Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Novel: The Five People You Meet In Heaven


(2003) Another puff-packaged novella from Mitch Albom.

Oddly, I went from a river world heaven environment in To Your Scattered Bodies Go to this book that climaxes in a river world heaven. This piece is short and sweet. Went through it in a week just reading at the red lights while driving to and from work each day, and over
a couple lunch break sessions.

I was dismayed initially at the very primary language but soon accepted that the simple style worked well given the piece is in essence a sort of fairy tale for grownups – or young adults too, for that matter.

The very tidy plot involves a series of life lessons. Were this book touted as a manual for living a good life I would be unimpressed. While the lessons laid out are laudable and may be found quite useful to many in the sense that they offer avenues for peace to our typically chaotic lives, it personally all flies under my radar. From my perspective these answers are innocently yet treacherously in league with the very chaos they purport to soothe.

But let’s not take this as a manual for living a good life. Albom states up front that this is just one idea of what heaven might be like. So lets just take this work at face value; as a story. And as a story I applaud it fully. It’s engaging and moving and rich in character.

I heartily recommend it. There’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it and a good chance you’ll take something useful away from it. And if not – it’s such a quick read you’ve got nothing to lose.

4 comments:

Kathleen said...

I liked Five People, but I think I preferred his latest one...something about One More Day, I think. They're nice, easy reads, generally.

Random Magus said...

I am going to get this book. Loved your review
Happy New Year

Dr. Shedevil said...

I listened to it on audiobook last year. It was nice, even if the guy's accent was more than a little grating.

PS My Mom's book was released today and is available through the usual outlets.

Babs said...

I may need to go to the library. I probably need to learn something useful.