Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Books: The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom
Copyright 2003
Unabridged adiobook read by Erik Singer
5 hours

Meet Eddie. He is 83 years old and the head of maintenance at Ruby Park, an amusement pier along a beach somewhere in the northern U.S. On his birthday, he is killed when a car from a ride plunges to the ground and lands on him as he tries to pull a little girl from harm's way.

Eddie goes to heaven. He finds it is not the Garden of Eden but instead a place where one must revisit his life in order to understand the things that happened on earth before the soul can move on.

His life is explained to him by five different people, some close loved ones and some people he hardly knew. Each, though, contributed to major turning points in his life.

All of his life, Eddie considered himself a "done nothing" who made few contributions to society. He was raised by a loving mother and a neglectful and physicially abusive father. Aside from marrying his beloved Marguerite, he felt he had little to show for his 83 years. And she had died young, at the age of 47, so his last years he had spent alone.

If nothing else, the book indicates that all lives are worth living, and that no one is a "done nothing." As John Donne said, "No man is an island," and this book emphasizes that type of thinking - that we are all connected, we are all in this together, we are ultimately none of us alone even though loneliness can sometimes be overwhelming and it feels like the entire focus of our existence is forestalling that empty feeling.

This is not something I would have sat down to read, but I am glad I listened to it whilst driving (which is when I listen to all of my audio books).  It is a book that made me think, for sure.

Albom is the author of Tuesdays with Morrie. Folks might be a little more familiar with that book.

3 comments:

  1. ha, i listened to this one too! i really enjoyed it! and funny, i haven't read tuesdays with morey, although of course i've heard of it...always meant to .....
    right now i'm reading "the memory keeper's daughter"...it's a really great book...i can hardly sit it down!

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  2. That's an intriguing title Tanya. What's that about?

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