I often wonder, as I listen to an audiobook, whether the author ever finds anything “wrong” or “missing” when they listen to spoken interpretation of their text. I guess Mitch Albom didn’t have to worry about that, though, since he WAS the narrator of his book! (I didn’t even realize this until I got to the end of the book and there was an author interview… So much for paying attention to details when I pick up an audiobook!) Anyhow. I think Mitch’s reading was very well done. The pacing was great and the voices were always distinct. Sometimes, I have a hard time understanding a narrator when they add an extra gruffness or accent, but this audiobook was nothing but smooth sailing. Enough about the narration, though. I should say a little about the story.
Eddie led a pretty simple life. There were some major events — like going off to war and getting married — but most of his life was rather standard fare. Eddie grew up in a working-class family and ended up becoming a working-class man. He and his wife were unable to have children of their own, but Eddie always loved kids and was well-loved by the kids who knew him from his job at an amusement park called Ruby Pier. On his 83rd birthday, while attempting to save a little girl from the runaway roller coaster car of a broken ride, Eddie died. He immediately moved on and began a journey to meet 5 people whose job it was to help Eddie understand the happenings and the people in his life.
I liked the fact that the story strayed from traditional ideas of heaven and angels. I also appreciated the multiple “twists” that came with the explanations from the 5 people. And, while no one knows the “truth” about heaven, I can only hope that Mitch Albom’s ideas of heaven are not too far off.