a True Story of Death and Life
by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
Fleming H. Revell, 2004
A New York Times Bestseller, I was looking forward to reading this book, which had been recommended to me by a friend. It tells the story of a pastor who was in a serious (even fatal) car accident, died, went to heaven, and returned to earth 90 minutes later. Not only is it miraculous that he came back to life, but that he survived the multiple surgeries and pain that followed.
I had expected the book to deal largely with the 90 minutes Don Piper spent in heaven, as per the title. Instead, there are a couple of chapters on his time there, and the bulk of the book is devoted to the details of his accident, his time in hospital and recovery, and how his experience changed his life and allowed him to touch the lives of other people as well. I did find parts of the story touching, and I don't doubt its credibility, but I do wish he'd gone into more detail about what heaven is actually like. Of course, those who have come near death, are in hospital, and/or are in serious pain, may find that the book meets their needs entirely.
Cec Murphey, who is the book's real writer, did a better job with Franklin Graham's Rebel with a Cause. Here there is far too much repetition, and it strikes the reader as amateurish.
Perhaps we get more of what we're after in the companion volume, Heaven is Real: Lessons on Earthly Joy - from the Man who Spent 90 Minutes in Heaven. If I read it, I'll let you know.