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on December 26, 2014
Mom and others passionate about this book were right that I’d appreciate it. Without animals, it couldn’t be a tearjerker for me. I wanted to behold Heaven’s final domain but what it entails is memorable. Our own relatives can raise a ruckus discussing the Afterlife. I applaud that this author published his ideas bravely. Genuine spirituality isn’t about a church. It’s about goodness and understanding our worth. Mitch Albom dedicates his book to his blue-collar uncle. We follow a maintenance man who wished his career had surpassed his hometown carnival. Circumstances detained him and when his wife died at age forty-nine, he lacked the zest to strive.

The author’s foreword summarized best: part of Heaven’s purpose is to learn how much we mattered in physical life. It was touching to see the joy, generations of memories, and safety that this maintenance veteran held on his shoulders. I can enjoy a book for what it is, even if it doesn’t cover what I expected. Instead of our eternal rest: “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” is about our orientation into Heaven. To my surprise, you don’t necessarily know the people, or they aren’t the favourites you would choose as greeters and educators. You have a connection in some poignant way, such as the lady for whom ‘Ruby Pier’s Fairground’ was named. Some greeters were linked to Eddie’s death or he to theirs. After these revelations, we retire somewhere blissful.

This was neatly laid out in pivotal moments, usually birthdays, followed by an educator explaining their meaning. I note one misrepresented portion. Eddie wasn’t at fault in the controversial event. It was those who dragged him out. However that day was responsible for his most deeply-suppressed doubt and I see why people cried over it. I will cherish Mitch’s empowering message.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 15, 2012
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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on March 10, 2012
(...)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 allwords.ca.
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on November 19, 2003
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. Yet in this novel, I found that there was a more positive message, because it doesn't focus only on endings and accepting one's wrongdoings.....it is rather more focused on new beginnings, and remembering not just one's own wrongdoings - but those of others (or the perceived ones of others).
It makes me think, who would be the five people in my own heaven?
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on July 10, 2004
I'll admit, the book is very simplistic. It was recommended to me, and was a quick read, so I picked it up. I read it in a day. I gave it 3 stars to keep from giving it 2 (one star I granted because, being that it isn't my kind of book, it wouldn't be fair to criticize what I wasn't anticipating). I guess, to me, it seemed the ideal choice for "Oprah's Book Club." Given that she had a field day with "Tuedays With Maurie," I guess I couldn't get that out of my head when I was reading "Five People." To me, it just screamed to be picked up as a screen play or a movie of the week. Which is fine--they're authors. That's how they make their dough, in some cases...but, to my mind, it just seemed very commercial. It's very uplifting, it's very feel-good, and it might make some people think. I'll admit, I didn't know quite where it was going--but, I can also say that a lot of it was predictable. Bottom line, if you're lying on a beach and don't want to think too much--this is perfect. If you're like me, and don't see the world through rose colored glasses 24/7, then, you might find it a little too fluffy to digest.
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on April 16, 2004
"Tuesdays with Morrie" was a wonderful book. Even the TV version was enjoyable (Jack Lemmon - how could you go wrong)! This book is different; this fable is not believable and draws some strange conclusions (especially in regards to the father) to come to the predictable ending. For me, this book was a major disappointment. The reviews on Amazon are not indicative of how I believe most will feel upon completion of this book.
My sister, who anxiously wanted to read this book after some talk show endorsement, was sadly disappointed as well. She has not read "Tuesdays" and is not eager to do so after reading this book. That is too bad.
I suggest going to the store and trying to read a few chapters before buying it. I kept saying that is has to get better than this. Unfortunately it did not. My suggestion is to read "Tuesdays with Morrie" instead and pretend that this book does not exist. The idea of the book was a good one, but the execution of this idea is another story.
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on March 4, 2005
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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on June 9, 2004
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 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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on September 8, 2005
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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