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Publisher's Summary

Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. 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. 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. 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 will treasure.

©2003 Mitch Albom, Inc. All rights reserved; (P)2003 Hyperion

Critic Reviews

"Mitch Albom lifts us to a new level. You'll find here echoes of the classics � The Odyssey, for one � and that puts Albom's book in the best of company." (Frank McCourt)
"This is the fable you will devour when you fall in love. This is the tale you will keep by your side when you are lost. This is the story you will turn to again and again, because it possesses the rare magic to let you see yourself and the world anew. This book is a gift to the soul." (Amy Tan)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • 2 Stars
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Columbia, MD, USA
  • 11-18-05

Truly Inspiring and Meaningful


After listening to the story the negative reviews have are sad. Sad in the fact that there are some people unable to be inspired by a simple story of the human spirit. This is another great accomplishment and will be a valued addition to my short list of potentially life altering stories.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Christina
  • north las vegas, NV, USA
  • 05-28-05

hmmm, i'd say --mixed review here

i enjoyed the perspective of the narrator, especially the many vignettes in the main character's life. ...the links between them were somewhat weak and unexplained, however; i disagree with the reviews that say the book wasn't worthwhile. i enjoyed it a great deal, and i'm a tough sell.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A thoughtful listen

"The Five People You Meet in Heaven" is a thoughtful and spiritually uplifting reminder that not all pain in life is bad, not all things we believe are true, and not all things that we feel we've failed in are failings. A review of one man's life at his death brings to light much of the suffering and anguish he carried with him, as well as bringing back to him the remembrances of those things he loved and held dear. The book is a meaningful treatise on the importance of every life and how intricate our interrelationship with others. A wonderful read/listen, and a bold reminder to value not only those around us, but ourselves.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Frank
  • Coronado, CA, USA
  • 11-26-05

Fast, Meaningful Read/Listen

Hard to imagine all the biting, negative reviews after I listened to it but "to each his own". I had heard of the general theme and approach on a talk show but thought it was pulled off better than I could have ever imagined. If you have lost someone close to death, this book offers some comfort and hope. Yes, its a fairy tale of sorts but the message that there is value in all lives and that it might all make sense at the end was meaningful and powerful for me.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fair Book

This book really isn't as bad as many people would say on this site.. Though a lot of the story could have used some proofing and a few things moved around, some things added and some subtracted, the heart of the story is still there. This book I would say is a fair book only because the premise of the story is good, but the writing and delivery could use some work. My primary complaint is the narrator. He was terrible, and I think that he ruined it for some people with his annoying performance. That narrator should stick to being the announcer for automobile commercials.

Bottom line, the book wasn't THAT bad.. but on the other hand, it wasn't THAT good either.. A lot is left to your imagination in this case, and you crave for more information, which sometimes could be what some are looking for. I can honestly say I that enjoyed the book having said that. This book made me think and reflect on how I see things, and how that same image would be radically different for another individual.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • George
  • Moraga, CA, USA
  • 12-10-04

Bring back Morrie

Why are there 5 people you meet in heaven? Because to this author 4 were only enough for a short story. The technique in this book was used before in "A Christmas Carol". And Dickens did much better with only three people. The book may steer your thoughts towards your own life. And that's good because while reminiscing you won't miss anything important in this book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sheri C
  • Wylie, TX United States
  • 10-01-05

Three Hankies

Once in a while, I enjoy a shamelessly manipulative novel that leaves me delightfully swollen-eyed, red-nosed, and a little head-achey. I laughed at the review that mentioned "Brian's Song" - yes, it's very similar, but wonderful if you like an occasional light read that will engage you and make you smile and cry, even while knowing that it certainly won't win any literary awards. Better written than any Danielle Steele, and without the laughable sex scenes, it's very enjoyable for the times you'd rather have the guilty pleasure of a greasy cheeseburger than a filet mignon.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Poorly written.

I purchased this book with great anticipation. I was looking forward to listening. It is a formula book of the worst kind. It has an interior formula--the structure of the book repeats the pattern over and over again. Man dies and goes to some kind of heaven, the colors change and someone gives him a cheap piece of philosopy or "advice" or "insight;" the colors change again and another person from his past steps forward with a new insight. It's kind of a repeat of the old "This is Your Life," but not as interesting. It simply bored me. So much was inaccurate--an 83 year old man would not be testing rides at an amusement park, for one thing. The philosophy was of the armchair variety. In short, I was disappointed!

71 of 89 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jorge
  • QuebradillasPuerto Rico
  • 12-04-04

Good concept. Looses momentum.

I found the first half of this book to by gripping only to be disappointed as the story developed. I just wanted it to end! Also the voice acting felt quite cheesy at times. Just my 2 cents.

40 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andy
  • Honolulu, HI, United States
  • 11-30-04

Unforgiveable sin

The most inexcusable piece of contrived writing I have listened to. Horrendously pedestrian; a nauseating patchwork of cliche that inspires only suicide. If I have one purpose on this earth it is to warn you away from this audiobook. I have suffered so that you may not have to. What makes this lame excuse for writing even worse is that it is accompanied by a string orchestra that sounds like they were ripped off the set of the movie "Brian's Song." The author takes no prisoners in his gut wrenching onslaught of guaranteed heart string pullers. He pulls every trick in the book - cute children rescued from death, never ending birthdays, abused children, impoverished immigrants, parental emotional abuse, war, teen angst, lost love, you name it. Save yourself and buy another audiobook...any other audiobook.

167 of 213 people found this review helpful