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Book Review:The Five People You Meet in Heaven Related Resources
by Mitch Albom
Review by C.S. Clarke,Ph.D.


This is not my usual fare for either reading or reviewing. But someone who seems to have a very good idea of the kind of thing that belongs on my site recommended I review it, so I read it. He was right. It is a personal growth book disguised as fiction. It has, more or less, the structure of a parable (actually several parables) and as such has clearly defined "lessons" in simple, straight-forward storylines. And by presenting the complex philosophical issues of the meaning of one person's life within the simplified storylines, Mitch Albom has helped all of us take another look at simplifying our own thinking about The Meaning of Life.

The primary storyline is: an amusement park mechanic dies on his eighty-third birthday while attempting to save the life of a little girl. He then takes a journey through the major events of his life learning through his own retrospection, and from the lessons from five people for whom he played a key role, what were the meanings, purposes and connections of his actions.

Because there is a good deal of emotionally-touching content, and I know that there are many readers who are averse to "sentimentality," I was curious about how others reacted to the book. I read about 50 other folks reviews and found that we mostly agreed that if you like "A Christmas Carol" and "It's A Wonderful Life," you will not have any trouble with the sentimentality of The Five People You Meet in Heaven. There are some two-hankie moments. However, touching the emotions is an excellent method of making ideas memorable. If something touches you emotionally, its a good bet you should pay attention to the thought behind it.

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