For one more day – Book Review

For one more day is an autobiography rather than fiction. It probably falls under the genre of psychology too. I can never tell the correct genre of Mitch Albom’s books. I think “Tuesday with Morrie” is his true story. Of course, “the 5 people you meet in heaven” is fictional. Albom kicked off his writing career as a sport’s columnist. As to how he managed to write these 3 bestsellers – not relating to sports whatsoever – is beyond me.

The book asked you one simple question – if you were given one more day with your dead parent, would you be brave enough to accept it and make amends along the way?

The protagonist, Charley “Chick” Benetto, is an alcoholic. He started off as a promising baseball star who could no longer hit a home run. Imprisoned in dead-end job as a salesman and bitter divorce, Chick turned to alcohol for solace. When his only daughter shunned him from her wedding, Chick attempted to commit suicide. Caught in between life and death, Chick was transported back to the old house where he grew up and to his utter disbelief, he found his mother cooking breakfast!

Chick was granted one more day with his mother. Albom then moved the story to Chick’s childhood and adolescence and what transpired in between. Faced with a confusing choice of being either “mommy’s boy” or “daddy’s boy” at a tender age, Chick picked the latter. So much so that he would knowingly hurt his mother’s feeling to win his father’s approval.

The inevitable divorce of his parents torn the family apart. Chick never achieved his dream of becoming a baseball star. He neglected his family in futile search of happiness. He reached his ultimate guilt when he lied to his mother on her birthday to go and play baseball. As fate would have it, his mother died. The guilt haunted him for a lifetime.

For that one more day with his mother, Chick was made to understand why certain things happened in his life. He understood the reasons for his parents’ divorce. He understood the sacrifices his mother had made. Lucky Chick was bestowed with a chance to apologise to his mother. He survived the ordeal and lived to tell the tale.

Albom creatively wove the story to include the emotional notes Chick’s mother wrote to him from time to time. Warning: this book can be a tearjerker for sensitive souls. The plot was accompanied with the intermissions of the times Chick didn’t stand up for his mother and the times she stood up for him. I found the intermissions refreshing and stylish.

Albom is a master of simple English. He narrated the poignant story with stlye that is unmistakably his. However, Albom played God in this book. So, if you are a realist, this book is definitely not for you. But, if you are able to put logic aside and bask in realm of imaginations, do read it. For me, this is a story of redemption and letting go of your past mistakes.

[Writer: Mitch Albom, ISBN: 0751537535, Publisher: Sphere]

Image from Amazom.com.

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20 thoughts on “For one more day – Book Review

  1. Elv!

    What a powerful book review! Now you wanna make me go out and buy the book… Problem is, I’m in the middle of a mangrove swamp with mozzies and buayas and 96 horny guys for company.. with no Borders or MPH in sight. *Aduh* :)

    Really good, sis, loved this write-up. Eh, I think you can cari makan with arus perdana papers or mags.. you know, free lance ke apa and do book and theatrical reviews. I think this is your forte!

    Brilliant Sis!

    Aduh brother, puji melambung lambung nih, nak suruh belanja ker? Boley… anytime

  2. elviza, Great writeup. I have read all his books. How I wished our school children read all his books. It about simple things in life. Albom’s book is worth a re read. Tuesdays with Morris is among the best of Albom, I think. BTW have you read ‘ the curious incident of the dog in the night-time’ by Mark Haddon’ It is another great novel of about special people. Have a nice day.

    Pak Idrus, thank you for the support. No, I havent read the book you suggested above, I ll add it to my booklist. Thank you Pak Idrus and you take care

  3. Hi Elviza, wow! Read your this post twice. This is what I call a book to read with a box of tissues by your side.
    Great eloquent writeup, Elviza. UL.

    Dear Uncle Lee,

    Thank you for the compliment… *blush blush*

  4. i love it when friends write up book reviews. make my life easier which/what book worth reading.

    Are you okay? How’s Amar doing? How are you holding up? Oh don’t fuss about the book, I run out of things to write so I thought I give it a try. Macam bagus jer kan nak review buku orang? Muahahahahah! You take care K’ron. Kisses for the kids

  5. Another book to add to my list. Great review. Another winner from Albom. Thoroughly enjoyed the other two. I agree with Pak Idrus, it is about the simple things in life. His books speak about the truths we face in our journeys in life. Maybe that is why it sells well.

    Dearest Sister Jac,

    The thing about Albom’s book is that it has been on the bestseller’s list for far too long. It gets to the point of impossible to ignore so I bought the first book Tuesday with Morrie. Then I got hooked

  6. Dear Ms Writeaway,
    Good review .Been following ur writing but the first time commenting here.
    So you are going to do this fulltime? I believe thats possible …..
    Me ? I just review comicbook like Gila-Gila ,Beano and Dandy.

    Thought of reviewing magazine like ‘Manga’ the Malaysian version.

    Dear Salleh Konflik,

    Thank you for visiting. I sighted you at Ari’s blog tapi I malu lah nak tegur you kan. Ari kata you nih popular, handsome dan baik hati. So, I am honoured to host your comments in my humble blog. Just like you, I am a big fan of ‘Manga’ magazine. I never miss buying it. Shall we do the review together?

  7. Great review! I look forward to more.

    *Gasp!*

    Oh my god, this comes from Tunku Halim? TH the published writer? I ve died and gone to heaven. Bye people! (blushing profusely)

  8. Elviza,

    After your review, I dare not read this book. It takes courage to make amends.

    You pointed out albom was a sports columnist. I think it’s quite natural for him to progress into such a genre cos sports is abt the drama of life. We learnt how to be humble in victory and dignity in defeat. Also in sports, talents without character won’t go far.

    Dear Hi&Lo,

    Ah, it takes more than courage to make amends. The biggest stumbling block would be fear. I am sorry you are not going to read this book but as I said before, reading is a personal & spiritual journey, I am just trying to give my honest opinion about the book. Nothing more or nothing less.

    I just have to take your view on sports & drama of life. My knowledge in sports is rather meagre! Thanks for the input. Take care

  9. First class review. Better than a majority of newspaper writers. Good crispy English with a dash of reality. By the way, the novel is quite similar to one of my all-time favourites – Under The Volcano – by Malcolm Lowry. The novel centres around an unrepentant alcoholic and his angst and tribulations. Read this stream of consciousness novel to get the feel of it.

    Dear Nstman,

    Hi there, I haven’t seen you in long time. How are you doing? Hopefully everything is good with you. Thank you for the compliment and you are just too generous with it. I spotted Under the Volcano few times at the bookshop. I ll give it a try. Take care

  10. Elviza, Since we are on the subject of book, may I suggest you add to your reading list that author ‘Paulo Coelho’. Read his first book ‘The Alchemist’, a best seller, sold 50 million copies already. His latest is ‘The Witch of Portobello’. Many people who have read The Alchemist says it do give them a new meaning of living and I believe so. I have read almost all his books. Have a nice day and take care.

    Dear Pak Idrus,

    I read Coelho’s gem – the Alchemist – and thought of it as a treasure. But after “The Zahir” I lost him altogether. I couldn’t finish it, I found it rahter dragging and dull. What about the Witch of Portobello? Any good? Thanks Pak Idrus. You take care too.

  11. Elviza, As for ‘The Zahir’, I had the same problem, like you. But I continue to read it after putting it a while. I soon found that it is indeed a wonderful book, full of wisdom. Elviza do not give up on this book, take it and continue reading it and I believe you would enjoy it as well. As for his latest book The Witch of Portobello, it is a gem indeed. Have a nice day and take care.

    Pak Idrus, I give the witch of portobello a try but the zahir? looks like i have forgotten its place on the shelf. Hmmm, I try again some other time. Thanks Pak Idrus for your input here

  12. Gee Elviza, one more day with my late dad …. that will be for another day….but I will do it and purge the demon in me. Never was there a finer man, but never found LOVE as love is by the people who means the most to him. I cannot now….another time.

    Not sure if I want one myself! Good day dear

  13. Hey Elviza,

    I’m back to wreck damage! Muahaha…See the trail of mosquito boddies? Well, those Mozzie killings are mine to claim! Wahaha…
    Hehe…Apa la…Like that, no need to read books adi…Just open ‘Write Away’ and read the sypnosis…
    When people ask ‘why Malaysians never read?’, the answer is: ‘Cos Elviza reads for them’…
    Kekeke…
    But it’s true…What wouldn’t we give for One More Day with our loved ones who have passed on?

    PS: Apa macam blog punya look sudah tukar?

    Mana ada…. I wish I have more time to read. The thing about reading is that, when you are hooked you will be doomed. Books in Malaysia expensive ma… Take care sister.

  14. Yo Mish!!
    How’s Lokman… So you’re now an exterminator with a vengeance eh?
    Damn!! Your book review is awesome. Makes wanna take up reading novels again. Hmmm… I just might… you know… And what’s with this Harry Porter’s fever eh? Gila landslide marketing!! But I’ll just stick to Anne Rice & other romantic horrors.

    YuSheff
    “My world use to be full of dreams of grandeur… Novels sharpens your imgination. Can’t wait to introduce the wonderful world of reading to my kids”

    Thanks Yus. Luqman is fine, he’s just busy tormenting his grandmother at home. Poor Mama.

  15. Kak Elviza,
    I just finished reading Harry Potter 7 (which i cried), when I started reading The time Traveller’s wife the very next day (which i cried again after finishing it).
    I blame Kak Ngah Shareem, my cousin. About 5years back i saw her reading the book. I picked it up and realise its a fiction but not for my age to read, so I dont bother.
    But when i really want to read, but i cant, the will power to stop myself from finding the book never stop me.
    When I finally did, last week…it was waahhhh!!!
    I started reading it and never want to let it down.
    It was great, something similar to The Notebook.
    And indeed another tear-jerker.
    A book I must recommend to others.

    Kea dear,

    Oh I read that! And I cried too! But then again I cried in Harry Potter movie so you can expect me to cry reading traveller’s wife. Sheesh, I am such a crybaby! I read your blog about the book. Thanks dear

  16. By the way,
    quick read it before it turned into a movie!
    Played by my choice of actress to play the lead female character, Rachle McAdams.
    And…ermmm Eric bana for the lead man. I wanted Johnny Depp but i guess thats too much.

    What is this obssession with Mr. Deep? I ve seen it everywhere man… guess he really is that good looking to some huh?

  17. I used to read alot of books when I was young and working for others. now for 35 years on my own….I write so many letters and reports…my mind is totally tired after that…so enjoy reading light stuffs….yet take me days to finish on think book.
    Book reading depends on the character…circumstances and how high is one educated. The only book for a long long time that thrills me was Dan Brown ‘Decoding Da Vinci”…..so engrossed to it…that I felt the weight of the hard cover and bought an extra one ..the paper bag and carry it to where I go and finished in good time.
    To read one who enjoy book reading….how nice if the young generations get this good habit. Are they? If not…how to communicate with them properly?

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