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The Five People You Meet in Heaven
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on September 27, 2016
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom is by far my favorite book in the world. I'm an avid reader, but this was the most significant book at a point in my life (high school) where I was lost, confused, searching for my place in the world, and reeling for the loss of my grandmother, who was one of the most important people in my life. I was searching for a faith in something, and I picked up this book. It changed everything.

The premise of the book is that when you die, you meet five people. They are not always the five most important people in your life (parents, grandparents, spouses, children, etc), but sometimes people who you met in passing or who you'd rather forget. Sometimes it's someone you don't really even know. But they're always someone who has had an important impact on your life.

In The Five People You Meet in Heave, the story follows Eddie as he meets his five people and his life's meaning is revealed to him. He meets five people, only one of who he really would have thought would be on his 'five people' list. The story is heartbreaking and moving and life affirming. I am still a sobbing mess every time I re-read it. I can't tell you how many highlights and pencil marks my hard copy of this has, and probably just as many for my kindle version. Yes, I have both a hard copy and a kindle version. I treasure my original copy, but love having the digital version at my fingertips everywhere I go. This book is THAT good. It's the kind of book you pass along to a friend who is struggling or a teenager in need of guidance and searching for the meaning of life. If you only read one book, make it this one!
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on June 17, 2017
I read this book, because it was assigned to my children for the summer. I expected a good story, but I didn't expect such real characters or the beautiful imagery that makes you feel like you're there. There are words of wisdom throughout the book, but the main message is absolutely beautiful. I would like to be more specific. However, I feel like that would spoil the book for future readers. I gave this book five stars, because I feel like I received a hug from heaven. It really blew me away. Read it and listen to it on Audible.
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on May 4, 2014
Just coming off a recent read of "A Forgotten Man" by J. Pepper Bryars - which touched me deeply - and left me grieving for the 'middle class' in America - at the hands of an out-of-control Government Leviathan - in a very sad sort of way.

I found this wonderful story, this simple, touching and inventive view by Mitch Albom - an author - with a vivid imagination - of a fictional heaven - where ones life, their purpose and their interconnection with the world and their fellow human beings is explained to them - through a series of story telling by those (selected by someone else - unexplained - God Maybe) who (known or unknown) were affected by one's life or that affected the main character's life throughout his or her life experiences quite refreshing. Where decisions, actions and/or inaction in various ways along their path made a big difference in that persons adventure, successes and failures. It was like medication for the previous books negative implications. In fact it was restorative, invigorating and solemnly calming for my inner soul.

FIVE People You Meet in Heaven touches you at a level that causes one to think "Hmm, so that could have been me on this or that day." Or "wow who would the 5 individuals be in my life?".

And about Mid Book you begin pondering, contemplating, questioning yourself and remembering people, events, dates, important occasions, career choices/changes, survival situations and narrow escapes and the like - wondering - whom your list would include. Was it this guy or that guy or this family member or that - or was it that coworker and on and on to infinity about the countless people you have brushed up against in your life.

It is delightfully fun to try to go back and come up with a worthy list of names that would make you the person you are today, or find that special event which put you in the situations you were in or are in now, or the position or career you are holding now and on and on. And as this only happens when you die - you being wondering also "How That Might Now Happen To You! And for what reason or purpose?". As I said it is delightfully fun to ponder all these and just 'go with it'. And the negateers and naysayers or those condemning souls who simply trashed this and every book like it have to be those anti-religious bigots or upset by 'everything morally based' or the 'hate the concept of heaven' list or the 'only government is my God' list or some other such nonsense. They have a sort of ingrained Neanderthal-like anti-intellectual problem of negtiavism in the wrong enviornment syndrome sort of thing. This is not a political book or a social engeneering book, it is fiction, fun and challenging your imagination stuff. It is sad that they simply cannot enjoy a fun thought provoking book when they see one. Sad, just sad.

This book is pure and simply fun, thought provoking and challenging throughout - I was halfway through the book when asked - what it was about. In attempting to explain it up to that point and only having read about the first three entities and encounters - I found it was easier thought about - than explained and trying to tie it all together without reading it all - made it difficult. I explained my deductions one way. But by the time I finished reading this exceptional book/story and read the last page.

I realized I had been snookered by the brilliance of the authors tapestry weaving. And I was caught completely off guard and found the truth at the end was something completely different than what I imagined at the middle of my reading. Which caused me to instantly review mentally the entire story over again - to find where my error was made - at guessing the outcome incorrectly. I found it - and I wonder if others will as well. I loved it.

I applaud the author for giving me a great read, an easy read and a spellbinding read and a mental puzzle to ponder that made me keep the book close by - to pick it up whenever I could. Surprisingly I began on a Saturday about noon on a road trip and finished it at my Granddaughters Birthday Party the very next day - so I could pass it on to a friend of the family - who had expressed an interest in it when he saw it on the table next to me.

If you look to condemn - I am sure someone can - but I found it intriguing, fascinating and meaningful at a number of levels. Of course the most significant contemplation I had while enjoying this literary ride - was in real life if this were true - there could actually be a dozen or two dozen or scores of people or even more - in every person's life - who significantly affected in some way each of our lives similarly to the characters in this meaningful work.

Something think about - no doubt. My congrats to Mr. Albom.

JPL
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on October 25, 2017
Oh my gosh! I loved reading this book! It makes you think about so many things in your life. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly religious in any sense, just a very interested way to think of heaven and why things happened to you while you were alive. I will recommend this book for the reat of my life and I can’t wait to read it again. It is a very quick read. I couldn’t put it down!! You will love it!
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on February 11, 2013
Apparently a rift exists where Albom's 'Five People You Meet in Heaven' is concerned, as people appear to gravitate towards either the a) disliking the simplicity of the work or b) enjoying the beauty of the sentimentality behind the work. This of course leads to the plethora of either 1-star and 5-star reviews, respective to the camp you're siding on.

Clearly, I'm siding on the side of the beauty of the sentimentality. There were a few times near the middle where I barred the flood-gates, and there were a few times at the end where I couldn't hold them back. While not all of Albom's aphorisms are good ones (I don't yearn my father's attention)there are enough beautifully vague quips to attempt a philosophy.

I personally, am not a believer in most things associated to God / Spirituality / Religion, Heaven being amongst them. So, if I give 5-stars to an 'after school special' it's because of the beauty of the story.

Eddie works at Ruby Pier, it's the last day of his life. He doesn't know he will be killed by a malfunctioned amusement park ride. He also doesn't know if he will be able to save the little girl in the rides plummet-path.

SPOILERS:

Eddies Five People:
1. The Blue Man - He worked with Eddie's father at Ruby Pier, the Blue Man was part of the 'freakshow' attractions. One day he borrowed a car to 'practice his driving' and in so doing nearly hit Eddie as he chased a baseball across the street. The Blue Man suffers a heart-attack and dies alone in the streets after the miss.
The Blue Man represents something of Saint Peter. Welcoming the guest, telling a brief fable about life and what is important 'This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life.' (335).

The Lesson: "... there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breese from the wind.' (437).

Interspersed with Birthdays (upon which usually something bad happens - his dad goes into hospital and dies a short time later one year; his wife Margaurite is in a car accident on her way to get Eddie from the track in another & this ruins their plans for adoption) to break the action between persons and to offer snippets of Eddies life back on earth, the story clips along alternating the earthly life past and Eddies transcendance through his 5 people.

2. The Captain - Here we learn about Eddies time as a war vet in Vietnam. He was shot by one of his own men after being held captive by a break-away sect of Vietcong. Eddie was shot because he would leave the area without being forced; he thought he saw something in the fire his squad had set to burn down the village. The Captain, it's made known, is shortly after killed by a landmine while doing recon.

Lesson: 'Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else.' (882)

3. Ruby - She whom the amusement park is named after. She is the keeper of the souls of those who have lost their lives or been intimately involved with the park since it's emergence. She harbors Eddies father. He must go, make peace with his father for the years of neglect and abuse. Eddie pretty much blames his father for the wreck that has become his life. But he learns that his father died in very noble fashion, attempting to save a man's life. A man whom may not have deserved it at that given point in time.

Lesson: 'Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside.' (1356).

4. Marguerite - Eddies wife. The only woman he ever loved. Sadly she put up with a lot of his bad behaviors and emotional distance. But he loved her and he wasn't ever painted as a vile man, but a distant, distracted and torn man. Marguerite spends alot of time with Eddie, she is young when he sees her but she is 47 when she is taken from Eddie.

Lesson: 'Lost love is still love, Eddie. It takes a different from, that's all.' (1669).

5. Tala - Returning to the second person Eddie meets in Heaven, The Captain, Eddie is confronted by the shape he sees in the fire that got him shot by a friend. It's a young girl, badly burned, told to 'hide' in a most inopportune location. Eddie 'made me fire.' but Eddie's salvation lies in the work he did, keeping children safe. Tala brought Eddie to heaven to keep him safe.

Lesson: "'Supposed to be there," she said. 'Where? At Ruby Pier?'" She nodded (1831).
We're all right where we're supposed to be.
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on October 24, 2017
This is a nice story about an elderly man who dies, and then meets five people from his life. These people each talk with hm about the events and outcomes of his life and help him make sense of it all. It's an interesting idea and an easy read, but not very deep. If you're looking for an answer to the meaning of life, you won't find it here, but it may prompt some good discussion.
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on December 5, 2016
Similar in tone and emotion with his novel Tuesdays with Morrie. I think that the greatest achievement of this story is the dreamlike, subconscious mood and setting the author creates. He can get a bit syrupy, but not too bad to make this contextually a problem.

Albom raises some interesting, thought provoking questions and leaves some unanswered, which makes for a better read, especially considering the subject.

I hope my review has been helpful to you. It encourages me to continue writing and updating my reviews. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer if I can be of help.
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on November 3, 2015
Although at times this book can be a bit dry and boring, because the reader knows what the main character will be facing, it entices you to continue on to see how he has helped others in his life. By seeing just how much the main character has helped others during his lifetime, the reader begins to realize everyone has an impact on others and changes others lives. It is a great book to make you realize this and start seeing how you can consciously effect others lives in a positive way.
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on May 5, 2016
This was a wonderful novel that makes you want to sit down and reflect on what type of person you are in life. Mitch Albom's intriguing novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven is one that is hard to put down. It's a story about a man, Eddie, who works as a ride operator at an amusement park, and gets killed by a ride. He was 83 years old when he died, and didn't have many friends or family left either. But that doesn't mean anything. There are five people in which he encounters once he enters heaven, hence the name of the novel. Each one of these people had some sort of relationship prior to their passing. Likewise, the readers learn that there is often so much connection between peoples lives, and often times, everything is intertwined. That being said, more often than not, there is a time in life when you do not even realize it, but there are so many connections, and everything in and around your life comes full-circle. Albom's novel allows the reader to be able to realize these connections. I would highly recommend this as it is truly a novel of lessons; something from which everyone could gain.
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on July 12, 2017
A sweet and compassionate, but wrenching tale of the After Life, and a life
before death. A new take on the process of living with no sense of your worth, dying,
and having your eyes opened. Opened to your pain, your suffering, your sin, and
finally opened to your worthiness.
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