Forty Tales From the Afterlives

Book - 2010 | 1st Vintage books ed
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At once funny, wistful and unsettling, Sum is a dazzling exploration of unexpected afterlives--each presented as a vignette that offers a stunning lens through which to see ourselves in the here and now. In one afterlife, you may find that God is the size of a microbe and unaware of your existence. In another version, you work as a background character in other people's dreams. Or you may find that God is a married couple, or that the universe is running backward, or that you are forced to live out your afterlife with annoying versions of who you could have been. With a probing imagination and deep understanding of the human condition, acclaimed neuroscientist David Eagleman offers wonderfully imagined tales that shine a brilliant light on the here and now.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, [2010], ©2009
Edition: 1st Vintage books ed
ISBN: 9780307389930
Call Number: FICTION EAGLEMAN 2010
Characteristics: 107 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

"At once funny, wistful and unsettling, Sum is a dazzling exploration of unexpected afterlives--each presented as a vignette that offers a stunning lens through which to see ourselves in the here and now. " -- Provided by Publisher.

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loganlib_Ashley Jan 08, 2021

Some of these afterlives were phoned in. Good job tho

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 24, 2018

A clever, creative, mind-twisting collection of short bits of genius. Eagleman presents 2-3 page examinations of what an “afterlife” might be. Maybe you spend eternity repeating what you did in life, except in activity groups: Six straight days clipping your toenails, 32 uninterrupted years sleeping, 200 days showering, etc. Maybe the afterlife shows you that life is a dream, but it’s someone else’s dream and you’re just a background character. Or God is real, but he is really the God of microbes and we are just the carriers of the important life in the Universe. Each bit has a twist on the end. After a few of these you realize that Eagleman isn’t trying to show you what an afterlife will be; instead each bit is a clever way of re-examining our own human lives, from many perspectives. 110 pages that can keep you talking and thinking for days.

Mar 08, 2016

very imaginative book about something near and dear to us all. maybe. the audiobook with nick cave, noel fielding and j cocker is a trip as well.

WVMLStaffPicks Aug 30, 2014

An excellent bedside table book, perfect for squeezing in a few minutes of reading. Eagleman has created a collection of bizarre and hilarious short stories that imagine various scenarios of what the afterlife might be like. His stories include an afterlife where you relive your life on earth in categorized chunks (two days of brushing your teeth, 15 years sleeping, etc.). Eagleman’s quirky view comes in bite-sized portions that are fun to read and puzzling in a good way.

May 07, 2011

Better as a "sum" of its parts than whole, reading one short after another dulls their effectiveness. Each story is entertaining and inventive.
I first heard of this book through CBC's Wiretap program, which reads an entry time to time to great effectiveness.

Aug 16, 2010

Thought-provoking sketches, one after another, reminiscent of Alan Lightman's *Einstein's Dreams.*

Jul 06, 2010

A thought-provoking little anthology. It provides lots of perspectives about life through imaginative and widely varying examples of possible afterlives. Worth reading.

Nov 15, 2009

Comme une boîte de 40 bonbons sûrs, à déguster lentement; il ne s'agit pas que d'interprétations de l'au-delà, mais d'un chapelet de cosmogonies. Very imaginative, very well written. Reminds me of one short story (forgot the title, but one of the last ones in a book) by Etgar Keret, times 40.


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