Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Another well written book by Mitch Albom but took me forever to finish. I received this as a Christmas gift from someone (thanks again!) but only managed to finish reading it recently. For a book that is just over 200 pages, that's pretty long for my standard. Half a day should more than suffice but it was not to be.

"The Five People You Meet In Heaven" like "Tuesdays with Morrie" explores the topic of life and death. Have you ever wondered what happens when you pass on from this life? Have you given any thought to who you will meet or what you will see or where you will be when you expire from this world? What if when you die, you meet five people - five of those who may have an impact on how your life turned out to be and/or five of the people you may have influenced in your lifetime. This is what the book is about.

It's amazing how many life-changing events happened on Eddie's (the main character in the book) birthday. It's not logical but not downright impossible. Eddie's past birthdays happen to be the "intermission chapters" I talked about in my review of "Tuesdays with Morrie". The proper term may actually be intermediary chapters but I prefer to use "intermission" instead because it doesn't just act as a chapter in between chapters, it gives your mind a break from the story yet remains relevant to the overall plot. He died on his birthday and his wife met with an accident on one of his birthdays too. Tell me this is not just horrible luck.

I do not find the book as engaging as some other novels where the plot will keep you from putting the book down (ie. The Da Vinci Code). Don't get me wrong, there are instances of that in this book but like I said, I classify this book like Mitch Albom's other books as easy reading. You can put the book down and pick it up again later without a problem.

You may wonder who's the next person Eddie will meet in heaven or how that person fit into Eddie's life but it will not bug you the whole day and distract you from your work, if you do not know. That was probably why I took forever to finish it. I didn't feel the urge to pick the book up, not because it was boring but I just considered it easy reading and I prefer to read those books when I'm relaxed, not when I'm tired. If it weren't for the hours I had to wait at the MPH outlet at Midvalley during my KL trip recently, I probably would have taken much longer to finish the book. :P

I've come around some people who find the book a little tough to understand but I still classify it as easy reading and anyone should be able to pick one up and read it without much problems. I find Mitch Albom's books to be very simple and direct yet articulate and enjoyable. Keeping the chapters short really helps keep things fresh.

Like "Tuesdays with Morrie", I will recommend this book to everyone. This is more a work of fiction, so it's a little different from "Tuesdays with Morrie" but the soul of the books are about the same, soul-searching books I call them. This book will be a good addition to your book collection but even if you're not an ardent reader or book collector, that shouldn't stop you from picking this book up to read. Just borrow one from your local library or find an MPH, Borders or Kinokuniya outlet to "preview" the book. ;) Read the first chapter and you'll be hooked. Believe me, you will be thoroughly satisfied.

So, who do you think will be the five people you meet in heaven? I wonder who mine will be.

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