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For my book report I chose to read and critique Mitch Albom’s “The Fine People You Meet in Heaven”. Mitch Albom’s story is centered on a character named Eddie. Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels like he has led a nothing to show life, and blames most his problems on his father. Unlike most stories ours begins at the end with Eddie’s death. After dying Eddie goes on a journey through heaven and along the way he meets five people that teach him of the impact of things he has done during his life.
Eddie work for an ocean-side amusement park as the head of maintenance. He seems to have been sucked in and stuck at his job because of certain things that have happened in his life. Injured in World War 2, Eddie now walks with a limp. Eddie is 83 years old when he passes away by trying to save a small child from a cart falling on one of the rides at the park, and when he tries to move the child out of the way the cart falls killing him.
After he dies the next thing Eddie knows is he’s at the pier and no longer has any pain in his body but feels like a young man again. Eddie begins running around and testing this new body of his when he notices someone. The first person Eddie comes in contact with is the Blue Man. The Blue Man used to work as a “freak” at Ruby Pier. The Blue Man tells Eddie that he was responsible for his death, and Eddie denies that he was. Then the Blue Man tells Eddie how what he was younger he ran in front of the Blue Man’s car causing the Blue Man to have a panic attack that later caused him wreck his car and eventually killing him. Eddie apologizes frantically but the Blue Man then teaches Eddie the first lesson that he will learn on his journey. The lesson the Blue Man taught Eddie was that there are no random acts in life, and that all incidents are intertwined in some way. After learning the lesson that the Blue Man gave him Eddie is whisked away to the next part of his journey.
Eddie finds himself back on a war ground, which resembled the area he fought on during WWII.
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During his tour in the Philippines were taken as prisoners. Eddie and his fellow soldiers were held captive for nearly half a year. After seeing one of the enemies trying to juggle some rocks Eddie gets an idea. Eddie starts to juggle to get the captors attention and after all the enemy soldiers are watching him he throws a rock a one. Then Eddie’s fellow soldiers jump the other captors killing them. Now free Eddie and the others torch the prison camp they were captive in. Eddie starts to torch this hut and after he set it ablaze he thought he saw a small body moving around in the hut. Almost certain there was someone in the fire Eddie runs in the hut to try and rescue the child but one of his army soldiers try to stop him. Determined to get inside the hut Eddie knocks down the soldier and runs in the hut. While in the hut he yells out for someone but no answer all the while he is being burned. Suddenly he feels a sharp pain in his leg and then wakes up in a vehicle and is told he was shot in the leg which is later the reason for his limp.
Back on the war ground Eddie is talking with the captain and the captain reveals that he was the one who shot him in the leg. Furious Eddie attacks then captain yelling for a reason why he did it. The captain then teaches Eddie the second lesson of sacrifice. The captain sacrificed Eddie’s leg for his life. He teaches Eddie of sacrifices that everyone makes in life. The captain said “Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else”. Shortly after, Eddie travels to meet the next person on his journey.
Eddie then finds himself in a mountain range, and at the bottom of the mountain he finds a diner. Through the window of the diner he sees his father sitting in there but his father can neither see him nor hear him. Then he meets his third person, Ruby, who tells him that it is her for who the pier is named. Ruby goes on to tell Eddie of an incident that happened between Mickey (Eddie’s father’s friend) and his father. Mickey tried to assault Eddie’s mom and then his dad came home. Mickey ran and Eddie’s father followed him with the intent to kill him but ended saving Mickey’s life. Through that story of Mickey and Eddies father Ruby teaches Eddie his next lesson: loyalty and forgiveness. Eddie then forgives his father for all the pain he caused throughout the years. Eddie then travels to his next stop in his journey.
Eddie blinks and finds himself in a room with a door that leads to different wedding reception for different cultures. After walking through many different receptions Eddie meets his fourth person, Marguerite, his long dead wife. The two then spend quite a while with each other and Eddie doesn’t want to let go of his wife and lose her again. During their life together Eddie didn’t tell Marguerite much about his army life or his bad relations with his father, but now he was telling her everything about the things he had kept secret. Marguerite goes on to teach Eddie the fourth lesson on his journey. The lesson was the power of love and even though someone may pass away the love that was shared will still go on. Even though Eddie didn’t want this step in his journey to end, it did.
Suddenly Eddie was in a land with many children playing and then there is a young girl that catches his attention and she has him come closer. The young girl tells him her name is Tala, and then she goes on to say that Eddie had killed her in the fire back at the prison camp. Eddie is starts to weep uncontrollably and pleads for forgiveness. Tala then goes to the water, hands Eddie a rock and asks him to wash her but when she takes her closes off all of her scars and burns appear. Eddie starts to wash the child and as he is washing he notices that all the scars and burns are coming off revealing new skin. Seeing this Eddie frantically scrubs the child’s skin to get the affliction off. After he is done Tala lets him see his final lesson which is that his life wasn’t meaningless in fact he kept countless people safe from injury and death by maintaining the rides at Ruby Pier. Tala also shows Eddie that the young child he tried to save at the park the day of his death was safe and no harm came to her.
This story did indeed touch me and it also makes you think who would are the five people I would meet in heaven.