SUM: Book summary and reviews of SUM by David Eagleman

SUM

Forty Tales from the Afterlives

by David Eagleman

SUM by David Eagleman X
SUM by David Eagleman
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2009
    128 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

SUM is a dazzling exploration of funny and unexpected afterlives that have never been considered – each presented as a vignette that offers us a stunning lens through which to see ourselves here and now.

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 God is a married couple struggling with discontent, or that the afterlife contains only those 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. David Eagleman proposes many versions of our purpose here; 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A clever little book by a neuroscientist translates lofty concepts of infinity and death into accessible human terms." - Publishers Weekly.

"David Eagleman's SUM is a captivating collection of vignettes that portray possible afterlives–creatively conceived and deftly described. Each tale imagines an unexpected reality that might await us, possible worlds that illuminate life with colors rarely encountered." - Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe.

"SUM is terrific. It's such a good idea that I was grinding my teeth all the way through wishing I'd thought of it first. The inventiveness, the clarity and wit of the prose, the calm air of moral understanding that pervades the whole thing, add up to something completely original. I hope SUM will be the great big hit it deserves to be." - Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass.

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Author Information

David Eagleman

David Eagleman works as a neuro-scientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

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