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The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom

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Author: Mitch Albom / Genre: Fiction

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      10.09.2013 16:22
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      A great short read that makes you think

      ===The Product===

      'The Five People You Meet in Heaven' by Mitch Albom.
      Paperback: 240 pages. Blue cover with image of a Ferris Wheel.
      Publisher: Sphere; New edition (2 Sep 2004).
      ISBN-13: 978-0751536829.



      ===Cost===

      £5.59 new on Amazon or £2.39 second hand. There are also PDF versions available for download.




      ===Brief Synopsis===

      Eddie is the main character in the book and the story revolves around flashbacks of his life and what happens to him after his death.



      ===My Opinion===

      This is quite a short book and can be read quite quickly. I am not sure how I got introduced to this book but I had bought one a few years ago and then bought some more as gifts for people.
      The premise of the story intrigued me - 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven'.
      The story starts with Eddie's death aged 83 years and we then go through flashback - to some of his earlier birthdays, to episodes in his life and also the five people that he does meet after his death.
      Reviews online vary considerably for this book - some, like me, absolutely love it, while others are very scathing and hate it - so its one of those love/hate books.
      Eddie thinks he has lead a useless dead-end life, but through the people he meets he sees that everyone's life is interconnected, and sometimes small insignificant acts can have huge and terrifying repercussions.
      I won't go into any detail about the story or the people he meets as that would spoil the book for you. However I do like the way it shows how lives can be interconnected in the most bizarre ways, and that seemingly dull and ordinary people can also have their place in the large scheme of things.
      I suppose if you examine it closely it does make you wonder about free will and predestination, but Albom does not go into these themes deeply. However it is still an enjoyable read and one I have just enjoyed re-reading again.
      The story itself is only around 208 pages as the last section of the book is some of the opening chapters of Mitch Albom's 'Tuesday with Morrie'.
      The book is quick and easy to read as the chapters are short and the pages not very densely packed with text.
      Apparently a TV movie was released in 2004 and is also available on DVD. I have not seem this myself and perhaps I think I would rather have my own images relating to the stories rather than have it spoilt my seeing the film.



      ===Star Rating===

      5 stars.



      ===Would I Recommend?===

      Yes.

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        20.11.2009 17:48
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        Highly recommended

        'The Five People You Meet In Heaven' is a novel written by the author Mitch Albom, and it was published on the 25th September 2003. The book follows the life of a simple man (and the books protaganist): Eddie. He is an old man who works on a pier as a maintenance worker, and he is some you immediately recognise as being dignified, and I personally felt immediate reverance towards him.

        The story essentially takes you through a journey of Eddies life, and different experiences he has had throughout. The book focusses on these experiences, and in particular how Eddie has affected the lives of five people he has met during his lifetime; and how these meetings have affected these people in turn.

        I think the book is extremely well written and - excuse the cliche - one you really can't put down. The chapters are written seamlessly so it is very easy to get lost in the book and become completely entranced within the story.

        I would recommend this book to anyone over 12, it's really easy to read, and you don't have to be a religious to read it - I'm sure athiests would enjoy the book too! Have fun reading!

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        11.09.2009 13:39
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        I didnt want to put it down

        This truly was a brilliant book, I could not put it down.

        This book is about an 83 year old man, Eddie, who dies in a freak accident. The story is about him going to heaven and meeting 5 people that changed his path in life in someway.

        The book was brilliantly written, and I cried more than once. Mitch Albom gives a unique view of what heaven could be like.

        Throughout the book you are able to empathise with the character while you look back on his life. The people that he meets weren't necessarily close friends or even people he met, but all of them combined, summarised how he touched the lives of so many people. Its a hugely sentimental and heart warming book that shows how your life can have a huge impact on someone else and vise versa.

        Its a fantastic look on the afterlife, I was thinking about the book for days, wondering who my 5 people would be.

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          30.08.2009 11:52
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          Eddie goes on an afterlife journey to meet 5 people who touched his life!

          Quick Review::

          Wow, is all I can say. What an absolutely amazing book. A beautifully written exceptionally heart warming book.

          I genuinely could not put this book down. Sat up til very late reading this book, I just had to finish it.

          It follows the story of Eddie, an 83 year old man who dies in a freak accident trying to save a little girls life. (This isn't a spoiler I promise you, you find this out on the first page!) After awaking in the afterlife he learns that his earthly life will be explained to him by five people who were in it, loved ones or strangers, each of them changing his life forever.


          Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*


          This is a truly remarkable book, amazingly welly written and incredibly thought provoking, heart warming and provocative.

          It is a pretty short read at 208 pages but within those pages is a beautiful tale of life, its lessons and values.

          Eddie works as a maintenance engineer at a pier fairground, he feels lonely, undervalued and worthless and goes about his day to day tasks quietly. His tragic death comes when he tries to rescue a little girl who is seconds away from being crushed by a malfunctioning fairground ride. After waking in the afterlife confused and unaware of his surroundings he is met by his five people who are there to open his eyes to the world and his place in it. I won't go into the five people as this would ruin the book for you but they range from strangers to lovers and random encounters. Its amazing how Albom manages to take Eddie's life and intertwine them with these five people. Its brilliantly written.

          I thoroughly recommend this book. It really opens your eyes to the world around you and the people you meet and how something so insignificant to you can mean so much more to someone else. It was beautiful.

          I know this review is really short, I am not sure what else to write about it, apart from the fact it was a wonderful, wonderful book. Very deserving of its number 88 in the top 100 books status.

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          23.08.2009 12:16
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          Thought provoking subject handled very well by the author

          A friend recommended this book to me and I have to admit that at first I was a bit dubious, not thinking it was my type of book. However, I have enjoyed books that this friend has recommended before so decided to give it a chance. I read the first chapter in my lunch hour at work and was immediately hooked. I found myself really interested in the main character, Eddie, who has a terrible accident in the first chapter and dies (I am not giving the plot away with this as the author, Mitch Albom, tells us this in the first line of the book). The subsequent chapters explain Eddie's life from birth, through childhood, marriage and eventually death. The author cleverly intertwines Eddie's life with the 5 people that he meets in heaven following his death, showing the impact that people he met on earth had on his life and the affect he had on them, even though he didn't necessarily know it at the time.
          I found the whole concept facinating. It really made me evaluate my own life and think hard about people I had met and actions I had taken, wondering if I had altered the course of someone's life for better or worse by something I had said or done. We all make decisions every day about things we say and advice we give but as we can't see into the future we just have to do the best we can at the time and be true to ourselves and our consciences. Its quite a scary thought really and one which I knew but hadn't really thought deeply about.
          Apart from being thought provoking the book also gave me comfort in that the book agreed with my belief that some part of us lives on after death and we are reunited with our loved ones.
          This is an extremely well written book which captured me from the beginning and kept my interest right to the end as I waited to learn more about Eddie and how he would find peace in death through being helped to understand his life.

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            09.08.2009 14:48

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            a must read

            Even though there are quite a few reviews for this book, I was so impressed by it that I had to write my own too! 5 people you meet in heaven is a simple, easy read however do not let this is anyway put you off what is simply an amazing book. This is not a book about heaven in a religious sense; the truths it establishes are to be found right here in our own lives: every life has a purpose, every person and every action is related, and while you may not be able to discern it now, it all makes sense in the end.
            We are first introduced to Eddie when he is about to die however this end is just a new beginning. In heaven we learn the story of Eddie's life and that happiness and peace cannot come without understanding, in order for this to happen five people are waiting to explain Eddie's life to him. These are people he either barely knew or didn't know at all, yet he soon learns what a huge influence he had in their lives. Each one imparts to Eddie a lesson which he must learn in order to find peace. Without giving the plot away, the overall message is extremely touching and significant. Understanding is not a pain-free process, but it leads to the complete unburdening of Eddie's soul. The ending was nothing short of beautiful. We all sometimes wonder why we are here and whether it's even worth going on day after meaningless, monotonous day. This book does not provide the definitive answer to such profound questions, but it does provide an answer - and it is a comforting one. This book is well worth reading and is quite possibly the best book I have read in a long time.

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            27.05.2009 20:58
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            I read this book in one go and wanted to start reading it again immediately afterwards.

            I know that there are already quite a view reviews about 'the five people you meet in heaven' but I really have to share my love for this book and my respect for the writer with you.

            Mitch Albom manages to create a story full of heart, passion, love and hope. Thinking about it's more about hope than anything else. The characters and their stories are believable - who of us doesn't sometimes feel that work is just day after day after day the same, or that we can't relate enough with our parents and who hasn't lost something/someone he loved?

            The meaning of our own life is the one thing we'll never fully understand - how great would it be if you could have explained all these little mysteries by people that affected your life?

            That is exactly what happens in 'The five people you meet in heaven'. I try my best to tell you about the story without spoiling it too much.

            The stories starts with the somewhat violent and curious death of the main character Eddie - he maintained the rides on Ruby's Pier for all his life and dies saving a young girl who was stuck under a faulty ride. Eddie dies without knowing whether he saved her or not.

            What normally would be the end of the story is her merely the beginning. Eddie finds himself in heaven - but not heaven as he imagined it! I'm not going to reveal too much but this is basically what happens:

            He meets 5 people - 5 people that either knowingly or not knowingly influenced his life or whose life was influenced by Eddie. Each of them teaches him an important lesson on the way to understand his life. Some of these lessons are painful, others bring relief and some even bring joy.


            This is a book that deeply moved me and I have to admit that I cried while reading for the first time - as well as for the second time. The style of writing is beautiful, easy to understand for everyone. The story is comprehensible and all the introduced characters are believable - one just has to feel with Eddie as he travels through his life and begins to understand WHAT actually happened and what the meaning of these things were.

            Some people think that it could be longer but in my opinion it's perfect. The story is conclusive, there are no gaps and everything is just spot on. A writer that can create such a hearth warming story on just 100 pages just earns respect!

            One 'negative' thing: It could be a bit upsetting for younger children as it deals with violent death and war memories.

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            27.05.2009 17:40
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            Enjoyable read

            Tis was an intriguing book that I enjoyed reading, the plot idea was a little different and I liked the way that the author linked the whole story together. The central character is a guy named Eddie who dies while in his eighties while trying to save a girl at an amusement park. The story is ablut five people he meets while in heaven who have all had an influence on his life. He was not aware of the existence of some of the people while others are those that he knew in his life.

            This is a cleverway of telling someones life story as it is a largely reflective book and one I found to be very readable. I did find it a bit of a page turner as I wanted to learn more about what on the surface was a failr ordinary individual.

            The book is very much about relationships and in particular the one between Eddie and his father which has a number of unresolved issues to it, I found the passages involving his father to be quite moving and well written.

            I found that I managed to churn through this book in just over a day or so and it was an interesting read, it is not a book I would want to read again but it was worth the effort and something that at the end it left me tinking about which five people I would meet and also who would I be lning up to meet when I was already in heaven.

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              25.05.2009 18:05
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              .

              On the day of his 83rd birthday, Eddie, a man who has lead a simple life, is killed when he rushes to save a little girl from a broken fair ground ride.
              When he arrives in heaven, he is greeted - one by one - by five people who have changed his life in some way over the years. Some are people he knows, others are strangers who just changed his path. Each has an explanation for him as to why he was put on earth and also a lesson for him so that he can accept his life as a good one. Throughout it all, Eddie wants to find out - did he save the little girl?

              I quite recently read "The Shack" by William P. Young and it would be difficult not to compare the themes in this book with it. Both tackle the subject of loss and the idea of heaven and both try to show us how all human life is important even in a small way. Also, both books deal with the theme of an abusive father and I felt a little let down that the author also tried the forgiveness route in this book, although I felt that Eddie's fathers back story was explained well and it was easier to understand his ways than the father in "The Shack."

              The difference being with this book over "The Shack" is that I read this without feeling like I was being preached to about religion and forgiveness like I was in "The Shack." Rather than a religious novel, I thought this did a fairly good job of questioning what is waiting for us when we leave this life without making the reader feel like he is being preached to. This version of heaven was inspired by the authors own Uncle, as stated at the beginning of the book, and I felt that it was an interesting way of looking at what happens to us all afterwards.

              Eddie's life is a simple enough one, he was a son, a soldier, a husband and a maintenance man amongst other things and throughout the reader is told that he feels his life was of little significance.

              We are taken through the pivotal moments in Eddie's life by each person that Eddie meets in Heaven and it is there that I got a sense of who Eddie was. Eddie's life, although unremarkable, was an often-sad one and I did wish that his life had turned out differently. However, I did feel that the author failed to help me get behind his character and I didn't feel as interested in Eddie's life as I should. The most interesting part of this book is finding out who is waiting for Eddie in heaven and what connection they had to him in his life. From the Blue Man through to the little Asian girl, the characters are interesting and all of the stories show in a subtle way that Eddie's life was important. What I didn't like was the "lesson" that Eddie should learn - it all felt a bit too forced and I felt myself rolling my eyes! Having said that the simplistic way it was written was one of the most enjoyable aspects about it; quite often Eddie's "lessons" were summed up by some beautiful quotes, very simple and very true.

              Throughout the story, there are several threads as well as several conflicts that Eddie is dealing with. Firstly, he is trying to come to terms with his life as a soldier, which has added to his low self worth, he is also trying to deal with the relationship with his father. On top of all this, the book flashes back to the present where Dom, one of Eddie's co-workers, is dealing with the aftermath of Eddie's life, and we finally get to see what happened to the little girl that Eddie tried to save.

              This is an extremely simple book, short at 240 pages and is an easy read. I did enjoy the authors take on heaven and I appreciate that it was inspired by someone he loved; for me, I enjoyed the thought that we would have answers after this life as well as being reunited with the ones we love. However, I couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed that it wasn't as magical as I expected. I think that books of this nature often inspire the reader to expect more out of them, but of course they will never give us the answers we crave so it's understandable that we are never going to be totally happy with the outcome. However, I have read books that have totally captivated me and made me think about them afterwards. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.

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                14.04.2009 02:59
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                A lovely little book from a horridly talented American.

                ---Can You Jam?---

                My left eye is twitching. It has been twitching for the last four days. Why it is doing this is an utter mystery to me. Too much drink? Doubtful. Too much sugar? Maybe. Stress? Quite possible. Either way, I've been trying to relax tonight and retreated to one of my favourite methods. Making voodoo dolls of people I hate and poking them with sharp knives. After that lost its charm, I decided to sit down and read, hot chocolate in hand.

                ---If Ya Gettin' Down---

                Continuing with my apparent theme of "Five" this week, haven eating about five galaxy cookie crumbles, finally finishing all five of the Hitch Hikers Guide books and taking out my rage on every fifth person I spoke to, I decided to read Mitch Alboms' "The Five People You Meet In Heaven". £7.99 will get you a plain but pretty looking copy of this book, which I would have to suggest you do.

                Albom is one of those annoyingly talented Americans who has dabbled in journalism, screen and play writing, radio and television broadcasting and even a chunk of music in there. Throw in the "best seller" books and you have an almost perfectly obnoxious packages that you just really want to hate, but can't. Don't worry though, he's rather ugly, so that makes up for all the talent he's hogging.

                ---When the Lights Go Out---

                We begin just before the main character, Eddie, dies. Eddie works in a fairground as a maintenance man. And this is about as much as we get to know for now. The first twenty pages slowly build to the event we all know is coming. A disaster hits and Eddie dies trying his best to save a little girl.

                From this point on we are taken through Eddies life in little snapshots. Each snapshot begins on another of Eddies birthdays and through the course of the book they build Eddie's character into a full and complex being. All the while we are unaware of the fate of the girl he tried to save.

                After each snapshot, We return to heaven with Eddie and continue with his journey. The first person Eddie meets explains to him that the first step in heaven is meeting five people who are connected to you in some way (be it closely or tenuously) who will help you understand your life. The next step is being one of the five someone meets. After that I'm assuming you get to just go do what you want.

                ---Let's Dance---

                That's about as much as I am comfortable telling you about this one. Why? Well it would ruin the fun if I told you who the five people were and their reasons for being there, don't you think? I do. I will tell you though, that you get to see each persons version of heaven and it is all very interesting.

                I had a slight issue with the book to start with. It mentions god maybe once or twice in it which I feel makes it over religious. Don't worry though, it's not anywhere near being a religious story. I suppose God gets a mention purely because most of the story is set in his little exclusive club called heaven. I soon got over it due to the talent that Albom was waving through each page of this book.

                ---Slam Dunk Da Funk---

                Each person slowly reveals things about Eddies life to himself and the reader and after a few little looks into Eddies past I started hoping that certain people would meet him in heaven or that he would have certain things explained to him. I was mostly completely wrong about who was going to show up and what they were going to tell them. And for this I am glad.

                At the start of the book, there isn't an awful lot of connection with Eddie emotionally but Albom keeps the really emotional moments for the last couple of people so as to get you invested in Eddie first. Wise man. I will admit that I was crying like a dirty bitch being told she is ugly by the time Eddie met his fourth person.

                A big driving force behind this story is the unknown. Who will Eddie meet? What will their connection be? Will he get to meet who he wants to? Did he save the girl? Will we even find out?? A lot of questions to keep the reader interested even though its such a short book.

                ---Everybody get up---

                Another point I wish to bring to your attention, other than the fact that I'm annoying the flatmate with the boy band that is blaring from my speakers courtesy of YouTube, is that this book is amazingly simple to read. Having spent more than four months on my previous venture into words on pages (also known as the hitch hikers guide) this book, despite being brimming with emotion, is easy to get through. It took me just under two days. Less than four hours if you add the time where I actually got a chance to read it. It felt great. My brain sighed with relief to be presented with a book that is so easily absorbed.

                To add to its good points is that it seems to be a bit of a conversation starter. People see "HEAVEN" in big letters on the front of your book and assume that they can discuss what their idea of heaven is, or some religious point of view that they have stored up for a moment just like this. I always enjoy conversations like that, mainly because I like listening to people talking pish. Heartfelt pish, but pish all the same!

                ---It's the Things You Do---

                This is definitely one I would recommend, in fact I have already done so by passing this on to a couple of people in my team at work, my mum, my dad and my dog. All of them agree that it is so simple to pick up and while it's not all blood guts and action or a complete made-for-TV sob story (though I believe a TV movie was made from the book), it has elements that will appeal to most people who count themselves as humans. Even my flatmate enjoyed the book when she read it and she tends not to like books that don't have vampires or magic in them (don't tell her I said that, ok?) My dog, on the other hand, chewed the first couple of pages then told me it just wasn't as meaty as she'd hoped.

                ---Shoot me now---

                So, to recap, the book is very well written, easy to read, filled with emotion and will make even the most bitter, twisted gay cry like a pussy. I can't vouch for the lesbians though, they are tough ones. It is, indeed, the great book everyone I know told me it was. Well done them!

                A few more things I have learned in the course of this review? Five often count how much longer they have till the next one gets a shot at saying words, hang round a weirdly circle shaped camera lens, while bouncing ominously towards it to the beat and the one with the blonde hair has really hairy armpits. Listening to Five songs will in fact only serve to make you gayer by the morning and last but not least, I actually took a feeling of happiness and wellbeing away from this book. Well done Albom, you ugly American, you! You have cheered me up just by brutally killing an old man then following him round in the afterlife! You did, however inadvertently, encourage me to listen to Five, for which I will be sending you the bill for the therapy I am about to endure.

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                  12.02.2009 16:53
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                  A book that should be read at least once

                  Now I'm not going to say that I'm a religious person because I'm not and although I'd like to believe that there is something else beyond this life I'm not too certain that I do. Religion however does fascinate me greatly and the way other people express what they believe in really intrigues me. It was for this reason that I purchased 'the five people you meet in heaven'.

                  The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom is a very simple book in many respects and looks at the five people that it's main character Eddie, an 83 year-old war veteran and maintenance man, meets when he is tragically killed in an accident whilst trying to save a small girl from a falling cart.

                  The book highlights how the afterlife is not a lush Garden of Eden like is often represented but quite simply a place in which you meet five people. These five people have waited in his line since their own deaths. Some of them are loved ones others distant strangers but all of them have had their paths changed by Eddie or have changed his path and are there to explain to him what his earthly life was all about.

                  The idea of having your life explained to you in heaven really appealed to me and I like the idea that this wasn't going to be a morbid take on death but more a light-hearted look at how you affect the lives of others and how they affect your life at the same time.

                  The book itself is split into chapters beginning with The End, which obviously portrays the death of Eddie, before moving onto the first person he meets in heaven and the first lesson. After the first lesson Eddie moves onto the second person and therefore so does the book repeating the same process up to the last lesson and epilogue. In the midst of these meetings and lessons however are small sections that detail birthday's Eddie has had throughout his lifetime. Some have little effect on what you are about to read or have already read whereas others give you hints about what is to come or express further details about what you have already been told.

                  When my Mum caught the title of this book he response was to exclaim "Oh how morbid," but like I have mentioned earlier that is simply not the case with this book. The subject itself could be classed as morbid but the way in which it is tackled and dealt with certainly isn't. Many moments within the book are exceptionally profound and a lot of the topics discussed and the lessons learnt are as equally as important in life as they are in death.

                  Eddie's character isn't a particularly loveable one. You like him but you never really feel that much for him, which for this book actually works. The degree of distant allows you as the reader a more philosophical approach the book and allows you to delve into what is being said and represented rather than getting bogged down with the character and his emotions.

                  The book obviously has a religious sentiment running throughout and God is mentioned on occasion but you do not need to believe in religion of any sort to see what the book is getting at or the message that it wishes to portray. There are many lines within the book that are filled with meaning and it is these that I found myself concentrating on.

                  I would definitely recommend this book and suggest that it is something everyone should read even if it is just to get an alternative view about what heaven is all about. I wouldn't however class it as one of the best books I have read lately because the style at times can get a little dull and although I felt the book did deliver some good points it just didn't deliver as much as I expected it to.

                  =================================================
                  "No life is a waste" the Blue Man said. "The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone." (The Five People You Meet In Heaven)
                  =================================================

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                    19.01.2009 22:15
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                    The Five People You Meet In Heaven is one my favorite book

                    Eddie was an old grouchy maintenance worker in a Theme Park in the small town. When there was the accident of one ride, Eddie tried to save a little girl's life but he couldn't save himself. When he was dying Eddie went to a journey he would never imagine he could ever experienced. While he always thought how unlucky his life was, he started to learn in the end of his life that his life was actually very beautiful.
                    I always love how Mitch Albom wrote the stories about life. He could maintain the feeling and made the message delivered well. I love the story of this book and I even cried when reading this.
                    I would not going to spoilt the story but I believe you would never believe who Eddie would meet in heaven. Even it made me think who I would meet in heaven when I am dying.
                    The storyline was light and for some people it was just an very simple story. No twist, nothing so hard to understand. Just a plain line with some loop in the flashback, but it still able to make out mind and imagination wandering everywhere.
                    I believe that all Mitch Albom's lovers would not miss this book. You would love this one.

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                      12.11.2008 23:03
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                      An amazing book with an outlook to change yours

                      This book is so inpiring, it is about an old man that dies wondering if his life is really worthwhile, he has worked in a fairground for so many years that he wondered if there was any point to this life. When Eddie arrives in Heaven he meets 5 people that explain his life to him. They may not have been people that were dirrectly in his life but each one changed his path forever. There is a part of Eddie in all of us, he talks about his regrets, things he wishes he had and had not done.
                      When we first meet Eddie, he is about to die. The end is just another beginning, however, and we learn the story of Eddie's life as the novel progresses. Heaven is not what he expected; he finds no peace here at all. Happiness cannot come without understanding, however, and five people are waiting to explain Eddie's life to him. They include people he barely knew or did not know at all, yet he soon learns what a huge influence he had in their earthly lives. Each one imparts to Eddie a lesson he must learn in order to find peace. I won't describe who the five people are or what they tell him; but I will say that the overall message is a really a touching one. The ending was nothing short of beautiful. It would have been easy to sit back and let an overly sappy conclusion ruin the whole story, but Mitch Albom does not let that happen. Would reccommend

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                      13.05.2008 21:33
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                      A story by Mitch Albom, go read it (Y)

                      The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

                      This is a book that I accidentally stumbled upon, and nearly totally dismissed , and boy, am I glad I didn't. This is one of my favourite books, and everyone who reads it seems to agree that it totally changes your perspectives and really makes you think. It's not a long book but it is a really beautiful story and I love it J

                      This book is about death, and then life.



                      The story starts at the end. It's Eddies 83rd birthday, he is the head of maintenance at Ruby Point Amusement Park, and has been for as long as anyone can remember. On this day he dies.

                      The first chapter counts down to his time of death. You already know it's coming, but the records of him going about his daily jobs just seems to build up the suspense and you are fearing the incident from the start. Eddie dies trying to save a little girl. One of the Amusement park rides becomes faulty, despite all of Eddies checks. The ride breaks and Eddies attempt to save the girl ends in his own unfortunate death.

                      As everyone that knew Eddie lays his body to rest and returns to their normal life albeit without him, Eddie finds himself in an unknown place. It is his Ruby Pier, but not as it is in the 21st century, but it is the Ruby Pier from his youth. Eddie is angry that he didn't make more of his life and died so suddenly - but really, all he wants to know is if he saved the little girl. This is when he meets the first person.

                      Throughout the book, Eddie meets five people, each with their own story, all connected to him in some way, some are obvious to him, others are not and he does not know them, or know why he is meeting them. I like this idea, as it gives a new perspective on how you affect and people affect you even though you may not realise it. Each of these people teach Eddie a lesson and lead him on to understanding why his life was like it was etc.

                      The first person is the Blue Man, one of the members of the Piers "freak show". The Blue man is just that, a man who's skin is blue. He died because of Eddie, when Eddie was a boy - though not at all intentionally, and Eddie didn't not even know it was his fault! The Blue Man has come to help Eddie find peace and acceptance.

                      After this, Eddie meets four other people, who have been waiting for him to tell him their story and their lesson, and they all teach him this lesson and he learns how each single action has an impact and effects everything else. I won't go into detail, because I don't want to spoil it for you ;)



                      This book is such a simple yet moving story, which is so amazing and thought provoking, that I still think about it even though I read it nearly a year ago!

                      The book goes from Eddies meetings with the five people, and flashbacks to his early life through to his death again, seeing as it started at his death.

                      We learn about his family, significant birthdays, meeting his wife and many other important events in his life. I love how Eddie is the average Joe Bloggs, like you or me, and he doesn't see him self as important, or as affecting anyone's life in any way, shape or form. This story teaches each reader a lesson about life and themselves.

                      It is a lovely, touching story but at only 200 odd pages it ended FAR too soon, but then again I think it was also the perfect length, I wouldn't want to learn to much in a way.
                      I'd recommend this book to absolutely anyone J

                      Details:

                      RRP: £5.99
                      Length: 208 pages
                      ISBN: 0786868716
                      Language: English

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                        22.01.2007 10:49
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                        Everything happens with a reason

                        IT IS A FEELING OF SATISFACTION when we do something worthwhile and enjoy the results from it. This is my feeling when I got my first vouchers from Dooyoo before Xmas and at the same time ordered interesting books from Amazon. One of these books is the one that I am going to review now. This is the second international bestseller from Mitch Albom after the released of ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ which gave him a good reputation for being an inspirational writer.

                        We have different concept of heaven. My first concept is derived from my volunteer teacher in Catechism, who provided me the fundamental understanding of God and the life with no end in heaven. With Albom’s book, it gives me a different perspective of heaven when his main character, Eddie died accidentally at the age of 83.

                        Edward (Eddie) is a war veteran, widower and no children. Prior to the tragic accident, he is a maintenance/repair man in an amusement park, Ruby Pier. He is responsible in overseeing the day-to-day operations of all the rides – making them safe to everyone. One day without any sign or premonition, he was killed while saving an eight year girl from the falling cart of one of the rides. A typical after death experience, Eddie woke up with a surprise that he is feeling differently and unusual things happening before his eyes. While trying to comprehend on what is going on, he is directed to five different people (The Blue Man, the Captain, Ruby, his late wife Marguerite and the young girl, Tala) that three of them were strangers whom he haven’t met during his life on earth.

                        BRIEF EXPLANATION for each Eddie’s encounter or journey to reach his final ‘home’ called heaven is not giving you the excitement of the book, but rather giving you a quick look of the lesson that Eddie learned from each individual he met. Also, it provides a better perspective of the characters directly or indirectly involved while Eddie is still alive.

                        The first acquaintance with the Blue Man is really a heart-breaking part of the story. It crashed my heart, knowing the life of the Blue Man as a nervous young boy and became an abnormal freaky person. The lesson learned by Eddie from this meeting: “Eddie realised that no life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone”.

                        The second person is with the Captain. Eddie was able to serve the army and this is the reason why he is limping due to a gunshot which the Captain has important to tell him. The flashback of Eddie’s life as a soldier is quite an inspiration – he learned so many things. Eddie learned a lesson: “He found out that sacrifice is part of life, either little or big. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to”.

                        The park owner’s wife, Ruby is Eddie’s third unexpected visit. Ruby explained how the amusement park turned to reality which made a significant impact to Eddie’s life, particularly to his father. Eddie did learn from it: “He learned that holding anger is a poison and hatred is a curved blade – the harm we do, we do to ourselves”.

                        The fourth person that Eddie met is his loving wife. For Eddie, seeing his beloved wife is an emotional situation. Memories flashed over him – the happy moments being together.
                        What is the lesson learned? “Eddie found his lost love in a different form. He also learned that life has to end while love does not”.

                        The last unexpected meeting is Tala, the young girl who that Eddie could not understand her significance to his life. Again the last lesson learned: “Eddie took it for granted his popular name, ‘Eddie Maintenance’ and the value of his work in the amusement park – keeping children safe”.

                        THE STORY is presented in 208 pages which divided it into three main parts: the encounters of Eddie with the five people, the lessons learned from those meetings, and the highlights during his birthday celebrations in the past 83 years. The author gives vivid descriptions of every detail of the meeting – the location, the emotion of every character, and the significance of why Eddie is destined to talk to them. This is a light read but full of wisdom and encouragement which I believe could probably enlighten you up in some way or another and brings a different perspective in your life at the moment.

                        It is a delightful surprise that the author featured the character of Tala, the young Asian girl who happened to be a Filipino (my nationality); and featuring basic Filipino words such as ‘sundalo’ (soldier), ina (mother), baro (dress), bakya (cloglike shoes), banig (bamboo mat), saya (skirt) and even the name herself, Tala which means ‘star’. Reading these words from the book gives me a big smile and thinking on how Albom managed to use them to highlight the event where it happened. It also brings a comical scene on how the young girl introduced herself by describing her clothes, but suddenly becomes melancholy when she explained to Eddie her fate inside the burning ‘nipa hut’(barn).

                        It is a powerful story depicting how our life on earth is interconnected with events and people. Surprisingly, I felt that Eddie’s meetings are also my very first encounters with these five strangers and provided me to understand the meaning of life – the human existence. There is so much to learn from this book that Albom did it perfectly to inspire us and value our stay on earth – put meanings to our life!

                        The author also reminded us how forgiveness as a powerful word that moves every hardened heart to soften. It is a magical expression of love and understanding that takes away all the fears, anger and hatred in our hearts.

                        LIFE IS TOO SHORT. ENJOY IT!

                        ***Note: The remaining pagesof the book covers the synopsis of Albom’s other fictional work, “Tuesdays with Morrie” – the relationship between a former student and his professor.

                        ISBN 0-7515-3682-2, General Fiction
                        List price at Amazon: £5.59; High street stores: £6.99

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