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90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life {memoir} (1996)

by Don Piper, Cecil Murphey

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2,942813,412 (3.5)46
After colliding with a semi-truck, Don Piper died and went to heaven. Ninety minutes later he returned to life on earth. After years of silence, he is now sharing his life-changing story.
  1. 00
    An Amish Awakening by Rick Leland (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: An Amish Awakening's main character is an Amish man who became a minister in his Amish church; Don Piper is a minister in a Protestant denomination church. Both claim to have had encounters with Jesus Christ and then returned to earth.

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Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
Interesting story about a minister's brush with death during an automobile accident. He appeared dead to the emergency personnel who arrived on the scene. They reluctantly let another minister into the wrecked car to pray for the mangled body in the wreckage. The praying minister discovered that the body was still alive. ( )
  Consciousness_Cafe | Mar 1, 2021 |
I got lent this book for Christmas, which was ok, as it was sorta worth reading once, but not shelving. (I also got to keep two other books which were less good.)

(I was also briefly intrigued more so than I would be later because I confused Don Piper with John Piper, who I’ve heard good things about.)

But to be really freaky, this book made me wish for a book about hell. I’m, at least for the most part, very optimistic about fear—most of the nicest people in the world have trouble with anxiety, and I think it’s worth it, to be a little counter-Freudian, right, although I don’t know which is stranger—so I like the doctrine of hell, and the only problem I have with how it’s commonly understood is people think that you go there for being a Jew. “Anne Frank, God would like to punish you now.” “Too flirty?” “Too Jewish.” “Well, the one negates the other, right.”

I’m less optimistic about earthly rewards. There are Christians who spend 5% of their time speculating on whether Anne Frank is in hell because you can’t have two masters, and 95% of their time on home improvement projects. Of course, whenever someone in life does something bad it’s possible that someone else could have done it in a more legitimate way, so maybe someone reading this is very spiritual and loves Home Depot, right. What I’m saying is, not that it’s the author’s fault, although incidentally maybe it’s the reason why his book was such a runaway bestseller, is that people think that they’re going to get into a very good neighborhood in the next life by doing lots of home improvement projects for themselves in this life and then speculating about the good neighborhood they’ll get into in the next life, since they’re not a Jewish girl, right.

I’m sure there were also people who were terribly paranoid about the whole thing and gave him a lot of grief for terribly poor reasons.

.... I realize that most of the book is not about heaven, which in a sense negates some of my criticism, I guess, but the writing is basically fairly flat and mechanical. Not recommended, although there is a picture of page 62 which is more effective than most of the words, one of those There But For Grace things, and the idea that prayer can be more effective in physical proximity is I guess new for me. Still, most of the 200 pages reads like industrially manufactured fluff, more than content. Flat, just so dreadfully flat. God spare me from suffering something so terrible that sounds like it couldn’t have happened to a nicer robot.

.... So to speak. Parts of it can be very whiny, where he goes, I may be a pastor (even though I never talk about the Bible or theology except for the biblical epigraph for each chapter) so I’ve visited people suffering, but I think I might be in the worst shape of anyone, ever! And without irony. We’re all weak so I can imagine having thoughts like that if I were near death, but I think I would probably realize that I was full of shit, right.

So he’s a mix between a theology man like John Piper and a regular schmuck like Don Draper.

Peggy: Can I get you anything?
Don Draper: Heaven.... I want to be in heaven.
Peggy: /nods/ Right. Me too.
Don Draper: My suffering is the worst, Peggy.... They won’t even let me smoke in here.
Peggy: Right. Me neither. /nods/
Pete: /walks in like/ What’s going on in here. Draper, on your feet in five minutes or I’m taking your job.
Peggy: /angry/ Pete, you’re not helping.
Pete: Well I gave him pages and pages, and I didn’t learn hardly anything.

Don Draper: /smoking/ Heaven isn’t like anything I can imagine. Being in heaven was better than watching a movie. But then I got in a car accident. /puts out cigarette/ Life hasn’t been the same since.
Pete: Christ, Draper, that’s the worst, most prosaic description of heaven and earth I’ve ever heard.
Don Draper: /points/ You’re fired.
Pete: /arms wide/ You can’t fire me. My family has money!
Don Draper: You’re a spoiled rich kid.
Pete: And you’re a schmuck.

Pete: /with the shrink/ Religion can be useless, that’s what James says. If you get angry, then your religion is useless. And probably other things too, like if you don’t know how to comfort the afflicted, or just generally be in the world. /beat/ Hey, aren’t you going to say anything?
Shrink: /holds up sign/
Pete: “The less I say, the more I get paid.” Huh. Ok. /beat/ Well that explains a lot.

I know, the ad men wouldn’t do metaphysics, but if they did, they’d be very confident. ;)

.... But it’s a hard life.

.... Don Draper: Let’s put up a plaque: ‘Don Draper tripped here’.
/because he has money and it’s 1960 everyone nods and pretends to take this seriously/

But it’s a hard life....

And I suppose that God can work through cads, if perhaps a little reluctantly.

.... “I helped this person; I helped that person; I’m the cad bursting at the seams with the Knowledge of God.”

Don Draper: Hey. /points/ Remember: I have the answers.
Peggy: /nods/ ‘Course. /nods, closes door/
  goosecap | Dec 21, 2020 |
Don Piper spent 90 minutes in heaven before being returned to earth through prayer. His subsequent recovery from a near fatal car accident in 1989 was grueling, but as a minister he discovered that his encounter in the afterlife could bring peace and ease to those in pain. ( )
  phoenixcomet | Jul 22, 2020 |
In the ten years since 90 Minutes in Heaven was published, millions of people worldwide have read the incredible true story of Don Piper's experience with death and life--and in reading they have found their own lives changed.

After a semi-truck collided with Don Piper's car, he was pronounced dead at the scene. For the next ninety minutes, he experienced the glories of heaven. Back on earth, a passing minister felt led to stop and pray for the accident victim even though he was told Piper was dead. Miraculously, Piper came back to life, and the pleasure of heaven was replaced by a long and painful recovery.
  StFrancisofAssisi | Mar 19, 2020 |
When a Baptist minister is killed in a car accident, he spends 90 minutes in heaven before returning to a life of pain and healing of his wounds. He doesn't understand his purpose until his experiences start to help others. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Don Piperprimary authorall editionscalculated
Murphey, Cecilmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To the prayer warriors...
You prayed; I'm here!
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I died on January 18, 1989.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish among:
  • this Work, Don Piper's original memoir, 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life (co-authored with Cecil Murphey; 1996)
  • Don Piper's video curriculum based on that memoir, 90 Minutes in Heaven: See Life's Troubles in a Whole New Light (2011), and
  • Michael Polish's feature film adaptation, 90 Minutes in Heaven (starring Hayden Christensen & Kate Bosworth; 2015).
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After colliding with a semi-truck, Don Piper died and went to heaven. Ninety minutes later he returned to life on earth. After years of silence, he is now sharing his life-changing story.

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