Saturday, June 23, 2007

Book Review: "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom

When I was on page 5 of this book I called from the kitchen, "Jacob you've gotta read this book. I like it already."

And I did like the book by page 5. It took me about that long to realize that it was very well written. There is no fluff in this one. The book is written in short chapters and snippets which are very easy to digest. You could take your time reading the book and pondering each one, or, like myself, you could get caught up in the story (and think "this section is only a page or two, I'll just read it and then I'll stop") and finish the whole book quite quickly.

It was also a quick read for me in part because of the intensity of the book. It begins with an accounting of the last day of Eddie's life, and continues by telling about how he meets five people in heaven. Each of the six parts is compelling and leaves you wondering what will happen in the next.

The author of this book knew that he was writing a book about heaven -- a very controversial subject. I was glad to read his short note (the dedication, actually) at the front of the book that acknowledged the fact that this book was not meant to be taken as absolute truth. I did not find anything in the book that offended my religious sensibilities and made me want to toss it. It was very diplomatically written, without seeming like it was diplomatically written.

That said, the book (like life) can be a bit heavy at times. Eddie is a war veteran who had a less than ideal life (in his opinion). There were some very emotionally charged passages of the book, and I got a bit misty once or twice. Ok, maybe three times.

Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Pleasantness: 4/5
Ponder-full-ness: 5/5

If you're looking for a book that will make you think and will not waste a minute of your time (really -- not an unnecessary word in the book), this one is highly recommended. It comes from the author of Tuesdays with Morrie and For One More Day which you may have read but I have not.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, was written by Mitch Albom and published by Hyperion in 2003. 196 pages.


Hilary said...

So, obviously, I'm totally reading your blog... I'm glad you liked the book and I didn't totally lead you astray. Did you wind up buying it or borrowing it? This makes me want to reread it actually... I breezed through it so quickly during Christmas a couple years ago that I hardly recall it... Still need to get Goose Girl though.

Alysa said...

library, if anyone's curious.