Buy this book at
To Past Reviews Index
Back to Last Page

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Mitch Albom

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Hyperion Books

Published : 2003

Copyright : Mitch Albom 2003

ISBN-10 : HB 0-7868-6871-6
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-7868-6871-1

Publisher's Write-Up

Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. As the park has changed over the years - from the Loop-the-Loop to the Pipeline Plunge - so, too, has Eddie changed, from optimistic youth to embittered old age. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret.

Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his - and then nothing. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.

One by one, Eddie's five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure? The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself.

In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom gives us an astoundingly original story that will change everything you've ever thought about the afterlife -- and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all, this is a book that readers of fine fiction, and those who loved Tuesdays with Morrie, will treasure.

Column Ends


Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Alex (301205) Rating (7/10)

Review by Alex
Rating 7/10
On my quest for the meaning of life I came across this little novel. Though a friend recommended it I was a bit suspicious at first by the answers it seemed to promise. But I was positively surprised after all.

Eddie is – or was? - the 83-year mechanic at a shabby amusement park on Ruby Pier where he is maintaining the rides. The book begins with Eddie’s last hour, counting down to the minute of his death. He dies in a fatal accident in the park trying to save the life of a little girl. Then the actual story begins.

After his death Eddie meets five people in heaven whose lives were all interwoven with Eddie’s in some way. They are all awaiting him in their own places in heaven with their own story and a secret to share. Talking to them Eddie looks back on what he thinks of as his own totally insignificant and failed life story. In doing so the “meaning of it all” is slowly revealed to him.

Though the book is no masterpiece with its rather unspectacular writing, the quite cleverly structured story is very catching. And the simple language is apt for Eddie’s down-to-earth character. This makes it an easy and enjoyable read.

What I really like is the idea that heaven is a completely different thing for everyone. Eddie visits five heavens of five people and every place looks, smells, tastes, sounds and feels different. My first suspicion that the book would try to convey a generalised “meaning of life” message was luckily not fulfilled. The lessons Eddie has to learn are the lessons based on his life. They are not necessarily lessons for the reader. This displays an openness towards different moral attitudes and religious believes which I was quite relieved to find.

I don’t think that this book has the potential to change anyone’s life. But for someone used to the idea that there must be a deeper meaning to life and that at one point we will understand what this whole thing is about it can be inspiring and also comforting. If it’s true we will know even if we have to die first.
Alex (30th December 2005)

Back to Top of Page
Column Ends