Novel Reading Report
Your name 洪 耕 Missy
Presentation time 2011.05.23
I. General information
Book Name: First Publishing time: Publishing country:
For One More Day 2006 United States of America
This book is a best-seller these years and is also one of the author’s famous
masterworks. Motherhood seems to be a twice-told story, but the author found a fabulous
way to delivery it and made it fascinating. The very specific details, the narration
interspersed with flashbacks, and the connotation concealed behind the daily conversations presented us such a warm, deep and wonderful motherhood. The details
made you feel the trivial and considerate mother-love was right around you, so you could
realize that you have such a strong and solid support behind you even if your mother had
passed away. The flashbacks just like our very distant, blurring and scattered memory and it made the story so real and convincing. The alternating between quarrel and reticence
was subtle and meaningful, so it enriched the content of a conversation. In a word, this
book is worthwhile to read.
Author name Mitch Albom
Author’s brief biography
Mitchel David "Mitch" Albom (born on May 23, 1958) is an American best-selling author,
journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster and musician. (Geez,
He is a genius.) His books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Having achieved national recognition for his sports writing in the earlier part of his career, he is perhaps best known now for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays and films. He is also well-known for his philanthropic work in Detroit, Michigan where he founded four charities.
Albom was born in Passaic, New Jersey and briefly lived in Buffalo, New York before moving back to Haddon Township, New Jersey as a child. After attending high schools in
Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, including Akiba Hebrew Academy in Lower
Merion, Albom went on to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Pursuing his dream to become a musician, he worked after graduation for several years in nightclubs in the US and Europe. He discovered an
aptitude for writing and eventually returned to graduate school, earning a Master's degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, followed by an MBA from
Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. In 1995, he married Janine Sabino.
They live in suburban Detroit, Michigan. They currently have no children.
For One More Day is a 2006 philosophical novel by Mitch Albom. Like his previous works (Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven), it features mortality as
a central theme. The book received polarized reviews from critics. Some praised the book heavily, remarking that it was "hugely effective" and "exceptional". Other commentators criticized the book as "syrupy" and "lazy, sloppy literature". Nevertheless, the book sold
well, making it to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list.
Length of the book How much have you finished? All! How much do you think
(words and pages) How many hours do you spend on you understand it?
197 pages. reading it? About 20 days. About 90%
II. Main idea of the book (200 words)
The author used a first-person perspective to tell us the story of Charley “Chick”
Benetto, a 50 plus man was apt to suicide after his mother passed away, his career was destroyed, his wife divorced with him, and his daughter married without telling him. He felt terribly desperate so he tried to drown his sorrow by the alcohol, but it just pulled him more and more far away from those people he loved.
Chick’s father used to be a soldier and his father thought the war would last very long so he had no chance to go back to Italy, so he proposed to Pauline (Charley’s mother).
This time was re-married, because actually he had already had another wife in French. So undoubtedly Chick’s parents couldn’t lead a good life. Because “kids chase the love that
eludes them”, so Chick liked his father more when he was young, for he got only a little love from him and afraid to lose him. So even though Chick’s mother, Posey, loved him
deeply and had stood up for him like thousands of times, Chick still didn’t show his deep
affection to his mother and only did what his father asked him to do, such as playing baseball. Chick tried so hard to please his father, even quitted college and took baseball as his career, and betrayed his mother thousands of times.
When Chick was very little and his sister was even a baby, his parents divorced, but the fact is that his father abandoned them and went to a very faraway place and lived with his original wife and his son who was forced to love baseball for that matter. Posey sacrificed a lot to support the family. But during that time, in that society and in her divorced situation, his mother was disdained by others, and even blamed by her own son. Some scandals, some slander and Posey’s not very decent job made Chick felt shame to
his mother. This shame feeling actually hurt his mother far more than himself.
And years later, Charley got married and had a daughter. At his mother’s
seventy-nine birthday party, Charley answered a phone called from his father who had ever concerned or even asked about Posey since divorce. He asked Charley to play a ridiculous baseball match held for old players on Posey’s birthday, which was very
inappropriate and impudent. But Charley said yes and cheated Posey that he had some emergent business problems to deal with and left her and the whole family there. As the game going, Posey suddenly passed away. And because of this cheating, Chick felt guilty,
shamed and regretful, so he ruined his life subconsciously and at last wanted to suicide.
But when he was in a coma, his soul fled to his old house and spent a day with his dead mother. In this day, he recalled many recollections and found how deep he loved his mother just as her did to him. This one more day gave his the faith and courage to live, because his mother’s love is the spring of his soul.
III. Your comments of the book. (300 words)
This is a marvelous work though it is not very long. It deeply touched my heart especially at the beginning of the story. I think the affection is all the reasons why an artwork exists and also is why we can survive facing the limited lifetime and cruel ending of death. It differentiates us from the pure animals and makes who we human beings are. And I can feel the author did imbue his affections and true feelings into this book. It must be the reason why this book was in the top of The New York Times Best Seller list and why so many people burst into tears when they read this book.
The first sentence moved me deeply is that “when death takes your mother, it steals
that word forever.” You would feel empty, feel upset, and feel mentally disabled, because your mother had been involved too much in your life. She is part of your past, and you thought there is no doubt that she would be part of your future. But you were wrong. That was a beautiful but wrong wish, because death would take her away from you. No matter how long the lifetime she had got, it was not enough to you. The connection between you two would suddenly cut off. Part of your future would be gone with her, and part of you, mentally, would die with her.
And second point touched my heart is a line from Posey, Chick’s dear mom. She
said” trees spend all day looking up at God.” I don’t know why, but when a read this, I
thought the trees were just the symbolism of our mothers. The standing trees just like our mothers pray for the peace and security to us; wait for us coming back from school or work; stare at us just for our disappearing figures. Their eyes are always on us, but sadly, we ignore their standing and we never turn back, giving them a little relief.
And the third point is after Posey’s demise. The author said”suddenly, details seem
extremely important. Details were something to grab on to, a way to insert myself into the story.” This is because he missed his mother’s death; he could not be with her to comfort
her, to decrease the pain and terror coming from death. He was eager and anxious to know every specific detail because of regret. But the harder he tried to insert into the situation, the more he felt guilty. It is the thing that you miss once, you miss it forever. You can never find a way to make up for it.
IV. Criticism or questions to the author or the novel.
In the latter part of this novel, the plots become kind of ridiculous. I mean, it is too fantastic to be true. And the content is not so rich. The theme the author wants to express was also just repeated in the latter part. The theme can be express well in a short-short story, and for a novel, it seems too simple. I can tell in the latter part, the author tried so hard to make the story convinced and rational, so he changed his focus from the theme to the plots. It can be a best seller, but it seems impossible for this book to be a classic anyway. It is good to read anyway.