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The Five People You Meet in Heaven [Large Print] [Paperback]

Mitch Albom
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (931 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 5 2010 Random House Large Print
From the author of the number one New York Times bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie comes this long-awaited follow-up.

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his meaningless life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: Why was I here?

A moving and profound contemporary fable, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is an important reminder of the interconnectedness of us all.


From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

The Five People You Meet in Heaven + Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson + The First Phone Call from Heaven: A Novel
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From Amazon

Part melodrama and part parable, Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven weaves together three stories, all told about the same man: 83-year-old Eddie, the head maintenance person at Ruby Point Amusement Park. As the novel opens, readers are told that Eddie, unsuspecting, is only minutes away from death as he goes about his typical business at the park. Albom then traces Eddie's world through his tragic final moments, his funeral, and the ensuing days as friends clean out his apartment and adjust to life without him. In alternating sections, Albom flashes back to Eddie's birthdays, telling his life story as a kind of progress report over candles and cake each year. And in the third and last thread of the novel, Albom follows Eddie into heaven where the maintenance man sequentially encounters five pivotal figures from his life (a la A Christmas Carol). Each person has been waiting for him in heaven, and, as Albom reveals, each life (and death) was woven into Eddie's own in ways he never suspected. Each soul has a story to tell, a secret to reveal, and a lesson to share. Through them Eddie understands the meaning of his own life even as his arrival brings closure to theirs.

Albom takes a big risk with the novel; such a story can easily veer into the saccharine and preachy, and this one does in moments. But, for the most part, Albom's telling remains poignant and is occasionally profound. Even with its flaws, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a small, pure, and simple book that will find good company on a shelf next to It's A Wonderful Life. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

"At the time of his death, Eddie was an old man with a barrel chest and a torso as squat as a soup can," writes Albom, author of the bestselling phenomenon Tuesdays with Morrie, in a brief first novel that is going to make a huge impact on many hearts and minds. Wearing a work shirt with a patch on the chest that reads "Eddie" over "Maintenance," limping around with a cane thanks to an old war injury, Eddie was the kind of guy everybody, including Eddie himself, tended to write off as one of life's minor characters, a gruff bit of background color. He spent most of his life maintaining the rides at Ruby Pier, a seaside amusement park, greasing tracks and tightening bolts and listening for strange sounds, "keeping them safe." The children who visited the pier were drawn to Eddie "like cold hands to a fire." Yet Eddie believed that he lived a "nothing" life-gone nowhere he "wasn't shipped to with a rifle," doing work that "required no more brains than washing a dish." On his 83rd birthday, however, Eddie dies trying to save a little girl. He wakes up in heaven, where a succession of five people are waiting to show him the true meaning and value of his life. One by one, these mostly unexpected characters remind him that we all live in a vast web of interconnection with other lives; that all our stories overlap; that acts of sacrifice seemingly small or fruitless do affect others; and that loyalty and love matter to a degree we can never fathom. Simply told, sentimental and profoundly true, this is a contemporary American fable that will be cherished by a vast readership. Bringing into the spotlight the anonymous Eddies of the world, the men and women who get lost in our cultural obsession with fame and fortune, this slim tale, like Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, reminds us of what really matters here on earth, of what our lives are given to us for.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Five People You Meet in Heaven March 1 2004
Format:Hardcover
I had heard what a wonderful book this was, but after reading it, I began to think that this is one of those books that people feel obligated to like when really there isn't much there. I definitely wanted to like this book much more than I did, I enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie, also by Mitch Albom, and I liked the idea of heaven being an exploration of our interconnectedness and an answer to the question "Why am I here?" but it was not the life-altering experience for me that I've heard about from other people...Things I did like about the book (in addition to it being a quick read) was that I learned some things about myself, not so much because the book told me things about myself, more so because it did inspire me to self reflect, but then again, I think that is what books are supposed to do. I also liked that the story showed a portrait of a man who hated what his life had become, but in the end (through the mentors he meets in heaven) finds out that he wasn't as worthless as he believed he was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
In many ways, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a simple little book; as is so often the case, the most profound of answers are revealed most clearly in the simplest of explanations. This is not a book about heaven in a religious sense; the truths it establishes are to be found right here in our own lives: every life has a purpose, every person and every action is related, and while you may not be able to discern it now, it all makes sense in the end.

Eddie represents all of us to some degree. Looking back on his life with regret over all the things he should have done or not done, he is almost a ghost of himself. Since the death of his wife, he has basically gone through the motions, working at the same job his father worked before him, dealing with the bad dreams brought on by his wartime experience, watching his body deteriorate to the point that he can barely get around, waiting for nothing, feeling nothing but regret. He always wanted to get away from his father and live an entirely different sort of life, yet he wound up taking over his father's job, living in the same building, failing to achieve any of the hopes and dreams he embraced so tightly as a young man. His wife was his only anchor, and she has been dead a long time now.

When we first meet Eddie, he is about to die. The end is just another beginning, however, and we learn the story of Eddie's life as the novel progresses. Heaven is not what he expected; he finds no peace here at all. Happiness cannot come without understanding, however, and five people are waiting to explain Eddie's life to him. They include people he barely knew or did not know at all, yet he soon learns what a huge influence he had in their earthly lives. Each one imparts to Eddie a lesson he must learn in order to find peace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The five reasons to read this book July 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Need to employ the "suspension of disbelief" to read a book? Of course you do. Why else read? Who wants life exactly as it is? If you want that, just step outside. But if you want to think, be inspired, learn something, or even just have a good time, read a book such as this.
Reason #1. This is a well-written story
Reason #2. This is food-for-thought.
Reason #3. It's inspirational.
Reason #4. You might learn something.
Reason #5. It's by the guy who wrote TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE.
So.
This is the story of Eddie, chief maintenance person at Ruby Pier amusement park. He thinks his life has been a waste, that he hasn't impacted anyone. At the beginning of the story we meet the elderly Eddie, sad, lonely Eddie. He makes the rides safe for everyone, except one day something goes terribly wrong. In one last heroic act in his sad life, Eddie throws himself in front of a runaway roller coaster to save the life of a little girl who becomes caught on the track. But did he save her? Eddie's death is so sudden that he doesn't know if he saved her or not ... and neither do we. Keep an open mind and you'll like this book. Is it a great piece of literature? Nope. Is it going to win the Pulitzer? Probably not. Is it worth the money you'll pay. Better believe it.
Also recommended, THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple and heavenly read!! Nov. 19 2003
Format:Hardcover
The Five People You Meet In Heaven is Mitch Albom's second novel I have read -- and if you liked Tuesday's with Morrie, I believe you will like this one too. Don't expect anything earth shattering....there is not necessarily ONE profound message that this book sends. Rather - it sends five messages -in the form of people, as they are each presented to Eddie - head of maintenance at Ruby Point amusement park, after he dies trying to save a little girl from a falling cart.
Heaven, instead of a lush garden, is a place where the similar earthly pain is revisited WITH each of the five people that Eddie meets. They are each part of Eddie's life and are people he knows, or they can be distant strangers whose lives have impacted or have been impacted by that of this tired and hopeless 83 year old man.
Though pain is experienced in heaven, there is also a beauty that Eddie finds in bringing closure to each of the five people he meets in his heaven, for even though death is looked at as an "end" Eddie is able to see how it IS really the beginning....
It is the beginning of the journey to finding out what meaning one's life carries with it....and also what one's life has meant to others, and how it has changed them. Even if you didn't realize it when you were on earth. The skies of heaven shed light on those reasons.
While this book was simple and perhaps not as complex and detailed as the drawn out death we see in "Tuesdays With Morrie," I did find that it shed a brighter light on the whole idea of death itself. In his first book, I felt that Albom was making the reader feel comfortable - and coming to terms with - the fact that death is nothing to fear.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read that gives great perspective on life/death.
Published 1 month ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars I COULDN'T PUT THIS DOWN! READ IT IN A FEW HOURS!
This is by far the most interesting book I have ever read! I could NOT put it down! I read it in just a few hours!!! Unbelievable! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gaily
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment.
I was kind of disappointed - expected more. I will read more of his books though - I like the way he writes.
Published 3 months ago by msmarlymac
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener for sure.
Shows the reader that what our lives are now or what we do with with our lives and the people we meet through our lives play an important role when we go back home. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Catlady41
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectly calming
A book that really draws you in, not so much of up and downs, but I felt really calm when reading it. Recommended!
Published 6 months ago by Cindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Enjoyed this book very much. Was actually surprised by the content - it was totally different than I expected. If the title gives you pause - this book is for you.
Published 6 months ago by J. Verge
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
thought this book was wonderful, read it in a day because I couldn't put it down. I've bought additional copies for friends and family and recommended it to everybody I know.
Published 8 months ago by Chandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Popcorn
Very well written story - WARNING!! It's like good popcorn, once you start you can't stop!!

Recommend you watch the DVD Show version, which is true to the book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bubba
5.0 out of 5 stars The Five People You Meet in Heaven Book
Book was great. Very easy reading. I enjoyed it very much. He has a very nice writing style. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes to read.
Published 12 months ago by Vita Warris
5.0 out of 5 stars Really makes you think
This book REALLY makes you think about eternal life and the things we do on earth to others, good or bad. I recommend this to anyone who needs a "wake-up" call. Read more
Published 13 months ago by opinions4u
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