Sara Q's Reviews > Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Sum by David Eagleman
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's review
Apr 24, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: fiction, with-magic, library, myth
Recommended to Sara Q by:
Read from May 05 to 06, 2012

This is a book of 40 musings on what the afterlife might be like - each one is about 2 to 3 pages long, often dealing with some form of god, science, and human failings.
In a way, the book reminded me of Alan Lightman's little collection Einstein's Dreams. This book, however, does not have the variety and reach of Lightman's. The subtitle says "40 tales from the afterlives" but really it's only 3 or 4, put on repeat with the words slightly shuffled. Maybe if you only read one tale a week, it would work better. Since I had this checked out from the public library I was trying to get through it quickly, and I was bored very early on in the book with all the repetition and similarity across the tales. It's a shame - the Telegraph interview with the author made his books sound so promising. He has an undergraduate degree in literature and a PhD in neuroscience. Perhaps his next book on the brain will be better, but this book of fiction I cannot recommend.

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