Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Book Review: The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I read it, finally.

I was under-whelmed.

I am not sure why this book by Mitch Albom was such a big deal. I liked his Tuesdays with Morrie; it was a beautiful and touching tribute. But this one? It was just okay.

In case you are one of the other twelve people in the world who haven't read the book or seen the made-for-TV movie, the story centers on Eddie: his death, his life, and his first "day" in Heaven. The premise of the story is intriguing: what lives are intertwined with yours in ways you could never imagine? I was ready to be "wowed" by this book, with all the talk about it a few years ago. I thought it was going to be more along the lines of "It's a Wonderful Life": happy and redeeming. But it really wasn't. Unlike Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, Eddie isn't particularly lovable. He isn't revealed as to have profoundly affected anyone's life for the good. He's just a guy who traverses through life.

I read this book between two intense memoirs: The Liar's Club and A Million Little Pieces. I thought it would be uplifting—an encouraging filler. I should have picked something else.

15 comments:

Debbie said...

THANK YOU!!! Finally someone who thought like I did. I was almost ashamed not to have liked it as well as everyone else.
whew! I am feeling better now.

Breeni Books said...

I agree so much! I loved Tuesdays With Morrie, and I'm glad I didn't judge it based on this one because I read Five People first and was not impressed.

Jill said...

I have Five People on my shelf, earmarked for a challenge. At least it's a quick read! =)

Jill

Overeducated Twit said...

I didn't see the fuss, either. It was just too feel-good-everyone-is-special in a bland sort of way.

pussreboots said...

I read it earlier this year and was also unimpressed. I haven't read Tuedays with Morrie so I can't compare the two books.

Jay said...

I have it on my shelf. I tried to read it, I really did - but I was so underwhelmed that I was yawning by page 25 or so. I figured if I wasn't able to find some sympathy with someone by then, I might as well give up.

I read a lot, and my tastes are wide. I'll read anything from non-fiction through SF, romance, crime, supernatural (but not horror), human development, biography, to anything that doesn't fit comfortably into a genre, and I usually have between three and five books on the go at a time. But 'Five People You Meet in Heaven' just didn't grab me.

I'm very glad to know that there are other people in the world who don't rate this one!

Sassy Mama Bear said...

I admit it did not meet my expectations either, I love the premise behind the story and think so much more could have been done with the book.
If I can make a suggestion there is another small book I loved called Live Like You Were Dying by Michael Morris that was good and uplifting to me.

Tracee said...

I haven't read it either, although it is on my bookshelf. Think I may wait on this a little longer, thanks for the insight!

Jennifer said...

My suspicions -- about the book -- have been confirmed!

Thank you!

Tiffany Aller said...

I'm one of those 12 who haven't seen/read this yet - or Tuesdays with Morrie for that matter. I appreciate your candid feedback...I'll reconsider having it on my TBR pile!

BTW, I'm a visitor from EntreCard, and I've enjoyed visiting your blog!

flit said...

Haven't read it.... the man does seem to be a master of marketing though

*lynne* said...

underwhelmed - I totally agree!

shootingstarr7 said...

Ooh, I'm one of the twelve that hasn't read the book or seen the movie. And honestly, I doubt that will change anytime soon. I just have very little interest in Mitch Albom. I've never read Tuesdays, either.

By the way, I think there is something at my blog that will interest you!

Heather's Fave Books said...

I loved this book. In fact I have lent it out to almost everyone. I normally don't read this type of book but I loved it.

farmlanebooks said...

I haven't read this one, but I found Tuesdays with Morrie, and One More Day overly sentimental, so won't be reading any more of his books. It's good to find someone else who agrees his books are at the bottom of the barrel!