I just finished reading 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. I have already read 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese. The two books have similar titles and both books discuss experiences in the opposite extremes of eternity, but that is where the similarities end. 90 Minutes in Heaven is a much better book that rings much more true and encouraging, because it deals so realistically with pain, death and suffering.
I'm not saying that Bill Wiese didn't have a real experience with Hell. I believe that he did experience something, and his book is faithful to the Bible on the subject. But Don Piper's experience in and the way that it is told makes it much more than a book on Heaven.
Piper tells about being "killed" in a car wreck, and how a pastor at the scene prays for him and sings hymns, even though the sheet has covered Piper's body, and 90 minutes later the pastor hears Don singing with him. Don shares how during those 90 minutes he experienced an incredible peace and joy at the gates of Heaven, as a welcoming party of all of his deceased loved ones and Christian friends met him. But then Don came back to earth.
The rest of the book describes the bitterly painful experience of a long, slow and wrenching recovery, and how even to this day Don is in constant pain. Despite his pain, he has found his purpose in encouraging other people who endure serious injuries and people who face death, because he has experienced their pain and he has experienced the certainty of Heaven.
This is the perfect book to give to any person who is dying or is enduring a long illness or slow recovery from an injury. It is raw and honest about suffering, yet wonderfully encouraging about eternal life through faith in Christ. No wonder it is a best seller.