I really must find a way of tracking which
blog I got a recommendation from. With a Google Reader book blog list 2 screens
long, trying to put in a bit at the end of a blog about “other bloggers who
liked this book” is nigh on impossible. I’m attempting an Excel spreadsheet
format at the moment.
People You Meet in Heaven is a simply-told tale
of an 83-year-old amusement park ride mechanic and his death trying to save a
little girl from a tragedy when a piece of machinery breaks. He is disappointed
to find heaven unlike his expectations – instead he is greeted by a succession
of people in their own chosen heavens who explain his life to him. Some he knew
and loved, others were strangers to him.
The tragedies of his life are overwhelming –
poverty, a wife who died before her time, depression – and there isn’t much to
be joyful about. This, in my opinion, is the book’s downfall – it feels
unbalanced, and his eventual choice for his own heaven is confusing. I also
found the style too simple – if the book is to be so bleakly tragic, it needs
more weight behind it – more Wuthering
Heights and less Bambi.