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

Sum by David Eagleman
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's review
Sep 27, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010, short-stories
Recommended to Andy by: Brian Eno
Read 2 times. Last read September 19, 2010 to September 28, 2010.

I picked this up in Melbourne, based on the cover and the brian Eno quote. I loved it. Really did. Forty short tales describing what happens when you die. It's a simple concept but so well done and so elegantly composed.

They range from philosophical, deep and sublime to the base and humourous. They take the piss, they're outright funny, they're often sad and melancholy and deeply moving while also uplifting. As the afterlife or lack of is explained in a multitude of ways we're shown a lot about the lives we are already living with the thought that maybe we should be living them slightly differently, paying more attention to that which matters, maybe our perspective needs some thought.

Many of these concepts have come up in other places, done by other people, sometimes better, sometimes worse but to be collected in this small and nicely presented book the collective power is immense. I found myself re-reading and going back as I progressed. The phrasing and language is just wonderful and the eloquent descriptions remind you why you love the written word.

Well recommended.
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