Top critical review
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Not a bad read, moving at times
on 28 March 2014
These are true stories about three people; Reb, a retired and seriously ill rabbi; Henry, a pastor in a decaying church and ultimately the book is about the author.
Albom is a lapsed Jew, he followed the faith as a child, and then went off the rails a little bit, married outside the faith and rarely set foot in a synagogue again. Out of the blue, his rabbi from that time called him and asked if he would write his eulogy. Surprised as he was by this, he agreed and went back to meet him to make some notes.
Reb has a way of communicating with people that is very special and what develops between them is quite unique. Albom talks openly, and asks some tough questions of him. Their relationship is one of warmth and admiration, and Albom ends up with pages and pages of notes.
Henry is a bad guy turned good. He is a huge man and has been in the past a petty thief, a drug dealer, a drug user and al round thug. Even though he had contact with the church, he never took that extra step and committed. Unit one day something in his life made him stop and walk a different path. He is now a pastor at a Detroit church that is badly in need of maintenance, and his congregation is made up from homeless people.
These two men of different faiths share many common values. Albom tells their life stories in parallel, as well as snapshots from their pasts.
When he comes to write the eulogy for Reb, he takes one look at his reams of notes, sets them aside and writes from his heart.
This is the second book of his that I have read in a handful of days. He writes with effortless aplomb, without a wasted word. These are two men that he grew close to; who sought to do and not talk.