many expressions with “time” as there are minutes in a day.
But once, there was no word for it all. Because no one was counting.
Then Dor began.
And everything changed.
The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom is part modern day novel, part fantasy, and a bit science fiction. This short novel touches our hearts and encourages us to examine our beliefs about time. The novel has hints of It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. The plot spans from a past six thousand years ago to a future where the cryogenically preserved learn their fate.

Briefly, The Time Keeper has three interweaving storylines. Dor, who lived at the time of the Tower of Babel, is fascinated by counting. He inadvertently invents time keeping. As his wife is dying of the plague, he asks the gods to stop time. His wish leads to him being banished to a cave for six thousand years. Ultimately, he must complete one last task, to teach two strangers what he has learned about time. Victor is the fourteenth richest man in the world, and he is dying of cancer. Trying to control his death as he controlled his life, Victor decides to have himself cryogenically preserved until there is a cure for his illness. Sarah is a smart but not so popular teenager. She becomes infatuated with a fellow teenage volunteer at a homeless shelter. Her crush leads her to despair.

I finished The Time Keeper early Sunday morning, a time when I normally read spiritual books. This seemed appropriate. Not only is The Time Keeper a good story, but it is also a story about values, the meaning of our lives, and our connection with something beyond us. It is a story I expect to ponder for a long time.

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