The Time Keeper
by Mitch Albom
The first novel by the New York Times bestselling author Mitch Albom in six years tackles one of the central mysteries of human experience.
We have smartphones to navigate it, programs to manage it, an atomic clock to measure it. And still it remains our greatest obsession.
Mitch Albom, the New York Times bestselling author, takes on our biggest daily struggle in his magical new novel, THE TIME KEEPER (September 4, 2012/$24.99 hardcover/Hyperion). Just as he has done in previous books with subjects like faith, love, or a last class on dying, Albom crafts a deceptively simple story about a hugely important subject and leaves readers inspired by the finish.
In THE TIME KEEPER, Albom reinvents the legend of Father Time and casts him not as an old, withered man, but as a gifted young boy who becomes the inventor of the world's first clock. He is eventually punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift and is banished to a cave for centuries, forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more time, more minutes, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a chance to redeem himself.
He returns to our world, now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began, and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to take her life; the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both and teach them the true value of our moments on Earth. Told in Albom's signature spare and evocative prose, this moving and highly imaginative tale captures the disparate and sometime desperate demands we make on time and our lives.
Albom, ever since writing Tuesdays with Morrie, has been fascinated with how we choose to spend our time. He became particularly inspired when he began working in Haiti two years ago, rebuilding and operating an orphanage. There he discovered how time slowed, how its purpose changed, how life moved at a dragging pace, yet was filled with humanity that dwarfed his daily dosage at home. What he discovered was that in a place where death and danger envelop every hour, the preciousness of each moment became apparent. And the germ of THE TIME KEEPER began.
It has been three years since Albom published his last book, the nonfiction Have a Little Faith, and six years since his last novel, the highly popular For One More Day, both of which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, published in 2003, has over 9 million copies in print and topped the bestseller lists for months. And Tuesdays with Morrie, published in 1997, is now the best-selling memoir of all time. With this return to fiction in THE TIME KEEPER, Albom explores what makes human life an experience unlike any other; how our counting out minutes, days and years has altered our perception of our past and our future, and how it has shaped our present-for better or worse.