Thursday, August 19, 2010

Have a Little Faith - A True Story


My book-reading libido has been quite high of late. Right after I finished Eat,Pray, Love I picked up Mitch Albom's latest book, Have a Little Faith and finished it within two days.

Seemed like recent trip back to my hometown was a fruitful one as I managed to finish two books in a span of four days. All thanks to the gadget-deficient luggage - no laptop, no PSP (actually I brought it back but had forgotten to pack along the charger. Pfft). Only my phone and iPod to keep me entertained on the bus - I can't read books while being in motion.

Have got used to Mr Albom's way of writing from three of his previous books (The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Tuesdays with Morrie and For One More Day), I must say it was a pretty, err, boring read for me as I expected more from this book which took eight years to be completed.

Somehow I felt rather 'cheated'. As if his publisher was trying to milk out as much profit as possible by printing his name on the cover and selling it only in hard copies (which cost nearly seventy bucks here in Malaysia).

Anyhow, the book is pretty much similar to Tuesdays with Morrie. Unlike the latter, which focuses more on how to live positively ('In order to learn how to live, you must learn how to die' - remember?), the former still talks about positive living but in relation to the supreme above - God.

It all started when the author's rabbi, Albert Lewis, requested him to do his eulogy although he wasn't dying (yet). This was eight, nine years back. Born a Jew but didn't practiced it religiously, the author began his 'work' by spending time with his rabbi on weekly and monthly basis (akin to Tuesdays with Morrie, again) in order to know him better for the eulogy-writing.

Soon, he discovered that the 'work' wasn't for the rabbi - but for him as an indirect and comfortable way to know life, the afterlife and God, and guided him to the Lord's path.

On the other hand, there's a story about a man called Henry Covington - who grew up to be a drug-dealer, multiple-time convict, street-bully and drug-addict but found God in a dark alley while hiding behind trash cans with a gun in his hand

(It wasn't like he literally found God and say "'Whassup Jesus?! You're looking fine, yo!" - You get the idea, alright).

So there are two stories of two different faiths but echoing the same power of the divine. True, this book is heart-warming and truly a compassionate read but for someone who has got used to Mitch Albom's way of writing, I expected more depth in its delivery. Nevertheless, the book has abundant of lessons which could be adapted and learned regardless of one's religion.

As I had said, the delivery was quite dull for me but its message and final part really caught up with me - tears and all. Sobs.

Pick it up if you're a fan of Mitch Albom. As for me, I borrowed it from my friend. Hehe.

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