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The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

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“Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive.” -The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Ahhh… wasn’t that nice? :)

Five People was one that I just picked off the bestseller rack, having never read a review of it before, neither having read any of Albom’s other works before (The well reviewed Tuesdays With Morrie was published in 1997). Good title, I guess. Kudos to the marketing team on that one.

I liked this novel for such refreshing moments as I noted above. Stop and sigh, kind of moments.

Reviewers attacked this novel (little novel – 196 pages) for it’s sentimentality – calling it melodramatic and clichéed. Other’s say that it’s not a read for the “sophisticated” types.

I say, even though they’re right, it was a cute story. And I don’t regret the $15 I spent on it.

I do agree with the comments of melodrama and the sentimentality. Beyond that though, what bothered me most was that I didn’t feel Eddie, the main character, had much of a personality. He never grew past the point of the generic two-dimensional “bitter old man.”

Even if this novel doesn’t win you over with the writing (chances are that it wont), I cannot deny that Albom is a storyteller. I read this little gem in a few hours, four I think, from start to finish. Because despite the clichés and the flat characters, I was into the story. It’s a page turner. A heart-felt story, made me cry twice.

And as I mentioned above, it just has these cute little “awww” moments that make it worth while. Let me add another…

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”

Now wasn’t that profound?

I disagree that this book is only for the “simple readers.” I am a literary type, a “sophisticated” type – I can read all the big words without a dictionary, and I know an extended metaphor when I see one. But I liked this novel anyway.

It’s a thoughtful, feel-good, happy story.

~Laura Rae Amos
peaceandjellybeans.com

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About Laura Rae Amos

  • Eric Olsen

    very nice review: description, opinion, explanation. Thanks and welcome LAR!

  • http://www.greatseats.com/football/nfl_tickets.htm Matt

    I agree with you Laura in the fact that critics were way to harsh on this story.
    Stories that delve into the meaning of life and encourage the fact the everyone is important and has a place on our earth should not be judged with such narrow literary guidelines. I think a lot of literary critics are way too snotty sometimes and have such a narrow frame to view things through.

  • Eric Olsen

    I meant “LRA,” thanks again!

  • Laura

    The book The Five People You Meet In Heaven was an exceptional book. I thought that it was well written, intresting, and a good story. The story taught life lessons without lecturing or being boring. I recommend the book to anyone and everyone.

  • David Whyte

    I just picked up a copy in Waterstones in Luton, England. The sales clerk raved about this book. So far it seems like a very good read.

    David Whyte
    Detroit, Michigan