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Everything about this audiobook is great. As a collection of stories Sum is unique and benefits from being written by a fiction virgin in neuroscientist David Eagleman. His work on the brain and personal responsibility, among other topics, has made him one of the most fascinating young non-fiction writers in the world. But such are his annoyingly numerous talents that he is able to produce a series of speculative shorts on the theme of the afterlife that is both artfully written and intellectually playful.The stories follow no particular stylistic or narrative tradition, which makes them free to be open-ended, thought-provoking, metaphysical aperitifs, if I can be so prolix.
Some of the scenarios dreamed up in this work will stay with you and for those who are worried, it's not overtly religious or even theistic at all really. It's kind of an agnostic's meditation on what the afterlife could be like and what we mean when we say "afterlife". I'm not at all religious and although I don't think any of the scenarios are literally possible, they are intellectually possible, inasmuch as they are primers for thinking about mortality, consciousness, time, religion, parallel universes, eternity, etc.
The cast of multiple narrators worked very well and they are all great readers, particularly the always lovely and eloquent Stephen Fry, the lachrymose Nick Cave and the sportive Emily Blunt. Eagleman himself even displays his skills as a reader on this recording ??? even more reason to resent this multitalented upstart.
Highly recommended as a fresh approach to short fiction, which works particularly well in the audiobook medium.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
What a profound rollercoaster to question Who you thought you were, he saved the best for last!
If you have things to do before the end of this year - downloading this book MUST be one of them. From the get go you know you are onto a winner - no matter what genre of book you prefer to read.. make this one for your collection. It is without a doubt simply brilliant.
ps I don't normally give reviews believing that people should be able to make up their own minds and would hate to rate something either good or bad as someone else may very well have a different view - BUT all that said, do yourself a good deed and get this book.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I love listening to these stories over and over again. Each one contains an idea or concept to mull over, which if dragged out into an entire book, would be lost on the reader. The short format of the stories and their playful nature stops them from ever becoming too heavy or too philosophical.
I recommend this as a book to listen and relisten to over and over again.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Where does Sum: Tales from the Afterlives rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This was an enjoyable book to get you thinking. Touches on many different thoughts and ideas. Felt it was a little long though.
What about the narrators’s performance did you like?
Well read. Easy to follow.