Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Title: The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: 2003
Pages: 198

Rating: 2 out of 10 stars

What nonsense. This is sappy sweet, sentimental, cutesy dribble. While reading it, I got the unnerving feeling that I would look up and be attending a cupcakes-and-lollipops party with puppies and bunnies leaping through rainbows in the distance.

This is the story of Eddie, an elderly man who dies heroically trying to save a little girl. In Heaven, he meets five people who impacted his life, whether he knew it or not at the time.

There are plenty of loose ends that the author doesn't bother to tie up, so be careful not to attempt delving too deeply into his version of "Heaven." If you start asking questions, you'll find that the author has no intention of answering them. Albom stayed away from any sort of religious atmosphere to the book. In fact, God is not mentioned at all, as far as I can remember. Should we take that for the fake "progressive" message that this book is all about, or more evidence that Albom isn't brave enough to take on more controversial subjects (which this book also might be about)?

What is the good of people "finding themselves" (can't believe I am typing this) if God will only make it happen after you die? What is the good of bettering yourself after you die? Why wouldn't God give this "gift" before you die, so that you can actually do something about it, rather than just realize what you should have done, or been?

I cannot figure out why I read this, but I don't want to waste any more time thinking about it.