Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

by David Eagleman, Various (Read by)
4.0 64

Audiobook(CD - Unabridged, 3 CDs, 2 hrs. 47 min.)

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Overview

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman, Various

SUM shows us forty wonderfully imagined possibilities of life beyond death.

In one afterlife you may find that God is the size of a microbe and is unaware of your existence. In another, your creators are a species of dim-witted creatures who built us to figure out what they could not. In a different version of the afterlife you work as a background character in other people’s dreams. Or you may find that the afterlife contains only people whom you remember, or that the hereafter includes the thousands of previous gods who no longer attract followers. In some afterlives you are split into your different ages; in some you are forced to live with annoying versions of yourself that represent what you could have been; in others you are re-created from your credit card records and Internet history. Many versions of our purpose here are proposed; we are mobile robots for cosmic mapmakers, we are reunions for a scattered confederacy of atoms, we are experimental subjects for gods trying to understand what makes couples stick together.

These tales—at once witty, wistful and unsettling—are rooted in science and romance and awe at our mysterious existence while asking the key questions about death, hope, technology, immortality, love, biology and desire that expose radiant new facets of our humanity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441851543
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 06/08/2010
Edition description: Unabridged, 3 CDs, 2 hrs. 47 min.
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David Eagleman works as a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Customer Reviews

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Sum 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
ChanChan More than 1 year ago
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.
SaraRiz More than 1 year ago
This book is a compilation of "theories" about what happens after we die. It's amazing, unique, funny, and kept my interest thoroughly. It's chapters are short, (2-3 pages) and light-hearted. I strongly recommend this book to anyone with a sense of humor, a love for irony, and something a little off kilter. It doesn't bash the believing world, but it gives one something to think about. Whether your looking for something different for the reader that has it all, or just looking for a change of pace, this book is it.
Neon_Bible_Thumper More than 1 year ago
"Sum" is imaginative and thought provoking. I absolutely love it; Definately a new favorite. Eagleman questions, or theorizes, different possible outcomes of after life. Each and every story really makes you wonder what life is really about, while simultaneously pushing any preemptive or preconceived understandings about life after death so far in the back of your brain that you actually have the necessary space, time and comfort to actually consider possibilites that weren't force fed to you in church. I love this book; "Mirrors" is my favorite story. I couldn't (still can't) put this book down!
traumest More than 1 year ago
'SUM' was a wonderful pleasure! Each and every story is uniquely crafted and handled. Every story is different, each only a page to 3 pages long. Short and sweet. This is definitely on my list of favourites. I recommend this book to anyone with an open mind!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rarely do you find a a novel as inventive, amusing, and thought provoking as Eagleman's short novel Sum. Though the book is about the what happens after death, Eagleman's imaginative ideas are really about life and how we spend our time before we die. You haven't read anything like it because it belongs to a genre of its own. If you had something to do today, put it off untill tomorrow because you will read this entire book, re-read it, and spend the rest of your day thinking about it. It truely is amazing.
M J More than 1 year ago
I loved almost every story and have gifted this book to many friends. Perfect for a quick and though-provoking read.
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Read most of it with my 11-year old and we were both fascinated with the concepts that this author wrote about it. Lovely book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought provoking easy read of short stories about the futility of the human ego and the subtle values of life.
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