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The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven: A Remarkable Account of Miracles, Angels, and Life beyond This World

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  10,488 ratings  ·  736 reviews
Note: This book was withdrawn from publication in January 2015 after the boy, Alex Malarkey, admitted to lying about the entire experience.

Alex Malarkey's open letter to bookstores said "I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. [...] I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible."

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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 30th 2010 by Tyndale House
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Kelly Incorrect, the book was not "entirely made up." The little boy, Alex, made up his part about going to Heaven, to get attention. The father's story, wh…moreIncorrect, the book was not "entirely made up." The little boy, Alex, made up his part about going to Heaven, to get attention. The father's story, which is the bulk of the book, about the legions of people who helped save Alex & his family, is true and worth reading.(less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book because of the premise of the true story of a child going to heaven and returning to tell of his experiences. Well, Alex tells very little about that in the book. Mostly it is a detailed account of all the things that were done for Alex and his family post-accident, prayers prayed and freebies given. The author actually lost me when he opens a chapter saying that anyone can be a "NICE" person and speak all the "right" things so that people think he is a Christian ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Jan 16, 2015 marked it as stricken
" “An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven.

"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.

"I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. "

-Alex Malarkey
Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
I had to stop reading this book after getting 24% through it. I thought the story would be great in a spiritual aspect but it's more of a platform for the author to push his beliefs. I was afraid that the book would be preachy when I first loaded it onto my reader and I do respect the beliefs of others but I don't want to spent hours having somebody preach to me about something I'm not so sure about.

In context of the story itself, I was okay with it after the car accident and I could feel the K
Erika L. Miller
This is a book that has been passed around the office from co-worker to co-worker and finally landed in my little hands. The story intrigued me as anything that is not normally experienced daily is something that intrigues me. However, it wasn't the explanations and experiences of Alex's time spent in Heaven that really captured and held my attention but Kevin's own story of faith, hope and prayer. Alex's description was small fillers into a world that I know exists around us but consider both f ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hokum, religion

I have no doubt that the words and images found on the pages of this book will appeal to some. Some will find comfort.

I understand the anguish Alex's family endured from Alex's struggle with death and life. I can appreciate the prayers and helping hands that surrounded and supported the Malarkey family. I found the Malarkey's praise and gratitude sincere. Still I found the book unsettling.

The militarism of 'spiritual warfare', prayer 'warriors',and Alex 'army' do not mesh with my ima
Elizabeth Noah Astle
I read this book thinking that it was a true story being told by a boy who had died, gone to heaven and had come back to tell about his experiences.

In fact it this book was not really what I thought it would be. In fact, it was mainly told by his father, Kevin, who was also involved in this terrible accident. Alex, was 6yo when the car he was ridding in was hit. Alex died at the scene and when he got to the hospital, workers there did not think he was going to make it.

This book, talks about the
Colleen H.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I didn't intend to read two books on this subject happened quite by accident. I was actually trying to buy 'Heaven is for Real' because I had seen it publicized and it had peaked my interest. I accidentally ended up with this book when I forgot the title while searching on my Kindle. Who could have guessed that there were two books with such similar stories to tell?!

I am very conflicted about both of these books for different reasons. Heaven is for Real was an easy read, a believable
Angel Gelique
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a good book...heavy on the religious side, but enjoyable. Some of the things Mr. Malarkey writes about his son Alex (the boy who came back from Heaven) seems unbelievable. It's hard not to be skeptical, as he himself admits. I found a few inconsistencies. For one, Alex states that he has been to Heaven not only on the day when he "died" after the car accident, but several times since. He is able to somehow visit at will. He states that when he returns from Heaven during these trips, he ...more
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to Kelli by: Shannon Bollinger
For the past four years I go on a girls trip with some girlfriends from childhood. The biggest kicker is that one of the girls can not let go of the fact that I BELIEVE IN JESUS. Often times, I feel like God is presenting me a situation that he did with Peter in the final stages of Jesus's life. However, in my situation, I just proudly say, YES, I Believe. What I find "funny" (If you will) is the fact that this girl is always worried about proof. I respond with...I don't need proof. I know it is ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read alot of books about people that come back and this was really unique and different. Alex was in a car accident when everything went wrong and (mainly) hearing his and the family and the people they encountered during that horrible time in their life was beautiful and tragic.

“ I was in the presence of God he had a body that was like human but bugger. I could only see up to his neck because the Bible says nobody’s allowed to see Gods face for that person will die”

I dont recall an
Terry Faulkner
Jan 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
What I find most telling about this book, is the fact that Beth Malarkey has completely distanced herself from it. On her blog, in reference to the book, she states "I am not involved with, or desire to be connected with, the book titled The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven. Please direct any comments or questions pertaining to that book to the publisher, author, or the author's agent. Thank you."
That said it all for me.
The majority of the book is written by the father, Kevin Malarkey. It felt to
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was actually a third of the way through this book before I realized that I had meant to read Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back instead. That's to say nothing of 90 Minutes in Heaven (which this book takes time to refute, oddly enough) and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. This entire genre was completely alien to me, which is why I wanted to dive in and give them a shot.

Seeing as the book was only 150 pages, if I didn't care for it, it wouldn'
Jessica Patch
Jul 09, 2011 rated it liked it
The boy who came back from heaven is a true story about a six-year old boy, Alex Malarkey, who went to be with Jesus for a time after a car accident with his father.

It's an emotional journey to say the least. When I read any book about going to Heaven or even Hell, I watch closely to see who will get the glory and the purpose of the book.

I can honestly say, while going in skeptical, that this journey for the Malarkey family is touching, beautiful and gives glory to God on every page.

It's scrip
Bob Ueckerlele
Jan 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
The kid made the whole thing up and his dad filled in the verbiage. A bunch of credulous fools lapped it up. Hilarious. This couldn't be funnier if the kid's last name was something totally obvious like Humbug or Malarky... wait...

May 22, 2011 rated it liked it
this one is for my "friends" book group. it's got a lot of talk about prayer and Jesus - much more than i'm comfortable with, but on the other hand, when your child should have died in a car accident, there's a lot of that going on.
the jury is still out on this one.
Chas Bayfield
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
This book made me cry more than any other book that I've read. The situation for the family was so appalling and the stories of how good people pooled together to help them were truly moving.

BUT! I can't quite put my finger on the but, yet it's there. I don't feel comfortable with a book that sets a child up as a saint. Malarkey tells us that his son is just like any other boy, yet never gives us any examples of this. The closest he gets is to how young Alex ribs people if they don't like the s
Pretty sure this is Poe. With so much phoney baloney being published and then authors publishing satire and silliness based on the phoney baloney, gets pretty difficult to tell who is nutty and who is being funny.

I put this on my to-read list because I'm intrigued to see if I can discover any dead giveaways. For goodness sake, the author's name is Malarkey.
Anna Eynaud
Feb 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I have tried to research how Alex is currently doing and have come across his mom's blog and discovered that she and Alex both do not associate themselves with this book and are distressed by the deceit involved in marketing and making it about making money. So disappointed!
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My life is changed because of this book and Alex.. This boy and his family's faith and love in God is amazing and awe inspiring.
Kelly 'Perusing Princesses blog'
I have wanted to read this book for a while now, so I took a 'leap of faith' last night and jumped right in. I have an affinity with the afterlife, it's something that has always interested me immensely and the synopsis of 'The Boy who came back from Heaven' really peaked my interest. However, I wasn't quite prepared for the God card to be played so prominently. That probably sounds totally off-kilter and a little hypocritical considering the subject matter, but as this story progresses you unde ...more
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex--and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. "I think Alex has gone to be with Jesus," a friend told the stricken dad.

But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the un
Tracy Morton
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
As a parent, any book that discusses a child being severely injured or killed is going to pull at my heart strings and make me cry. I will say that I was crying fairly early in the book. I must also admit that i did not make it all the way through the book. I found the the organization of the book a bit irritating. I had to skip and go back and things as such because of intercepts of other peoples comments on what was going on it the story. This book is about a father and his young son that are ...more
Alex is in a bad car accident and ends up in a coma. After he wakes up he tells that he had been in Heaven, talking with God. This is his story.

I wavered between giving this book a 1-2 stars. I had a hard time with the pure Christian belief in this. How the father thinks everything is thanks to God and Jesus Christ and how everything's credited to them and not the actual people doing the stuff.

If I look and read this in a spiritual way it's a fascinating tale of hope and how much thoughts and p
Dec 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book had me somewhat engaged right up to the point where a friend of the author tells him that his son is going to live through his coma and become the next Billy Graham. I literally rolled my eyes and decided that I didn't want to continue with the next 2/3 of the book.

Like other reviewers, I never got the sense that any of the parts supposedly written by Alex were, in fact, written by Alex himself. I also felt like the book was so....ugh, I don't know...condescending? Using terms like "p
Sarah Nessler
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an inspirational story. I remember exactly when this accident happened and how tragic it was. This story happened in the town that I live, Bellefontaine, OH. The power of prayer is one of the main theme's of this book and you can see how alive it is. After the fact knowing that Alex has denounced the fact that he actually travelled to Heaven I still enjoyed this book fully. I do not know what Alex saw and what he did not seem the point is that against all odds this young man is alive and I ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was going to be about Alex's (Kevin Malarkey's son) experience in heaven after a car accident--wrong! Except for a few pages, the whole book was what occurred from the Dad's perspective. I was disappointed because I wanted to read what the son experienced.
Jane S
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This is an account of how a young boy survived a serious car accident to tell of his near death experience and ongoing encounters with angels, supernatural agents and conversations with God. It seemed broadly similar to Heaven Is For Real, Todd Burpo’s account of his young son’s near death experience although the writing is better and more worldly-wise, as in tinged with knowing skepticism and self-doubt. The Malarkeys' account had greater visceral appeal because of the many witnesses, the older ...more
Nov 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This has to be the most amazing book I've read in a long time. I can see why it's a bestseller. It absolutely blew my mind....all the things as a Christian or even just someone familiar with the Christian faith would say they believe/find in the Bible actually tested and put into practice. You say you believe in Heaven, or that Jesus is always with us, or that angels and demons are's a perspective from a kid who actually got a glimpse of all these things, yet came back to earth ...more
In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his 6 year old son, Alex, suffered a terrible car wreck. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex, left him in a coma for two months, and it seemed impossible that he could survive. This story relates the struggle that Alex went through to regain his life as well as his "supposed" trip to heaven. The story regarding Alex' recovery from this horrible crash in which his spine was basically severed at his neck was fascinating to read. The difficulties that affected both ...more
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It is all a bunch of malarkey 2 38 Jan 21, 2015 09:00PM  
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Kevin Malarkey is a Christian author and the father of Alex Malarkey, a young boy who got seriously injured in 2004 and later declared that he had died and went to heaven. They wrote a book about the experience, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven .

In 2015, Alex retracted his story, stating that he made it up to get attention. Their book was then taken out of print by the publisher.

News & Interviews

Author and illustrator Alice Oseman is known to her long-time fans for her young adult novels about—as she calls them—"teenage disasters," start...
38 likes · 5 comments
“Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow. Awareness of others is a healthy antidote to this self-focus.” 31 likes
“It is one thing to read the Scriptures and affirm their truth. But until you are in the trenches of trial, until you are faced with life circumstances that test your faith, until you are pressed to the absolute limit of your physical and emotional capacity, until you face the unrelenting stress of ongoing trauma, you never really know how you'll respond to what you may have embraced so easily during a comfortable Bible study.” 8 likes
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