Albom's sophomore effort is, as my brother would say, "scrumrulescent". I love books about heaven. Not that there are many, but still, I tip my hat to the author who even attempts it, and I fall flat on my face before the author who attempts it and succeeds. Premise to FIVE PEOPLE: Eddie's spent his whole life working at an amusement park, and when, in an attempt to save a little girl from almost certain demise (dun dun DUN), he's killed by a wayward coaster car, he finds himself in that much-imagined, much dreamt-of, highly idealized place--heaven. But there are no angels, no harps. Instead, there is only the first of five people that Eddie will encounter, who will explain to Eddie what his life has meant. Each of the five will teach Eddie a lesson.
Sound a bit suspiciously Hallmark? Well, it's not. FIVE PEOPLE isn't one of those feel-good books, where all truths are soft and pliable, oh no. It's a quick read, but it's deep, and the current is swift and it is just so cool.
Albom's writing reminds me a bit of Vonnegut, actually, and I mean that as a very good thing--the fluctuating timelines, the continuity of things, how one story merges with another and adds a second layer of meaning and all-around loveliness to the first...and that marvelous, all-knowing narrator that Kurt Vonnegut is so fond of.
Another good book about the afterlife? C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce.