The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Book Review

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Firstly, as it happens in the movies, lets get the credits (or as Indians say - numbering) out of the way! :D I would like to thank Deepali for gifting me this book! God knows what you were thinking when you selected this book for me! :P

Frankly speaking I got a little confused by reading the short summary of this book, as it looked some sort of philosophical self-help book (which I totally abhor by the way!) from its back cover! But ab kya karen, gift mila hai to padna hi padega! :P

Anyways, once I started reading the book, I totally fell in love with the way of writing of the author Mitch Albom. The author has written the book in such a simple language that it becomes a nice cab time read.

The story is about the life of one Eddie, the maintenance man. Actually no, the story starts when Eddie dies and his body goes in a funeral casket! Yeah, the story is about his after-life! After dying, Eddie reaches heaven. Surprisingly, the heaven described in the book is not at all like the one shown in Hindi mythological movies :P !

Eddie's heaven had no clouds, or bikini wearing angels, or people playing musical instruments! According to Mitch, everyone has his own version of heaven, and Eddie's heaven was Ruby Pier, where he was born, brought up, worked, and finally died! And then, the story took a weird turn!

Eddie meets a blue colored man, who used to work here when Eddie was a chota baccha! He welcomes Eddie to heaven, and describes the concept of heaven to Eddie!

Every new person meets five people from his life in heaven. These five people describe key life turning events to the newbie, and help him make sense of the events that the person never understood in his lifetime! Blue man was the first life turning point in Eddie's life. Cutting the long story short, little Eddie once ran across the road, just in front of Blue Man's car. Blue man swerved the car in other direction. Eddie lived, whereas the Blue Man died! :( Neither of them was related to other one, but because of Blue Man, Eddie lived! And because of Eddie, the Blue Man died!

PS: Blue Man was actually a man with blue skin. He was a joker of sorts! :P

Anyways, one by one, four more people come to meet Eddie, in chronological order, from his chotta baccha age to his old age.

Author has done a very good job in selecting the five people, with the fifth one being the most surprising and providing the sense to the whole story! I really liked the ending where I was like - o teri, to ye hua tha! :D

Even the way this book is written is really nice. On one hand, Eddie is moving around the heaven meeting his five people, on the other hand, after every few pages, there are a couple of flashback pages associated with these people, bringing the sense of the story and the conversations between the past, and the present!

In short, the book provides a detailed description of what Shree Shree Steve Jobs said in one line in his Stanford commencement address " Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward ... but it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. ... you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life" Sigh! Satyavachan, I tell you!

And thats what this book has tried to implied in so many pages. Everything, everywhere is connected. Its just that we don't know it yet!

In short, I liked the book for its readability, way of writing and the fictional message its trying to give. Do read it if you get a chance ! I give it a rating of 435 our of 542!

The world is full of stories, but the stories are all one...
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