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The First Phone Call From Heaven: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

"What if the end is not the end?"

From the beloved author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven comes his most thrilling and magical novel yet—a page-turning mystery and a meditation on the power of human connection.

One morning in the small town of Coldwater, Michigan, the phones start ringing. The voices say they are calling from heaven. Is it the ...

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The First Phone Call From Heaven: A Novel

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Overview

"What if the end is not the end?"

From the beloved author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven comes his most thrilling and magical novel yet—a page-turning mystery and a meditation on the power of human connection.

One morning in the small town of Coldwater, Michigan, the phones start ringing. The voices say they are calling from heaven. Is it the greatest miracle ever? Or some cruel hoax? As news of these strange calls spreads, outsiders flock to Coldwater to be a part of it.

At the same time, a disgraced pilot named Sully Harding returns to Coldwater from prison to discover his hometown gripped by "miracle fever." Even his young son carries a toy phone, hoping to hear from his mother in heaven.

As the calls increase, and proof of an afterlife begins to surface, the town—and the world—transforms. Only Sully, convinced there is nothing beyond this sad life, digs into the phenomenon, determined to disprove it for his child and his own broken heart.

Moving seamlessly between the invention of the telephone in 1876 and a world obsessed with the next level of communication, Mitch Albom takes readers on a breathtaking ride of frenzied hope.

The First Phone Call from Heaven is Mitch Albom at his best—a virtuosic story of love, history, and belief.

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  • The First Phone Call From Heaven
    The First Phone Call From Heaven  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The first phone call from Heaven was, of course, a surprise; but this otherworldly communication was followed by scores of others, each of them bringing news from the hereafter to men and women of Coldwater, Michigan. When news of this miraculous phenomenon spread, thousands thronged to this little community, each person hoping to be contacted by a departed loved one. Like all its number one bestseller predecessors, this new fable by Mitch Albom (The Timekeeper; For One More Day) strikes the deepest chord possible in readers.

Library Journal
Phones are ringing off the hook in little Coldwater, MI, but the callers are all deceased, stirring emotions from joyous relief to uncertain fear as they report being happy in heaven. People worldwide are hailing a miracle, but Sully Harding is determined to show that it's a hoax. Sully's wife died while he was doing time for a crime he may not have committed, and he worries when his young son starts carrying around a cell phone, convinced that he will soon be hearing from his mom. With a 1.5 million-copy first printing.
Library Journal
★ 11/01/2013
A series of tragic circumstances land widower Sully Harding back in his hometown of Coldwater, MI, just months before the mysterious phone calls start occurring. The calls, from deceased family members or acquaintances, are made to a few select members of this small community. Some choose to keep the calls a secret while others decide to tell all. When a small news station picks up the story, it isn't long before it goes viral and the sleepy little town is overrun by extreme believers and vitriolic protesters, all demanding proof. Even Sully's young son, Jules, believes his mother will contact him from heaven. But Sully's skepticism prods him to investigate either to uncover a hoax or believe in a miracle. VERDICT Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven) artfully captures the emotional turbulence caused by the testing of faith. His story clips along at an increasingly frenetic pace, realistically displaying the ugliness wrought when combining the media circus, mass hysteria, and greed of commercialism. This moving tale of loss, recovery, and the power of love will be snatched up by Albom's many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/13.]—Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062294395
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 3,998
  • File size: 643 KB

Meet the Author

Mitch  Albom

Mitch Albom is a bestselling novelist, a screen-writer, a playwright, and an award-winning journalist. He is the author of six consecutive number-one New York Times bestsellers and has sold more than thirty-four million copies of his books in forty-two languages worldwide. Tuesdays with Morrie, which spent four years atop the New York Times list, is the bestselling memoir of all time.

Albom has founded seven charities, including the first-ever full-time medical clinic for homeless children in America. He also operates an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife, Janine, in suburban Detroit.

Biography

You might call Mitch Albom a jock-of-all-trades. Before becoming one of America's most beloved sport commentators and columnists, Albom was an amateur boxer, a nightclub singer and pianist, and a stand-up comedian. He is a nationally syndicated fixture of radio and print, and has been featured as an analyst on ESPN. He has covered college football and college basketball in two successful nonfiction books, and the best of his articles have been collected in a series of anthologies called Live Albom. However, what catapulted Albom into the literary limelight was the mega-selling 1997 memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie, his first book to sidestep sports altogether..

Tuesdays... is a moving account of Albom's reconnection with his old Brandeis professor and college mentor, Morrie Schwartz. After learning Schwartz had been stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease, Albom sought him out in Boston, and throughout a long, harrowing year, they spent every Tuesday together. As he faced his inevitable death, Schwartz shared a lifetime of memories, regrets, fears, and philosophical insights with his former student. A story that could easily have toppled into maudlin sentimentality, the memoir succeeded in large part because of Albom's skillful writing. Published in 30 languages in 34 countries, the book remains an international bestseller.

In 2003, Albom forayed into fiction with The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the emotionally resonant story of an old man who dies, convinced his life has had no meaning -- only to discover that nothing could be further from the truth. It, too, scored a huge success for the author – as did his followup novel, For One Day More.

Good To Know

The Oprah Winfrey-produced version of Tuesdays with Morrie, starring Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, won 4 Emmy Awards and was the most-watched TV movie of 1999.

Before Albom was a household name, he was known on the comedy circuit as the warm-up act for Gabe "Welcome Back Kotter" Kaplan.

Albom is an enthusiastic philanthropist, having founded two charitable programs, the Dream Fund and A Time to Help.

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    1. Hometown:
      Franklin, Michigan
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 23, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Passaic, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Brandeis University, 1979; M.J., Columbia University, 1981; M.B.A., Columbia University, 1982

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 232 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(123)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(40)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 232 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Week It Happened... On the day the world received its first

    The Week It Happened...

    On the day the world received its first phone call from heaven, Tess Rafferty was unwrapping a box of tea bags.

    Drrrnnn!

    She ignored the ring and dug her nails into the plastic.

    Drrrnnn!

    She clawed her forefinger through the bumpy part on the side.

    Drrrnnn!

    Finally, she made a rip, then peeled off the wrapping and scrunched it in her palm. She knew the phone would go the answering machine if she didn't grab it before one more -

    Drrrnnn -

    "Hello?"

    Too late.

    "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 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.

    In the latest novel from best selling author Mitch Albom, he was more has created a longing in the heart for so many who wish for just one more phone call or a way to talk to those who have died. Only it isn't just Tess who is getting the phone calls, it is others in the small town of Coldwater, Michigan. Those once lost in their grief are finding comfort in the short simple phone calls conveying that everything is perfect and that those loved ones are calling from heaven and they want everyone to know about it.

    Amy Penn was hoping to finally get the one big break all reporters long for and when she gets the assignment to investigate the phone calls from dead people coming to those residents only in the town of Coldwater, Amy wonders if she is being sent on a wild goose chase because if she fails, the station doesn't have to worry about what the ratings will do. No one knows who she is anyway. But will Amy find more than she truly ever bargained for? Is this God's way of leading her down a much different path then she ever dreamed possible?

    You'll have to pick up this book to find out. If you've read Mitch Albom's other books, The Five People You Meet in Heaven or Tuesdays With Morrie, then you will definitely WANT this one. It's guaranteed to keep you wondering long after you finish the final page. In my opinion, this one hands down gets a 5 out of 5 stars. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This was a self purchase and being a huge book lover, I had to read this one. What a great Christmas gift!

    45 out of 57 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    Mitch Albom does it again

    Awesome book! I was hooked in the beginning. The ending left me speechless and wanting to discuss it with someone. Can't say it is my favorite Albom book. Hard to top Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Great read!

    24 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Amazing

    One again, Mitch Albom is able to capture the hearts of so many by telling a gripping story about the ability to hear and speak to our loved ones again. The power of belief and the unknown propel this stunning story far beyond the last page.

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    "You have to start over. That's what they say. But life is

    "You have to start over. That's what they say. But life is not a board game, and losing a loved one is never really 'starting over.' More like 'continuing without.'" ~ pg. 19

    As children we are taught we might go to heaven. But this fiction book shows heaven might come to us. A few residents of Coldwater, Michigan, are receiving calls every Friday from dead people. Presumably dead people that have gone on to heaven. Most of the callers have been deceased for years. Some believe it is a miracle; others are not so convinced.

    The small town of Coldwater has been turned upside down with increased visitors, news media and traffic. Are the recipients of the calls from heaven "chosen" people? The idea seems ludicrous but the story itself drew me in. I was eager to keep reading and see if more characters received calls from heaven and to see how the story ended. Surely there must be an explanation and a damn good ending to the mystery, whether it was a miracle or a hoax.

    Mitch Albom's new novel is like a story you've never read before. There are tidbits about Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone that tie into the fictional story. Whatever your belief, readers will like The First Phone Call from Heaven.

    "The end is not the end." ~ pg. 86

    The First Phone Call from Heaven released today. Add it to your wish lists or order today. It is worth it! Then ask yourself, would you mind getting a phone call from heaven?

    Literary Marie of Precision Reviews

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Wonderful

    Quite simply a beautiful book.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    First Phone call from Heaven

    Have waited for months...Finally Here....Mitch is a brillant writer...always feel the story

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Albom's Latest Exceeds Expectations

    Mitch Albom, one of today's most prolific authors, does it again. "The First Phone Call From Heaven" grabs you right from the start, and holds your interest throughout. Are the phone calls phoney -- or heaven-sent? Albom doesn't show his hand until he -- and you -- are ready. The story is uplifting and suspenseful, with just enough characters to keep it interesting without confusing the reader. A great read anytime, but particularly during the holidays. Kudos to Mitch Albom. Keep 'em coming!

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2013

    "If we knew what comes next , we never would have worried&q

    "If we knew what comes next , we never would have worried" :) 

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I haven't read a book by Mitch Albom in quite some time. But,

    I haven't read a book by Mitch Albom in quite some time. But, this book seemed to have all the same qualities of the previous books that I read and enjoyed. Sadly, I think this missed the mark a little for me.

    I really tried not to go into this book as a skeptic. Albom has a knack for making a believer out of you. I wanted to see how he could pull off phone calls from Heaven. But, it didn't take me long to not like how these phone calls were presented. This whole plot line is heavy in spoilers so lets just leave it as I was extremely disappointed how it all played out.

    However, I did love the characters. Sully is the perfect person to narrate this book. He needs something to believe in. His life has become the opposite of how he pictured it. And really, it's not because he made bad choices (well maybe just that one). It's really just the luck of the draw. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. And sometime really unimaginable things happen to people like Sully. I hope in the end he found some measure of hope in those around him.

    In the end, this wasn't exactly what I had hoped it would be. But, it really does have all the qualities that Mitch Albom is known for. I think plenty of people will connect with it more than I did.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Phones in a small Michigan town begin ringing and their loved on

    Phones in a small Michigan town begin ringing and their loved ones on the other end are calling from heaven. My heart stops. I think of my mom. Can I recall the sound of her voice. Yes. Tears begin to fall. What wouldn't a person who lost a loved one do to hear their voice, to know, to get an assurance that they are ok, not only are they ok, but they are in heaven and they don't want you to lose faith, stay the course. Everything is ok.




    But not everyone gets a phone call from heaven. Sully Harding has just been released from prison. His wife is dead and he is left to try and make a new life for himself and his six year old son, Jules. As more people come forward admit they too are receiving phone calls from heaven, Sully makes it his mission to foil the mystery...as his little boy begins to carry around a toy telephone (my heart broke).




    Each call changes the lives of the people receiving them. For some it brings healing, to some it brings hope and to others it opens up painful wounds. The novel has multiple points of view and tidbits of Alexander Graham Bell are woven in. A very quick read.




    This was my first Mitch Albom book. I have heard nothing, but great things about his books. I was very excited to read it. I ended up with a bit of mixed feelings about the novel. I went in with an expectation that this would be a really inspirational story. I didn't find The First Phone Call from Heaven to be overall inspirational. I mean yes there was some, but like I said I had a high expectation. I found it to be more a mystery to disprove someone else's miracle. This made me sad. I wanted Sully to stop. I didn't want anyone to have to have their hearts broken, again. It would be like losing that person again, and losing face for believing they were contacting you.




    As I'm sitting here writing this review, I'm thinking back to the book. I'm realizing how we aren't given phone calls from heaven to make us believe...that is where faith comes in. If you are given absolute proof than there is no need for faith, is there? The novel isn't about the ones who believe, it's about the one who doesn't. There are no guarantees in life, but if you believe then the afterlife is a guarantee. If Sully proves it's a hoax, he doesn't disprove the existence of heaven--but maybe his journey will open his eyes to what is unseen.




    I went into this book wanting proof. I wanted a phone call, too. I wanted to believe my mom and dad are just a phone call away. I ended up sitting on this story long after the last page was read. I was reminded not to put my faith in this world. I'm recommending The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom--a perfect Christmas gift. 

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2013

    I really enjoyed this read. The resolution surprised me. 

    I really enjoyed this read. The resolution surprised me. 

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    If you read the first four chapters, and, the last four chapters

    If you read the first four chapters, and, the last four chapters, you have read the book. The center is filler. I love Mitch's reviews in the paper, but not this book

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ANOTHER HIT BY ALBOM! I love this author and the way he can wea

    ANOTHER HIT BY ALBOM!

    I love this author and the way he can weave a story. Whether he is telling a true story or writing a work of fiction, his way with words is wonderful.

    This is a thought-provoking read for the spiritual and not so spiritual. I believe Mr. Albom could make even the hard core doubters think about the light. This is a wonderful book filled with emotions of all kinds -- from happiness to anger, sorrow to laughter. If you are looking for a read to bring some belief back into your life, this book is it.

    Thanx again Mr. Albom for another fabulous read. Now I am off to purchase some tissue for the house as I have depleted the supply reading this story.

    -- SPeeD

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Being an advocate of all previous Mitch Albom's writings, I foun

    Being an advocate of all previous Mitch Albom's writings, I found this book lacking the true inspiration that has become his trademark. I was awaiting the connection of the story with a faithful or spiritual message as in all his other writings. That moment of true enlightenment was subdued and too short in appearance. The body of his writing did not transition or flow between the message and the plot as well as expected.

    The First Phone Call from Heaven lacked substance considering the content it could have drawn on. The thought of a loved one conversing from heaven was an excellent subject matter. Along the line of Mitch's other books I expected a perspective that may have included a polar opposition of science and religion, or the inclusion of a newly discovered dimensional connection.

    The spirit of hope and faith, in corresponding with a loved one in heaven carries with it a heavy burden. A story that seeks to find the answer to such an inquisitive longing should have built upon the science Alexander Graham Bell more. As the reader I did not understand fully the inclusion of Mr. Bell as related to the story. The small inclusions of Alexander's life seemed out of place.

    Perhaps this reader did not fully grasp the story as intended but it was not that difficult in past novels.

    My personal favorites remain, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Time Keeper!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Not a favorite...

    This is the first book I have read by Mitch Albom and I would rate it as just ok. The story line did keep me turning pages but I guess I was expecting something else, not a mystery of sorts. Not a book I would pick up and read again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    Just okay

    Maybe my expectations were too high, it didn't even come close to Tuesdays With Morey. This was just okay.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2013

    not recommended

    A trite and dissapointing tale, which makes no sense, and has a shallow view of spiritual life.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    This book was so disappointing. I normally am a huge fan of Mit

    This book was so disappointing. I normally am a huge fan of Mitch Albom's books but not this time. It didn't hold my attention, seemed completely unbelievable and I thought was just awful. It was painful for me to even finish reading.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Ddddddffwrtyrjfjff

    It eas so boring

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Robin

    Hahahahahaha

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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