- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Sphere (12 Nov. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847442269
- ISBN-13: 978-1847442260
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.8 x 20.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The First Phone Call From Heaven Hardcover – 12 Nov 2013
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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Mitch Albom sees the magical in the ordinary (Cecelia Ahern)
Beautiful and smart. Perhaps the most stirring and transcendent heaven story since Field of Dreams (Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook)
A beautifully rendered tale of faith and redemption that makes us think, feel and hope - and then doubt and then believe, as only Mitch Albom can make us do (Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain)
The number one New York Times bestseller -- a stunning and inspirational new novel from the bestselling author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays With Morrie.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Fortunately his latest book improves on both of these faults. Not only are the chapters of a sensible length the content is much less preachy whilst still managing to send across a message and move you.
As with a lot of his previous work the novel has a spiritual theme running through it but, whilst I myself and not a spiritual person, I still managed to engage in it. The novel deals with faith, loss and finding purpose in life after loss and it deals with it all very well. When I first began reading the novel and discovered that one of the characters was a recently released prisoner and another a priest I feared the characters were going to veer into stereotypes but luckily all of the characters were well constructed and relatable.
I think this novel is up there with Albom's best and is well worth a read.
I've enjoyed Mitch Albom's books before, even being aware that his beliefs differ from mine, and not had a problem with his stories, enjoying them for their entertainment value and interesting stories. Here's another good plot: the first of several people in US small town Coldwater, Tess, receives a phone message from her mum. Her mother is dead, however. Later that day, other residents also begin getting calls from loved ones who have died - a sister, a son, a work colleague.
What is going on? Are they really getting calls from Heaven?
The fun part for me was the media circus that quickly descends, bringing pilgrims and protestors, traffic and business into this small, shocked town. And the questions: are people lying or deluded? How is it happening? Just what about the content of these very short and cryptic calls?
The main characters are really Katherine Yellin, who can't believe she's not the only one getting calls (after all, she's the most devout), talking to her much-loved sister. There's Amy Penn, the journalist who wants to use Coldwater to make her name and career. And there's Sully, just released from a spell in prison for his part in a plane crash who is also grieving for the wife who died whilst in a coma during his confinement. Sully's son Jules desperately wants his mum to call him, but Sully is adamant that it's all a hoax.Read more ›
The hero of the story has an interesting backstory that is gradually revealed. Interestingly he is in fact the most sceptical character in the book, who ultimately sets out to disprove the supernatural origin of the calls. The other characters are fine without being particularly loveable or dislikeable. They never stood out as very 'real' to me, not because they are unbelievable but because they feel like cardboard cut outs. Each comes with a neat potted backstory and trots along fulfilling their set role in the unfolding action without coming alive on the page as individuals in their own right.
The author makes clear in his acknowledgements that he himself is a Christian, and certainly the book has a strong Christian ethos throughout, however it is not 'preachy' as such and can be enjoyed by a non-believer or adherent of other religion. What initially seems to be a story about the afterlife in fact turns out to be much more about living people and how they cope with grief, as well as getting in a good sub-theme about the media and its influence on how events unfold in the modern era.
Plot wise, it zips along with a good pace and is very gripping towards the end.Read more ›
"Ach, this thing," she mumbled. She heard the machine click on her kitchen counter as it played her outgoing message.
"Hi, it's Tess. Leave your name and your number. I'll get back to you as soon as I can, thanks."
A small beep sounded. Tess heard static. And then.
"It's Mom... I need to tell you something."
Tess stopped breathing. The receiver fell from her fingers.
Her mother died four years ago.
Now, that is what I call a first page. I was hooked. This is Mitch Albom's sixth book, including Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I had high expectations, based on these previous works but the opening lines were promising.
Coldwater, Lake Michigan is a sleepy town, close to the Canadian border, and like many rural communities, is struggling in these difficult times. Shops have closed down, unemployment is heavy and the moral is at an all-time low. Things take a dramatic turn when many of the residents of Coldwater start receiving phone calls from their loved ones who have passed away. The calls are intimate, heart wrenching and full of spiritual hope. The town is bustling again as people travel far and wide in the hope of contacting their own lost ones. Business is booming again and the churches are packed to the rafters. One man who has mixed feelings about these calls, and their effects, is Sully Harding. Having lost his wife in a tragic accident, he already carries the weight of the world on his shoulders.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been reading mitch albom for many years. Tuesdays with Morrie is probably my favourite. Did not enjoy this book that much and kept me comparing against five people you meet... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Appleind
I'm a fan of Mitch Albom but this isn't one of my favourites.Published 2 months ago by Susan Fisher
My son loves Mitch Albom books - he was delighted with this one!Published 4 months ago by Julie Patterson
Loved this book whatever you believe between life and after a good readPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer