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The Five People You Meet in Heaven Paperback – Mar 1 2006


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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1 edition (March 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401308589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401308582
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 18.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (940 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emily Chase on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4 2005
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful full circle story, not unlike "My Fractured Life" or "Atonement." An excellent book that reads fast enough to stay interesting. A great book pulls me to read on and I usually finish it in a few days. A pretty good book I will finish in under two weeks. Anything over that and it usually means it is over written. This book pulled me in. It was concise and interesting. A four day read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fannie Wellfleet on Sept. 8 2005
Format: Hardcover
Imagine finding out what your life was all about. Think it can't happen? You haven't read THE FIVE PEOPLE then. Sure, it's not grounded in "fact," but what is nowadays? I'm truly surprised that so many customers have given this book negative reviews. I felt it was completely wonderful. 83 year old Eddie is a character that I adored from the first page, and I found his journey through heaven heart-warming and insightful. It's a short book, and can be read in the time it takes to watch a film; I can think of few films as worthy as your time as this little book. It's not a long-winded version of "connections" between people, the way BARK OF THE DOGWOOD is (another book I did enjoy), but FIVE PEOPLE is a more compact look at "the other side" of things. Some books touch your life in special ways, this is one of them. I have watched and witnessed Mitch's career mature over the decades and have enjoyed his work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Great Scott on March 22 2006
Format: Paperback
The Five stars you need to give this book . . . and why: While the language in this book is never complex and a Ph.d is definitely not needed to understand the meaning of the book, it is filled with heartwarming stories about a man's life and how his choices in life affected others' lives as well. The story is really sweet and is still one of my favorites, maybe even partially because of its simplicity. It's a classic Mitch Albom novel and one of the few really sentimental novels that I can actually stand. It’s right up there with McCrae’s “Katzenjammer,” both of which I equally enjoyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lil'Lyssa on Oct. 22 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't agree with the theology behind this version of heaven and the afterlife, but honestly, I'm pretty sure that the technical details about our eternity is not what this book is actually about. It is, I think, a moving and clever fable that examines all sorts of weighty themes: grief, redemption, interconnectivity, how we live with the choices we make, and what it means to make a difference.

I loved reading this book, and it didn't matter whether or not I envisioned heaven like this story depicted, because it's not really a book about heaven, it's a book about life.

Insightful work worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 10 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most beautiful, soulful books I've read in a long time. Well-paced yet unforced, it asks, in very simple language, some of the most profound questions connected with being alive. It follows Eddie, a self-sacrificing war veteran in his journey from this world to the next -- and in doing so, comes to re-examine his so-called 'meaningless' life. There were parts of this books that brought me openly to tears. I recommend this wonderful book highly! Also recommended: A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens, THE LOSERS' CLUB by Richard Perez
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26 2004
Format: Hardcover
Some books touch your life in special ways, this is one of them. I have watched and witnessed Mitch's career mature over the decades and have enjoyed his work. I enjoyed his early days writing sports columns in the Detroit News, I enjoyed his early books, I loved his afternoon radio show, enjoyed Tuesday's With Morrie but this work is nothing short of a literary gem. The book will make you rethink life through one authors vision of death. It will touch your soul. Also recommended "Pyschopath" by Albow, and "He Never Called Again."
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