Customer Reviews for

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Average Rating 4
( 75 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(45)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Funny, poignant, mind-expanding journey through possibility space

I heard the author on NPR and loved the fact that he said his mission was to "celebrate the vastness of our ignorance" and "shine the flashlight around the possibility space". So I picked up the book and was not disappointed. The 40 stories in this book are extremely ...
I heard the author on NPR and loved the fact that he said his mission was to "celebrate the vastness of our ignorance" and "shine the flashlight around the possibility space". So I picked up the book and was not disappointed. The 40 stories in this book are extremely mind-stretching, but never in a heavy-handed way -- they are always spun out with humor and unexpected turns and twists.
In this book, the author makes the clever move of using the afterlife as a playing field in which to highlight the character of our current lives. Each story takes an imaginative, unexpected starting point (like, God is a married couple, or God is the size of a bacterium) and extrapolates that out in a tightly-written narrative where you are the main character. And then, just when you think you understand the trajectory of the story, there is a poignant twist in the final lines that makes you re-think the whole thing. I found the structure of this book brilliant and enviable. Through telling 40 contradictory stories of what an afterlife could be, the author sends a message that it's appropriate to be expansive in our thinking rather than boxed in. Two thumbs up from me for this lovely book.

posted by ChanChan on May 17, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not Clever Enough

Though some of the stories are clever enough too many of them feel forced - as if the author struggled to find enough variants on the afterlife theme to compose a book. I bought the book on the strength of a review in the Wall Street Journal but I was generally disappo...
Though some of the stories are clever enough too many of them feel forced - as if the author struggled to find enough variants on the afterlife theme to compose a book. I bought the book on the strength of a review in the Wall Street Journal but I was generally disappointed. A few gems but a lot of slag.

posted by Antonius_Marcus_Lucius on April 13, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Rabbitwillow

    "Tidalsplash?" Rabbitwillow mewed, her ears pinned back as she glanced around silently.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    Thrushpelt

    How are you ignored? Answer that question and i will let you die in peace.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Hawkclaw

    Gtgtb

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    To any who wish to join

    Just join. We need active members

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Leopardbreeze

    Leopardbreeze glanced around camp. "This clan is dying. I wish I could advertise, but I'm locked out of all ad books."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Riverstone

    "A badger attacked our camp."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Vipor

    Pads in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Emberfoot

    Ewwwwwwww..... do you REALLY have to do that HERE!?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Fernshadow

    Vipor? Will you come to the pond? ((Res 14

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    TO DRAGON

    How did you find Aspen and Darkheart?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Silverpelt

    Mi mum cot me rping an changed da wifi psswrd. I van only rp once in a wile. Srry. I am still med cat... but somecat needs 2 take over wile im gon. Srry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Autumnstar

    (I advertise but it doesn't help.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Fascinating Read

    Thought provoking easy read of short stories about the futility of the human ego and the subtle values of life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Amazing

    Amazing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Loved this book!

    David eagleman is a genius. This book and every story contained within it is remarkably insightful and should definitely be on your must read list.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    Read this book!

    "Sum" is astonishing, brilliant, creative and fun to read! I recommend it absolutely!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Very thought-provoking...

    Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, this account of 40 possible scenarios will definitely make you think... and bring a smile to your face at times.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thought Inducing

    I really enjoyed this collection. Even though the only reason I picked it up was because I met the author's mother. That aside, I'm glad I found it. The book was interesting and made me think a little differently about things.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Forty-first tale

    In the forty-first tale from the afterlife, Fredric Brown is reincarnated as David Eagleman.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 75 Customer Reviews
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