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The Five People You Meet In Heaven Hardcover – September 23, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 3,053 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Albom, newspaper columnist and radio broadcaster, is, of course, best known as the author of the astonishingly successful Tuesdays with Morrie (1997). This is his first novel. With an appropriately fable-like tone, Albom tells the story of Eddie, "an old man with a barrel chest." But for us, Eddie's story "begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun"--at Ruby Pier, an amusement park by the sea, where he spent most days, for despite his advanced years, he worked as a maintenance man on the rides. He dies on his eighty-third birthday trying to save a little girl from an accident. Eddie wakes up in heaven, where he is informed that "there are five people you meet in heaven. Each . . . was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth." And, not surprisingly, this is what the novel is about: Eddie coming to appreciate his 83 years of mortal life; the novel's "point" is that apparently insignificant lives do indeed have their own special kind of significance. A sweet book that makes you smile but is not gooey with overwrought sentiment. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Albom has a gift for tapping into readers' sincerely sentimental spots, and he will undoubtedly connect again here." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Albom has done a masterful job." -- Oakland Press

"Albom has the ability to make you cry in spite of yourself." -- The Boston Globe

"Fans of Tuesdays with Morrie will be delighted with this novel." -- People magazine

"Sincere. . . . A book with the genuine power to stir and comfort its readers." -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"There's much wisdom here . . . An earnest meditation on the intrinsic value of human life." -- Los Angeles Times

"Transcendent. . . . Albom has aimed high here, and there's a whiff of paradise as a result." -- Atlanta Journal Constitution
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Product Details

some chapters now! [35kb PDF]
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1 edition (September 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780786868711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786868711
  • ASIN: 0786868716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,053 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I just got this book today when someone recommended it to me and when I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I skipped dinner and didn't do my homework but it was just that good. It leaves you wondering if you ever made a difference in someone's life here on earth. Then it makes you wonder who the five people you will meet in heaven are. This book was truly inspirational. It makes you want to go out into the world and try and make as big as impact on people's lives. I recommend anyone to read this book whether you believe in heaven or not. It's an absolutely amazing book.
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Format: Hardcover
Without going into the set-up of the story (which you can find in other reviews), I'll simply say this amazing little book is on my Christmas shopping list for those that are the dearest to my heart. This is a book I want to share with everyone! Not to scare anyone away from it -- by the end of this story, I was a sobbing mess! The first four of Eddie's people give little pieces of the puzzle, profound little tidbits to help him understand more about the events in his life. But his "fifth person" reveals Eddie's true purpose in life, a life that Eddie felt was a "nothing existence" on Earth. He learns from his fifth person that his life was an incredibly important piece of the tapestry of life's experience here -- one that meant more to people than he could ever have dreamed. A truly inspiring piece of American literature that EVERYONE should read!!
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Format: Hardcover
To tell the truth, after reading Tuesdays with Morrie from Mitch Albom, I did have high expectations for this follow-up.
And I must say that my expectations were more than surpassed by another winner from him.
The interweaving of Eddie "Maintenance"'s various aspects of life from his childhood, teenage years, courtship, military service, marriage, middle age to old age and finally the beginning of his journey through heaven was beautifully and intricately spun in this short tale.
The poetic descriptions of the various "steps" in heaven that Eddie traversed through in search for inner peace before his final resting destination and the 5 lessons he had to learnt brought to mind the eternal existentialistic questions of why we are here and what our life purpose is, in a quiet and non-intrusive manner. So much so that we can be prompted to examine our own lives more sympathetically.
The message I got from Mitch Albom at the end was that Eddie could have been anyone of us and that we do not need to wait for our turn to meet our five people in heaven to recognise that whatever we are doing now has meaning and has purpose in wonderful and beautiful ways and that we should never allow ourselves to belittle our lives.
Not quite the tearjerker as Tuesdays but Five People has certainly touched my heart and a few others in more ways than one. I hope that you will allow this beautiful book to touch yours too.
Kudos to Mitch Albom and a big thank you to his uncle Eddie for being the source of inspiration for this would-be classic.
God bless
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By A Customer on December 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Great literature invariably draws the reader in and invites him to think, to make comparisons between what he is reading and how it compares to ones own life and thoughts, to weigh in on whether there is agreement or disagreement. Story telling, on the other hand may be as simple as watching the latest brainless sitcom on television.
So where does "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom fall out? After reading the book my opinion--and obviously opinion is as different as fingerprints--is that Albom's book firmly fits the former and not the latter.
The book tells the story of a good man who lives a full life but doesn't know it. He feels shortchanged and, following his death, wonders what it all might of meant. The five people he meets help him to accept life as it was and to find some closure for the future. Some of the five are individuals he remembers some are mere phantoms that passed by without leaving much of an impression on him--or so he believes. Each teaches a lesson (and, yes, each lesson has applicability to every life) and clarifies how his interaction impacted life.
I hesitate to say more because Albom's book is written in such a way as to make it an entirely different statement and experience for each reader. My memories, feelings and experience are markedly different from yours and Albom's story struck chords with me that simply won't be the same for you.
Don't try to compare this one to "A Christmas Carol" (there is no opportunity here as Scrooge had to go back and make amends). Don't compare it to "It's a wonderful Life" (this really isn't a story about how a life made life wonderful for his peers). Some have compared it to Homer's Odyssey.
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Format: Hardcover
(This is the first book review I have done on anything since I think I was in grade school when we had to do book reports to earn gold stars, so forgive me if I am not as eloquent of a writer/reviewer as people before or after me might be.)

I am a U.S Marine Veteran and current college student. I am a female and 27 years old. I am still trying to find my reason for being here on earth I guess.

I read this book late last year.... then months later I started seeing ads in papers/flyers telling people how wonderful the book was. I simply nodded, and smiled in agreement. I think it was the title that caught my eye... as I am one of those who always wonders what life will be like after THIS life... what is in heaven... and those can be scary thoughts. My grandmother had passed away in Apring of '98... and after reading this book... I kind of smile from time to time and think about all the lives she must have touched in some way over her years... and that puts me at peace with it all.

Read this book if you want to be at peace with everything...

I know it helped me, and it's a book I will forever cheerish.
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