The Five People You Meet in Heaven with The Lovely Bones


T.S. O'Rama directs us to this review of Mitch Albom's bestseller. And while the review is quite accurate and reasonable in both tone and critique, I have to say that I liked the book anyway.

Why might that be? Well, first I didn't take Albom's notion of heaven too seriously. The novel is obviously a parable about "the good [that is ] oft interred with their bones." It's a schmaltzy, touching rehash of It's a Wonderful Life that basically says we're all important to someone. Sometimes we're important in ways that we cannot know while alive.

What has this to do with Heaven? Well, I think that Albom's "Heaven" is actually the vestibule-heaven comes later. While in the antechamber of heaven this is what goes on in Mitch Albom's vision. We receive a notion of our interconnectedness.

I guess I'll say that I never really saw this as heaven, nor do I think that this is the fullness of Albom's vision of heaven. Albom was writing to make a point that should be reiterated every now and again. "No man is a island. . ." etc.

The second reason I liked this so much is that the vision of Heaven offered was at least different from that repugnant self-manufactured paradise of murderers found in Sebold's The Lovely Bones. If the reviewer really wants to be worried about images of spirituality and heaven, here is a good place to direct his attention. Sebold's main character spends her time "making her own heaven." From this heavenly abode she is able to look down upon Earth (and tends to do so obsessively, taking in all the gory details.) Also from this abode, she is conveniently able to commit murder--which is doubly bad because she does not choose to do so until much greater mayhem has occurred.

I read the two relatively close together in time, and so Albom's book, which is obviously metaphorical comes off far better.

By this I mean to say that Albom's book is a engaging piece of fluff, a reminder that we are all important in ways we cannot imagine. This is, in part, because we all serve in God's plan of salvation for the human race.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on March 10, 2004 7:43 AM.

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