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Publisher's Summary

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief - and a page-turner that will touch your soul - Albom's masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.
Readers of The Five People You Meet in Heaven will recognize the warmth and emotion so redolent of Albom's writing, and those who haven't yet enjoyed the power of his storytelling will thrill at the discovery of one of the best-loved writers of our time.
©2013 ASOP, Inc. (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic Reviews

"The author narrates the ensuing confusion and controversy, as well as the varying viewpoints of those who believe in the messages from the dead and those who don't. Albom portrays each individual's reaction with genuine compassion. Amid the excitement and bewilderment, he's still able to keep Harding's voice familiar and deferential. Albom uses a soothing, quiet voice--fitting and purposeful--for each phone call from the unknown. Sound effects such as a phone ringing, a doorbell, and a sudden knocking sound are all effective in achieving such a thought-provoking and inspiring story." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 11-15-13

Suspense... sort of.

I have to confess so that you know when you're evaluating this review and deciding how much weight to give it, I'm a fan of Mitch Albom's earlier work. His writing, that is. I had my doubts when I saw that he was narrating The First Phone Call from Heaven. But those doubts quickly evaporated. He's a great reader and enhanced the listen. So, kudos there.

The other question that came quickly into my mind is what happens when a sympathetic writer (Albom) portrays an unsympathetic character (Sully) behaving unsympathetically? The answer, it turned out, was subtle, but unmistakable suspense. I fell for Sully and was really intrigued to find out where the phone calls were coming from. Heaven or hoax? The telling was skillful enough that several times I wasn't sure which answer I was hoping would turn out to be true and found myself changing sides.

Since I'm writing this review to encourage you to listen to the book (well worth the credit, though a departure from Mitch Albom's earlier books, in content though the Albom pathos lingers...) I won't spoil the ending. I can say that it kept me engaged right through the end and, in the end, I was satisfied. I won't be surprised if I revisit this book in my library again.

Recommend.

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41 of 44 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By tooonce72 on 11-20-13

Heaven Calling...............

A clean mystery about good God fearing people, Mitch Albom’s latest book was interesting and thought provoking. I am not one to guess the outcome of books and I did not in this one either. The author kept the story moving, tamed the cast of characters and allowed the reader to insert themselves in such an interesting situation. This book added to quite the discussion at our house. My favorite parts though were the little Alexander Graham Bell snippets intertwined within the story. What a basket of juicy little historical facts!!

Mitch Albom does not have a believable voice for fiction. He comes across as a motivational speaker not a fictional story teller. Mix that with a Heaven topic and the first few chapters I had keep convincing myself over and over that I did actually have a fictional book and not something that was soon going to turn into a sermon. It doesn't. It actually turns intoa good mystery.

I got to mention the sound effects. This book uses them A LOT. The first few chapters the sound effects verge on annoying. Then they stop or you can see a ringing phone or doorbell coming. Towards the end of the book I was listening in the middle of the night when someone knocked on the door (in the book) and jumped a foot off the bed. Totally scared me to death.

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33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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