The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

74%

33 Critic Reviews

Despite some lazy writing, there is a well-earned sweetness to Albom’s story, a compliment I don’t normally dole out. While beginning in the present day, Albom’s tale feels both old-fashioned and timeless. This is a book you pass down to your children.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him, as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"
 

About Mitch Albom

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Mitch Albom was born on May 23, 1958 in Passaic, New Jersey. He graduated from Brandeis University in 1979 with a degree in sociology and earned his Master's degrees in journalism and business administration from Columbia University in New York City. Albom is a best-selling author, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, nationally syndicated radio host for ABC and flagship station WJR-AM in Detroit, and television commentator. He is the author of several bestselling books, including Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Oprah Winfrey produced a major television movie for ABC based on Tuesdays with Morrie that aired in 1999 and won four Emmy Awards in 2000. The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day were also turned into popular ABC television movies. Albom has been named the #1 Sports Columnist in the Nation by the sports editors of America. During his storied career, he has received more than 100 writing awards from AP, UPI, Headliners Club, and National Sportswriters and Broadcasters Associations, as well as had his work appear in numerous publications, such as Sports Illustrated, GQ, Sport, The New York Times, TV Guide, and USA Today. Albom hosts two radio talk shows for ABC. He broadcasts from WJR-AM in Detroit The Mitch Albom Show and The Mitch Albom Show on the Weekend. The Monday Sports Albom, a sports interview program, has hosted guests from President Gerald Ford to Wayne Gretzky to Dennis Rodman. Albom is a panelist on ESPN's Sports Reporters and a regular contributing commentator to that network. Albom has also twice served as a network Olympic commentator, for ABC's Good Morning, America during the Atlanta Games and for the CBS Early Show from the Games in Sydney, Australia. Albom is an accomplished songwriter, lyricist, screenwriter, and playwright. He has founded two charities in the metropolitan Detroit area. The Dream Fund, which Albom founded in 1989, allows disadvantaged children to become involved with the arts and A Time to Help, founded in 1998, brings volunteers together once a month to tackle various projects in Detroit, including staffing shelters, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, and operating meals on wheels programs for the elderly. Albom serves on the boards of various charities, including CATCH (Caring Athletes Team for Children's and Henry Ford Hospitals), Forgotten Harvest, and Michigan Hospice Organization. In 1999 he was named National Hospice Organization's Man of the Year.
 
Published September 23, 2003 by Hachette Books. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Humor & Entertainment, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Five People You Meet in Heaven
All: 33 | Positive: 26 | Negative: 7

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 18 2003

Simply told, sentimental and profoundly true, this is a contemporary American fable that will be cherished by a vast readership.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Aug 18 2003

Simply told, sentimental and profoundly true, this is a contemporary American fable that will be cherished by a vast readership.

Read Full Review of The Five People You Meet in H... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Don Baiocchi on May 02 2006

Despite some lazy writing, there is a well-earned sweetness to Albom’s story, a compliment I don’t normally dole out. While beginning in the present day, Albom’s tale feels both old-fashioned and timeless. This is a book you pass down to your children.

Read Full Review of The Five People You Meet in H... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Above average
on May 02 2006

Despite some lazy writing, there is a well-earned sweetness to Albom’s story...While beginning in the present day, Albom’s tale feels both old-fashioned and timeless. This is a book you pass down to your children.

Read Full Review of The Five People You Meet in H... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Laura Rae Amos on Jun 13 2004

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.

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Blog Critics

Good
on Jun 13 2004

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...I was into the story. It’s a page turner. A heart-felt story, made me cry twice.

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Examiner

Above average
on Aug 23 2010

A story can flow forward even if it has flashbacks, but Albom’s flashbacks are jolting...The book still shines with Albom’s strength of engaging readers with specific yet general details.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
on Sep 26 2003

From the man who brought you ''Tuesdays With Morrie'' comes another trite-and-true primer on how to live, this time a simpleminded and shamelessly sentimental novel.

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Suite 101

Above average
on Aug 01 2011

Although it is a touching story, Albom has the ability to avoid sentimentality in the face of emotionality, which is what sets the story apart from others like it. Albom is inventive and optimistic. He keeps the reader engaged...

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BellaOnline

Good

As you read this self or personal development book you do feel somewhat in the grip of the story...Overall, the story gives an interesting slant on the meaning of life and what happens after death. It is worth a read.

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Boston.com

Above average
on Sep 29 2003

Albom's first work of fiction is destined to be a hit with those who read and loved "Tuesdays With Morrie," and...Still, his is an acquired taste that won't fit on every literary menu.

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People

Above average
on Sep 29 2003

The reader learns important, if less than original, lessons along with Eddie...It's an old story with as much heft as a fluffy cloud, but there's comfort in Albom's unwavering conviction that our lives have meaning even after we're gone.

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Salon

Below average
Reviewed by Laura Miller on Oct 13 2003

So the biggest surprise of “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” is how, without actually being good, it manages to be not as bad as you expect.

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Book Buzz

Good
on Feb 23 2009

To my pleasant surprise, it was an easy read and when I was finished in less than 24 hours, I found myself wishing I could spend a lot more time with those people you meet in heaven

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BookRack

Above average
on May 06 2010

I must say a genuine book from Mitch Albom, which has a sweet charm and a rare magic to it...The book has a perfect blend of emotions, well crafted on the flight of fantasy, teaching some of the greatest lessons of life

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Arlington Library

Good
on Jul 24 2011

The book was philosophical but with a good story line that kept you interested. I loved the husband and wife interact in this story. This book is little, it is a good short read and it is beautiful and makes you think.

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Seven Ponds

Good
Reviewed by Zoë Byrne on Nov 22 2013

...Mitch Albom’s concept of encountering five people who can teach you something and allow you to feel less alone and more prepared for your future in heaven is beautiful; it captures how important it is for humans to possess social relationships with each other rather than suffering setbacks and hardships alone.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by dlils6 on Nov 01 2014

As I read The Five People You Meet In Heaven, I never lost interest as the story carried on. Its a sure page turner, and very dramatic in a special way that I’ve never read before Whenever a book can carry a plot but not give anything away early is impressive.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jan 28 2014

Albom's novel will appeal to your mind and soul, changing your prospective of heaven and life. I loved it and recommend it to anyone who has thought about the afterlife.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Kristin B. on Apr 01 2009

The Five People You Meet in Heaven was a very creative book that I really enjoyed...I would recommend this book, but only to those who would want to read a sad book.

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EzineArticles

Above average
Reviewed by Rick Fess on Nov 22 2010

From reading the book...I think people can stop and consider what they do in this life, before we get to heaven to find out. Some of the seemingly insignificant things that we do can make a profound difference in the lives of others. I feel that if we learn this lesson while we are still here, the world will be a much happier place to be.

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EzineArticles

Good
Reviewed by Ed Bagley on Feb 12 2007

Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 4 years. While The Five People You Meet in Heaven reached No. 1 on the same list, it is a much more difficult read to understand...I would read this book again, and was a better person for having read it the first time.

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Curled Up

Below average
Reviewed by Lori West on Nov 21 2014

The problem here, however, is that the individual stories work too hard to elicit these intense emotions. Quite often the feelings seem forced -- so much so that the reader may feel manipulated into reaching this end result.

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Book Loons

Above average
Reviewed by Marian Powell on Nov 01 2014

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a small and touching book. It's not quite a great book, but it's a lovely little story, well worth the time spent reading.

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Quick Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by David Ben Efraim on Sep 13 2012

In his book titled The Five People you Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom depicts a very interesting concept of the afterlife through the life of an old and grizzled war veteran, Eddie.

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Parental Book Reviews

Good
on Nov 21 2014

Those who liked Tuesdays with Morrie will love The Five People You Meet in Heaven. The originality and boldness of Albom’s idea of the afterlife drives the novel to make it impossible to put down.

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https://suite101.com

Above average
Reviewed by Stetson Thacker on Aug 02 2011

Every element of his novella serves a purpose and has their place in the clever picture of heaven he has created.

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West Metro Mommy

Good
Reviewed by Melinda Ott on Jan 03 2013

I started reading this book the night of December 13th, which was the night before the school shooting in Newtown. Odd or God, but I found this book to be a great comfort for me.

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BCF Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Kate on Aug 01 2009

I felt for Eddie too. He lost his wife young and the war had left him maimed, leaving him sad and stuck in a rut. I loved being there as he sorted out his life in heaven. I highly recommend this book. I loved it. I can think of no complaints.

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Reflections of a Book Addict

Above average
Reviewed by ADAM GORSLINE on Mar 28 2011

Even though the simplistic writing style made it a quick read, the book still left me with life-long messages. It makes you wonder about heaven and what happens to us once this life on earth is over.

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http://mostlyfiction.com

Good
Reviewed by Hagen Baye on Jan 25 2004

Albom's story is a touching one, without being sappy or overly sentimental. Some may think it as sort of New Age piousity, but such characterization would be an injustice to the book.

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Mysteries in Paradise

Good
Reviewed by Kerrie on Oct 05 2010

This book reminded me of Dicken's Ebenezer Scrooge and the journey he took with Marley's Ghost, although the intent of this book was very different. And yes, my colleague was right, it was an enjoyable read.

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http://www.cpa-booksandmoviesreviews.com

Good
Reviewed by Carmen on Jun 06 2013

I love this book. I loved it years ago when I read it for the first time, then I re-read it and found it good, but I realized by reading it again with the purpose of reviewing it that one has to be in a specific frame of mind to truly appreciate its magic, its philosophical meaning.

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Reader Rating for The Five People You Meet in Heaven
80%

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Katrina Bernardo 18 Mar 2013

Rated the book as 3.5 out of 5

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