dirt's Reviews > Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Sum by David Eagleman
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Aug 30, 2009

it was amazing
Recommended to dirt by: radiolab
Recommended for: Anyone who is going to die
Read in August, 2009

David Eagleman mixes science and philosophy and concocts 40 tales concerning what happens to us when we die.

I first heard about this book when Radiolab explored the After Life in 11+ meditations. Jeffery Tambor's voice was an excellent choice and it resonated through my head during the entire reading.

All of the vignettes are original and thought provoking as they explore death from the grand scale to the minute. Each tale leaves the reader thinking that it is a completely plausible portrayal of the afterlife. This believability is partly due to the small details such as a red dentist chair, mountains of angelic punch cards, and a multitude of retired Gods. The twists and turns within each essay kept it entertaining, such as in Descent of Species where we are left wondering what alien would want to be demoted to human.

The Circle of Friends essay did remind me of The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier, but it is still as engaging as the rest of the tales.

The only qualm I had with this book was in the Adhesion tale because the Collectors only studied heterosexual relationships. Maybe they would get some more conclusive results if they included some gay people in their study too.
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Reading Progress

08/23/2009 page 34
30.91%

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