Autumn Reads: Book Six {The Five People You Meet in Heaven}

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oh, Mitch. I wanted to give you another chance after Tuesdays With Morrie, I really did. Particularly because reviews (both from friends and online) said that this one was better than your last. It was good, I'll give you that, but it was just lacking something (or maybe it had too much, I don't really know).

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a story, as the first line of the book tells us, about a man named Eddie who has just passed away in a freak roller-coaster accident at the amusement park he has worked at since he was a kid. He is crushed by a falling roller-coaster cart while saving a little girl who was in danger of being crushed herself (in fact, Mitch spends the whole story trying to learn if his last act, his heroic dead, was successful). He is rough around the edges, has a crooked nose, walks with a limp from a wound suffered in Vietnam, and has lived (according to him) quite the uninspiring life. Mediocre at best.

And then he dies. The premise of Albom's afterlife is simple: Heaven is not a destination, not a single, solitary place. Instead, when you die you are introduced to five people who's life either impacted yours, you impacted theirs, or both. And they have something to tell you about both of your lives. This is all done to answer the one most important question to humanity: Why Am I Here? Heaven provides you with an answer.

So Eddie goes along and meets his five people who share their stories with Eddie and he learns that maybe his life wasn't as mediocre or banal as he originally thought. One by one they illuminate parts of their lives and how their stories were interwoven with Eddie's own story. Slowly Eddie learns that we're not alone in our lives in the world; we're all interconnected - even when we don't realize it.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book. It is a clever look at the age-old question of what happens when you die? The book was simple (perhaps too simple) and constructed in a way that I was right their with Eddie - as his life was illuminated through flashbacks, wanting to know if he saved the girl, all of it. I was rooting for him. But it just has the same basic problems that I felt when I read Morrie. My emotions were being manipulated and Albom wanted a pat on the back for his efforts. It's simple and because of that it beats you over the head with his moral of how we're all connected. I guess in the end I was a little disappointed. I was just hoping to see Albom write with a little more depth and a thicker plot or story line.

It was an easy read. It was a neat take on the afterlife. I'm glad I read it, but I'm glad I didn't pay anything for it!

Title: The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Medium: Hardcover
Pages: 196
Date Read: 20 November 2012
First Line: This is a story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun.
Favorite Line: All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.
Last Line: And in that line now was a whiskered old man, with a linen cap and a crooked nose, who waited in a place called the Stardust Band Shell to share his part of the secret of heaven: that each affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one. {Whited out, for spoiler's sake}
Recommended: It's a cheesy read, so if you need something quick and heartbreaking, go for it. I'd borrow it, not buy it though.
Recommended For: High School +, People who need a good cry;
Source: Mom's Books


  1. I liked this book, but I have to say Tuesdays with Morrie was better...and after that I lost interest. ;(

  2. I cried so much with this book...Loved every minute of the journey; I read it twice, the first time in a single morning. I've only cried with one other book in my life, one titled Three Wishes. Unfortunately I lent that book to a friend and she never returned it.


Thank you all so much for your comments! I'm only happy when I have comments. Really. You are contributing to my future happiness right now! XOXO