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Book Review: For One More Day

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Book Review: For One More Day

  1. 1. Book Review A Project In English III For One More Day By: Mitch Albom Marie Rose Domingo III-St. Ignatius Of Loyola February 3, 2014
  2. 2. A. Author Mitch Albom is a bestselling author, nationally acclaimed newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, host of two popular radio shows and a television commentator who regularly appears on ESPN’s Sports Reporters and ABC. His ten books include Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day. His latest book, The Time Keeper, was published in the fall of 2012. Tuesdays with Morrie is now the bestselling memoir of all time, with over 11 million copies sold worldwide. Oprah Winfrey produced a major television movie for ABC based on Tuesdays with Morrie starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria. A phenomenon in its own right, the movie was not only the most-watched on any network for that year, it also earned four Emmy Awards in 2000, including those for Best Actor (Lemmon) and Best Supporting Actor (Azaria). Albom, along with playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, adapted the book into a hit play, which opened off - Broadway late 2002. The play is currently being performed in regional theaters throughout North America. Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie story has been featured in many national publications, including People magazine, Redbook, Life magazine, andTV Guide. Albom has also been featured on several national television programs, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC's
  3. 3. Today Show, the CBS Early Show, Larry King Live, Charlie Rose, Nightline and Good Morning America. Albom’s first novel, the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, released in September 2003, has sold over 6.5 million copies in hardcover, marking it as the bestselling first novel in hardcover ever. A touching story about the meaning and interconnectedness of our lives, the novel received outstanding reviews across the country. TIME magazine called it “a sad, sweet first novel “ and “a powerful book” in a full page article on Albom in the October 13, 2003 issue. Publishers Weekly called it “sentimental and profoundly true...a contemporary American fable that will be cherished by a vast readership.” With a screenplay by Albom, the novel has been adapted into an ABC movie starring Jon Voight, Ellen Burstyn and Jeff Daniels. Albom's other books include Live Albom I (1987), Live Albom II (1990), Live Albom III (1992), Live Albom IV (1995), BO, the autobiography of Bo Schembechler (co-written with Schembechler and also a New York Times best seller), and Fab Five, the story of the University of Michigan's famed men's basketball recruits who all became starters as freshmen during the early 1990's. His novel, For One More Day (September 2006), centers on the relationship between mothers and sons and the stresses divorce places on family ties. It entered The New York Times bestsellers list at #1, was selected as the first title to be carried in Starbucks’ stores, and went on to be the bestselling adult hardcover fiction release of 2006. In 2007 For One More Day was adapted as a made for television movie for ABC starring award-winning actors Michael Imperioli and Ellen Burstyn, once again with the backing of Oprah Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Films. His latest book, Have a Little Faith, was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. In December 2011, Have A Little Faith will air as a made-for-television movie.
  4. 4. In 2004, Mitch Albom made his debut as a solo playwright with Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, a tender comedy about a tabloid journalist from NYC on a search for Alabama swamp poachers who believe they shot a celestial being. His next play, And the Winner Is, was released in 2005. Ernie, his play about Ernie Harwell, the legendary sports broadcaster, recently premiered in Detroit. He is also currently developing an hourlong TV show for cable network TNT. A 2013 inductee of the Sportswriters Hall of Fame, Mitch Albom has been named #1 Sports Columnist in the Nation by the sports editors of America (APSE) — the highest honor in his field — 13 times in the last 15 years. He has also finished first in the APSE feature writing category seven times in the last nine years. No other columnist has won the APSE award more than once. During his storied career, Albom has received more than 100 writing awards from AP, UPI, Headliners Club, National Sportswriters and Broadcasters Associations, and others. His work has appeared in numerous national and international publications, including Sports Illustrated, GQ, Sport, The New York Times, TV Guide, USA Today, and Germany's popular GEO magazine, as well as on the Internet with MSNBC. Albom also is a panelist on ESPN's The Sports Reporters, (seen every Sunday by a nationwide audience,) and a weekly contributing commentator for ESPN radio. He also hosts two radio talk shows on WJR-AM. He has been profiled by ABC News, NBC's Today Show, the CBS Early Show, and ESPN's Up Close. Albom has also twice served as a network Olympic commentator, first for ABC's Good Morning America during the Atlanta Games and for the CBS Early Show from the Games in Sydney, Australia. An accomplished songwriter and lyricist, Mitch Albom wrote the song "Cookin' For Two" for a television movie directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger that aired in the mid-1990's. Recently, he wrote the lyrics for a song recorded by singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, with David Crosby on backup vocals and comedian David Letterman contributing some surprise vocals as well.
  5. 5. A Philadelphia native, Mitch Albom graduated from Brandeis University with a sociology major and earned Master's Degrees in journalism and business administration from Columbia University in New York City. His background includes stints as an amateur boxer and nightclub singer and pianist. He once played as a warm-up act for comedian Gabe Kaplan. Albom has founded seven charities, many in the metropolitan Detroit area: Several are located in the Detroit area including: S.A.Y. Detroit, which operates a family health clinic; A Time to Help, volunteer organization; and A Hole in the Roof Foundation, which repairs faith-based homeless shelters. He also directs the Have Faith Haiti Mission in Port Au Prince, which helps impoverished children and orphans. Albom followed 2012’s The Time Keeper with the #1 New York Times best seller The First Phone Call From Heaven in November 2013. Mitch Albom is married and resides in Franklin, Michigan.
  6. 6. B. Elements 1. Settings The story happened in Pepperville Beach Village. It is Chick Benetto’s hometown, the place where he has built good and bad memories with his family. In the Introduction, a baseball field is the setting for the scene that sets the stage for the action of the novel to come. At first glance, the action here (the meeting between Chick and the narrator introducing his story) is an encounter between strangers, and in a way, it is: at the conclusion of the novel, it's revealed that the narrator is Chick's daughter Maria, from whom he has been estranged for years. It's important to note that baseball fields are important settings throughout the novel. First, for other encounters between estranged parents and children, in particular between Chick and his father. Second, baseball fields are also the setting for encounters between Chick and the truth about himself. Such fields are the places where he both achieves his dreams and fails in maintaining them, and also when he discovers the truth about Question: 1. Why is the novel set in fictitious small towns?  This is fictitious because this place where he has built good and bad memories with his family. 2. Characters Charles “Chick Benetto”: As a kid, he was forced to choose between his parents “father or mother”. He is a strong, cocky athlete, muscular and tall; a good looking guy. Played Baseball, always took for granted his mothers love and adore his dad.
  7. 7. Pauline “Posey Benetto”: Chick’s mother. She had large, almond-shaped eyes, dark and creamy complexion, indeed a very attractive and candid woman, whom after being abandoned by her husband, shortly after looses her nurse career, struggled to raise a family alone. She worked as hairdresser and had to clean apartments to support a family. She died at the age of 79 years of a heart attack. Leonard “Len Benetto: Chick’s father. Len had an athletic figure, very good-looking and stubborn man. Used to play baseball, and enlisted in the World War II. Also an owner of his own business. Catherine: Chick’s wife. She met Chick during college, when he was singing “This could be the start of something good. Maria: Chick’s daughter. She was born at the tail end of chick’s failed career. She had long straight hair and full lips, just like her mother. She took on sports writing job at college. Roberta: Chick’s young sister. As a kid, always very sweet girl that had a penchant for wearing ballerina shoes everywhere she goes. When she became fifteen, she suggests that her mother remarry. 3. Epilogue 1. Think about Charley’s Chapter before and after his “One More Day” with his mother. Has the changed? How?  I think Yes, because she didn’t tell her children how difficult her life was. She only focused on how to take care of her children and give them a better future. 4. Personal Reflection or Learning Through reading this book, I learned two life lessons. One is that maybe it really is true that we don’t know what we got till it’s gone. From the book, I learned this lesson by Chick’s reaction after his mother passed away and after he lost his family, his job… He was basically left with
  8. 8. nothing to lean on anymore; he lost the most important things in life. He drank most of his time, didn’t sleep well and didn’t eat well. And looking back at what you have lost, most of the time it would be too late to go back and change. So I learned to hold on to the ones I love and care and make every moment the best because you wouldn’t want to be left with regrets in the end. The other lesson was learned based on one of Chick’s final thoughts, he wrote, “I feel ashamed now that I tried to take my life. It is such a precious thing. I had no one to talk me out of my despair, and that was a mistake. You need to keep people close. You need to give them access to your heart.”(pg. 193) This paragraph touched me mainly due to how I felt yesterday. I felt really stressed out and I tried to talk to my friends, but they didn’t make me feel any better so I just ditched the chat and went off continue reading this book, just as I was up to this paragraph, I thought, if I try to push them away from me, I am never going to feel any better. If you push everything away, that will only pull you further away from your balance. The “balance” is all the important things in life. So if say I ignore friends, fight with my family, give up putting efforts into my work, I am going to lose balance and slowly lose grip and fall to rock bottom. So instead of feeling depressed and stressed out, think again, is it because you are pushing other people away, is it because you don’t give them access to your heart? Because I found out that was exactly my problem for being so stressed after all. I would say, keep your hearts open to anything because we are going to get hurt sometime in life, but if we stay strong, find our balance, and keep everything important to you close by your side, you will realize that nothing is ever that hard to get through. 5. Plot The book's theme is mortality: it analyzes how people might react to the chance to have a dead relative back for a day. The book tells story of Charley "Chick" Benetto, a former baseball player who encounters a myriad of problems with his career, finances, family and alcohol abuse. This leads him to become suicidal. Charles goes on a drunken rampage and decides he is going to end his life in his old home town, but when he misses the exit, he turns around driving down the wrong side of the highway causing an accident, Benetto flees to his old home – his suicide attempt an apparent failure – to see his mother, who had died eight years prior. Benetto returns to his old family home, and spends one more day with his mother, where in a number of previously unknown factors related to his difficult childhood and troubled relationship with his father are revealed to him. His mother assists him in resolving his issues and getting his life back on track. The day ends when Benetto regains consciousness at the scene of the accident in a police officer's arms.
  9. 9. The book's epilogue describes how Benetto was inspired by his experience to quit drinking and reconcile with family, including his daughter, Maria, before his death five years later. At the end, Maria is revealed to have been the narrator of the story. Questions: 1. Who narrates the story?  The narrator is Maria Benetto Lang she is Charley’s daughter. The main narrator is Charley. 2. Why did Charley try to kill himself?  When he wasn’t invited to his daughter’s wedding, he finally see himself for what he is a failure and a drunk. His despair and self-loathing push him towards suicide. 3. How did the narrator reveal important information about Charley’s life to you?  The narrator gives us insight into Charley’s life, his childhood, his disappointments, his anger, his dreams, by going back and forth between his memories, and the moments with his mother. 4. What does the narrator mean by “Every Family Is A Ghost Story”?  Every family is a ghost story it means that “The dead sit at our tables long after they have gone." 6. Conflict The story, For One More Day written by Mitch Albom, has many conflicts.The main character is a boy who was closer to his father than his mother. His father then leaves and the boy's life crumbles. He loses his family and career due to alcoholism. He then becomes suicidal. While suicidal he decides to go to his childhood home and is surprisingly welcomed by his mother who died years earlier. 7. Ending Question: 1. If you are to spend One More Day with someone who would you choose? Why?