In this astounding book, David Eagleman entertains 40 fictional possibilities of life beyond death. With wit and humanity he asks the key questions about existence, hope, technology and love.
These stories are full of big ideas and bold imagination.This audiobook assembles a stellar cast of readers who bring the scenarios of SUM brilliantly alive: Gillian Anderson, Emily Blunt, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Jack Davenport, Lisa Dwan, David Eagleman, Noel Fielding, Kerry Fox, Stephen Fry, Clarke Peters, Lemn Sissay and Harriet Walter.
"You will not read a more dazzling book this year." (Stephen Fry)
"SUM has the unaccountable, jaw-dropping quality of genius." (Observer)
"This delightful, thought-provoking little collection...will haunt the reader long after the last page has been turned." (Alexander McCall Smith)
"Elegant, surreal and philosophically questioning, each story from neuroscientist Eagleman offers an inventive, thought-provoking blend of science and romance." (Metro)
"SUM is terrific . . .The inventiveness, the clarity and wit of the prose and the calm air of moral understanding that pervades this book add up to something completely original." (Philip Pullman)
"Read SUM and be amazed." (Time)
"Witty, bright, sharp, and unexpected - as surprising a book as I've read for years. Every story is a new Heaven." (Brian Eno)
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Astonishing fiction from a brilliant scientist
- Jamie Milton Freestone
An odd idea, not well carried out
Hard to say - people with more of a taste for fantasy, maybe.
Far fewer pieces, with each one much more thoroughly worked out.
Not for me - I found it thoroughly dull.
I think this was a misconceived project of Eagleman's. He lacks, in my opinion, the imaginative vision to make it work. If he had chosen a just a few of his possible scenarios of the afterlife, and worked them out at the length of a long short story, or a novella, they might have worked although I don't think Eagleman's prose style is up to it - it's too laden with adjectives and adverbs. As it is, they are just snippets of ideas. For example, the last piece, the 'reverse life' idea from death to birth has been worked by several writers I can think of, and much more stylishly. Not one of these episodes really gripped my interest, and I skipped several of them, I'm sorry to say.