Adam’s Review of The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom, is about an elderly man named Eddie and the journey he goes on once he passes away. Eddie works in an amusement park named Ruby Pier and has done so for the past 50 years.  Every day, he goes to work regardless of how tired he is and does his job watching generation after generation come and go from the park.  It is one of the few things keeping him going in his old age. One day while at work on his 83rd birthday, Eddie is involved in a tragic accident trying to fix one of the rides and he is killed. Upon entering heaven Eddie meets five people. There are some people that he knows really well while there are also others he’s never met.  Regardless, they all have had a huge impact on his life without him knowing. Each of the people teaches him an important lesson that many of us in our own lives find difficult to learn. As he meets every person, he realizes what his purpose in life was.

The book itself was written very simplistically: no complex language, no major tangents by the author, just straight and to the point. I thought this writing style worked best for the book because it allowed the reader to figure out what the message was before it was stated. Each of the lessons Eddie learned came with a back-story and included moments in his life that had helped shape him in into the man he was.  This was one of my favorite aspects of the book.  I’ll admit one of the messages Eddie learned had me tearing up.  The simplistic writing really allowed me to enjoy it because I wasn’t preoccupied with attempting to understand what the author was trying to say, I was able to focus on the lesson being taught.

My personal favorite of the people he met in heaven was the third person. I thought the end result and the message he learned were the most poignant of all the lessons. It really got me to thinking about how in life we find saying things to people we really care about so difficult, yet we can admit them to perfect strangers with no sweat. It definitely left me with some tears in my eyes.

The one compliant I had about the book was that it kind of dragged a bit. The beginning chapter leading up to Eddie’s death was very slow and much too long. I understand the author wanted to fully explain the background of the story, but it didn’t suck me into the book and actually almost turned me off from the book completely.

Even though the simplistic writing style made it a quick read, the book still left me with life-long messages. It makes you wonder about heaven and what happens to us once this life on earth is over.  As with all my reviews, I will leave you with a question: what is your interpretation of heaven? What do you think happens to us once our life on this earth is done? Who are the five people you think you will meet in heaven?

4 out of 5 Stars

Hyperion (2006)
Paperback 208 pages
ISBN: 9781401308582

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