3 out of 4 stars
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I'm starting to think that I have a "thing" for the number five and Heaven. One of my favorite books is The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and now I've read The Five Greatest Disappointments in Heaven by Lynn Depeal. In this amusing tome, Mr. Depeal notes the five things that he is afraid he'll find out about Heaven when he arrives and that they'll be disappointing.
I'm not usually one to applaud Prologues, but I was captivated from the first line. In the precursor, the author explained how his mind often takes circuitous routes to get from one subject to another which then leaves his friends and family scratching their heads, wondering how the statement he just made is relevant to the conversation. I do that on occasion, too, so I saw myself in this book right away. Fortunately, he managed to mostly stay on track throughout the following chapters, so getting lost was not an issue.
What I liked most about this book was that rather than listing the five things and then elaborating on the statements, the author explained different things about himself before noting the disappointments. It was like reading some of Aesop's Fables except the moral at the end was replaced with the disappointment that he fears. For instance, in the first chapter, Mr. Depeal explained his love of football and the various college teams he has supported, finally ending with the first disappointment. I won't tell what it is; you'll have to read the book to find that out, but suffice it to say that I was amused. I found the other four "disappointments" to be humorous as well, though I only agreed with three of them.
The tone of this book was wonderful too. Aside from the second chapter, wherein the author showed himself to be a mean cat-hater (I adore felines, for the record), I loved following along on the journey that showed glimpses into Mr. Depeal's life. He was a great tour guide, pointing out interesting things that I've never thought of and even breaking the fourth wall every once in a while. Chapter Three, in particular, spoke to me and made me nod my head several times. In this section, Mr. Depeal explained how he has trouble believing his wife's comments about his "great singing voice" because he was teased about his lack of singing talent and told not to sing during his younger years. Most of those 13.25 pages could be my story. I will also note that as a staunch Christian, I was afraid that I'd be disturbed by this book, but the author did such a fantastic job of making it amusing and "not so serious" (I hope) that I couldn't get angry, instead enjoying it for what it is. In the conclusion, Mr. Depeal noted that he originally started with the idea of ten disappointments. Even though his reasons for paring it down to five made sense, I'd happily read a follow-up to this book should he decide to write one.
Sadly, I cannot give The Five Greatest Disappointments in Heaven the four stars that I feel it deserves based on content alone because it's full of grammatical errors. The missteps run the gamut from punctuation errors to incorrect verb tenses to repeated words and phrases ("Maybe the cat would “run away,” or it would it would fall into a deep depression and throw itself in front of a truck" is one example). There are also a few instances of compound words being written as two separate words and vice-versa and one instance of two words in a sentence being juxtaposed. Additionally, while it isn't technically incorrect, the author's tendency to write "Heaven" with the lower-case 'h' grated on my nerves a bit. This .pdf was only 88 pages - formatted as 43 two-page spreads - so the number of errors for a book of this size was rather large. So it is with a heavy heart that I must give this tome 3 out of 4 stars.
Despite the noted errors, I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy humorous looks into people's lives as well as thoughts about what Heaven could be like. Readers who like brief glimpses into others' thought processes also may enjoy this tome. People who cannot abide jokes about the subject of Heaven should stay clear though.
- So let it be written.
The 5 greatest disappointments in heaven
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