We’ve already touched on some of these ideas in previous questions and comments, but I wanted to make sure we discussed the writing techniques Albom used to convey this story, because they’re such a crucial part of how the story is organized.
Countdown to Death
I found the countdown to Eddie’s death to be disturbing because I felt like I was looking forward to his death. The suspense seemed perverse to me. It is, however, a creative technique for opening the story and focusing our attention on Eddie’s death and his afterlife. How did this countdown affect you?
I just reread the first chapter and was more impressed with Albom’s use of flashback; the first time through I was a little disoriented. The story weaves in and out from the present to Eddie’s past and to the life stories of other characters and to the intersections of Eddie’s life with those other characters. Albom also uses Eddie’s birthdays as a way of giving us snapshots of Eddie’s life and marking the passage of time. What do you learn through the flashbacks and all the movement through time in the first chapter? How effective is Albom’s style for this story in particular?