Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Last night I finished reading Mitch Albom's latest book, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. I loved his previous best-seller, Tuesdays with Morrie and as he's a Detroit Free Press sports columnist, I've been reading him for years.

The book gave me a lot to think about and I would think that everybody should read it. I guess some ultra right wing religious types (you know, the types our President likes to appeal to) would hate it because it wasn't all about God, at least, not in the way they prefer.

In Mitch's heaven, it's mostly about coming to terms with your life, i.e., making sense of different things that made you the person you are, and that makes sense to me. The five people you meet in heaven are supposed to help with the discovery. I recently read The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, which in the prologue made the claim that this story would make you believe in God, if you didn't. Now, I already believe in God, but did not understand why this story would make me believe in God, if I didn't. It didn't strengthen my faith in God or even make me question my faith in God. In my opinion, it was just an interesting story about a boy stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger. I enjoyed it, a lot more than I had expected to, but that was it. It's very possible that I missed something, but I have no clue what it was.

On the other hand, Mitch's book made me think more about life and death. I'm not really afraid of dying. I'm not planning on dying any time soon, mind you, but I'm not scared of it. I have too much I still want to do here on earth. The five are people whose lives you affected or vice versa, and you might not know them. I think it's really an intriguing idea.

Anyway, I think this book is worth the effort (and trust me, it's not a huge effort as it's only 196 pages and it's not exactly fine print. It took me less than four hours to read it, in fact, I would say it took me less than three hours to read). Unlike Hey Nostradamus I could see the hope in this book.

I'm not doing a very good job talking about the book at all, but would love to discuss it with someone who has read it.


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