Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: bookcrossing-books, read-in-2011, travel-books
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: sheer profusion in local charity shops
Recommended for: people waiting for christmas

I read this at Christmas but frankly after eating too many roasted vegetables, drinking too much merlot and making myself a comfortable nest out of discarded wrapping paper, I was disinclined to write a review. It's now six months later and I think I've finally worked off the last roasted potato so this seems like a timely juncture to write a review of The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Eddie works at the amusement park on the Ruby Pier. He's 83 and probably due for retirement. On his birthday, our ever benevolent Lord / Fate decides that it's time for Eddie to take permanent retirement and so he is killed off in a freak fairground accident. Eddie's life force is not wasted though, as he spends his last moments attempting to rescue a little girl. And that is most definitely not a spoiler! Come on people, the books is called The Five People You Meet in Heaven which kind of presupposes that the protagonist is going to mostly be dead for a large part of the book. Really, it's not like heaven is the kind of place you go on a day trip unless you're Sam and Dean Winchester in an episode of Supernatural.

So Eddie is now Deaddie and can get on with meeting his five people. I'm not sure why the number five was chosen for this novel... convention has it that six is the magic number in this kind of life-algorithm with the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon having been scientifically proven. Perhaps the sixth person that Eddie was fated to meet was Kevin Bacon... we'll never know.

All five people have come into and out of Eddie's life during formative moments and have been affected by the very act of their meeting. None of the people might have struck Eddie as being particularly significant at the time and perhaps the events did not stand out as times which altered the direction of his existence but ultimately they've all led him to stand beneath that toppling ride car at the age of 83 thereby allowing him to save the life of a child. If I were a deeper thinking mammal I make take the opportunity to consider who the five people I might meet in heaven would be. But I'm not a deep thinking mammal so we'll just pass swiftly over that option for digression.

This is an easy-to-read story with a well written collection of short stories (vignettes of Eddies life) strung together behind the vehicle of his death (metaphorical not literal). It was gently appealing, perhaps even charming, without being schmaltzy and held my attention for the half day or so it took to read it. At no point did I feel the need to stick my finger in my mouth and make retching noises... always a positive sign. Perhaps not the most uplifting of all potential holiday reads but if it leaves you feeling tearful when you put it down, at least there should be a substantial amount of festive booze around to help bolster your spirits.
26 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 23, 2011 – Started Reading
December 23, 2011 – Shelved
December 24, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 25, 2011 – Shelved as: bookcrossing-books
December 25, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
December 25, 2011 – Shelved as: travel-books

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jeffrey (last edited Jun 05, 2012 01:30PM) (new)

Jeffrey Keeten You had me at Merlot. Well and then you mentioned Supernatural which now that it is available on Netflix Instant is taking up a lot of time I probably should be doing something more productive. Hey the Winchester boys are from Kansas what can I say, and I love that 1967 Black Chevy Impala.

Shovelmonkey1 I love a bit of Supernatural. The most sublimely ridiculous but addictive TV series. And Jenson Ackles has the prettiest mouth. It is probably a close call between which I love the most... merlot or ackles. Sadly one is more readily available than the other.

message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus *gag*

Shovelmonkey1 Richard wrote: "*gag*"

Is this how this book made you feel or how the review makes you feel? Or are you genuinely in need of the heimlich?

message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus *glurk*

yjw pfpb kkkk



Shovelmonkey1 That has not clarified matters. I'm but the briefest of minutes away from boarding a plane in order to shuttle myself to the States and give you a swift thwack between the shoulder blades in order to clear your occluded airway.

message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Okay! We're 20min east of JFK, if the traffic's horrible. Which it is just now.

That "book" causes me to have giant urticaria in my mucus membranes, as well as develop rosaecea of the knees and diaper rash.

I trust this has clarified matters.

Shovelmonkey1 That sounds terrible. And I'm not even sure what half of those things are ;)

message 9: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus urticaria:


Diaper rash you can imagine.

Shovelmonkey1 Eek. You'll scare people away from the review!

message 11: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Flea! Flea!


FLEE! FLEE! The Monkey's blandishments will only lead to pain misery and bright red itchy things happening to you!

message 12: by Shamus (new)

Shamus McCarty AHHH!

Shovelmonkey1 You're still sore about the whole Black Swan Green thing aren't you?

Shovelmonkey1 Etienne wrote: "AHHH!"


message 15: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Shovelmonkey1 wrote: "You're still sore about the whole Black Swan Green thing aren't you?"

Sorry, what?

message 16: by Shamus (new)

Shamus McCarty Oh wait, that's just a nose. I thought it was a, um, "barnacle".

message 17: by B0nnie (new) - added it

B0nnie I never knew this book was fiction. The plot sort of reminds me of It's a Wonderful Life, but with death. Great review, Shovelmonkey1

Shovelmonkey1 B0nnie wrote: "I never knew this book was fiction. The plot sort of reminds me of It's a Wonderful Life, but with death. Great review, Shovelmonkey1"

Thanks. Yes fictional it is. It was very very ubiquitous in charity shops after its initial flurry of popularity which is how I ended up with a copy. A nice way to pass a pre christmas afternoon but not mind blowing.

message 19: by Deb (new) - rated it 4 stars

Deb Ok.. that was one of the more entertaining reviews I have read. Not that I spend a whole lot time reading reviews, mind you. I listened to the audio cassette version (passed on to me via a bookcrosser) and could only listen to it in my jeep. My jeep is one of the few remaining vehicles that has the now rare, working "cassette deck" as part of its audio listening center. Enjoyed the story but thank goodness I was in the driveway when the ending came or I may have taken a similar trip as the main character due to vehicular inattentiveness. Yep... cried like a baby. I'm such a damn sentimental fool.

back to top