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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.

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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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most worthwhile read! Feb. 10 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Would highly recommend this book to everyone!
Beautiful heart warming story with lessons to be learned.
a book you could read over and over again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So So March 10 2012
Format:Audio CD
(...)Hmm. It is not as cheesy I thought it could be, and not as life changing as many make it out to be. There are a few ideas that are beautiful and could have been exploited, as well as quotation material that could have been brought farther with a bit more imagination. I'm not saying Mitch is not imaginative, he is just not as imaginative as he could be, which leads to a bit of boredom for a reader like me who' is looking for challenges.
All the way through I kept waiting for that wonderful momentum, the paroxysm where you discover that everything was actually a lot more intricate than it initially had appeared to be, whilst all is being revealed to you, leaving your heart content or there to debate the choice of the author. Not the case. The climax comes early, as I believe that the people that Eddie meets at the beginning are far more interesting and wise than the ones met at the end.
The voice of Eddie is extremely annoying (Thank you Mitch for having other characters speak, nice breaks they were). It took stubbornness on my part to get through to the end. Mitch explains the voice as being similar to his uncle's voice, as he wanted to bestow credit to his uncle; he apparently tried very hard to reproduce his uncle''s unique husky strong speech.(...)
To see the rest of the review as well as many more interesting ones go to
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really makes you think Aug. 1 2013
By opinions4u TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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. Actually, we ALL need a wake-up call! VERY interesting book! I love ALL of Mitch Albom's books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring July 24 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whatever any of us imagine about the afterlife, it is speculation. Our assessment of our own lives as well is incomplete and likely inaccurate. This book beautifully opens the heart and mind to greater possibilities in the "here and now" as well as the "then and there".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-proving story that captured my heart Jan. 26 2013
Good stories have a place in my mind and heart.This is one of the most beautiful books about man's pilgrimage through life. The plot is amazing. I hold that nobody can say for certain what his/her purpose in life is or whether ones' purpose had been achieved when the person dies. Still it is good for us to remember the troubles of our life, recollect the memories of things, judge the impact they had on those around us or on humanity as a whole, and determine whether we achieved what we've been trying to find out in life. Life's meaning is unveiled for us to understand in this book. This is a positively inspiring book. It reminds me of The Usurper and Other Stories, where the narrator had to whisk off a living soul to the world beyond for judgment.

Overall, the style is unique and the writer is plain brilliant. The book deserves all the rave reviews it has been getting. I am glad mine is one of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The twist you just didn't see coming! Dec 23 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love the unexpected. My friend sent me this book and then I bought one to share with others. 8 of my peeps have read it now.
They are wonderfully educated people, all of them. What they don't know is, I'm having them all over in a month to talk about this book. Let's see what they recall 2 months later! Interesting book and I'm sure it will make for an interesting evening of perceptions. Thanks Mitch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic Nov. 15 2012
By Lorina Stephens TOP 500 REVIEWER
It has been some time since I've been so deeply and profoundly moved by a novel, indeed moved to a shattered state and uncontrolled weeping. The Five People You Meet in Heaven is not only a subtle, deftly crafted novel that deals with the ambiguities and silent secrets ordinary people carry with them, like burdens or crutches, but a clear insight into motivation, cause and effect.

The story follows a relatively simple narrative, employing a relatively simple style. No flash and dazzle here. But it is in the deception of simplicity that Mitch Albom creates the complexities in which humans chain themselves.

We follow the life of Eddie, an aged maintenance man at an amusement park, who believes himself trapped by his wartime disabilities, and by his inability to confront his father. The story begins, as Albom puts it, at the end, in this case the end of Eddie's life.

What unfolds is a story of redemption and discovery, and in the end of reconciliation and peace. It is a very human story. Any lover, any friend, any child and any parent will find common cause in this story, will nod, will identify.

I believe The Five People You Meet in Heaven will remain on the shelves of classic literature for generations to come.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why, oh why? June 9 2004
By G. Wong
I simply do not understand how this book is getting so much praise. I enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie because of the wisdom Morrie Schwartz shared with the rest of us. Looking back Tuesdays with Morrie is really a book by Schwartz which Albom edited. In Five People You Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom strives very hard to make this a tear-jerker and becomes overly preachy in his story telling. Over-rated.
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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 4 days ago by James
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 1 month 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 2 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 4 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 4 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 5 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 7 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 11 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 11 months ago by Vita Warris
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading this great book.
This is a book that you must read. You will enjoy it as much as I did.. Get it now.
Published 13 months ago by Guccitina
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