Forty Tales From the Afterlives

Book - 2009
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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. These wonderfully imagined tales - at once funny, wistful, and unsettling - are rooted in science and romance and awe at our mysterious existence: a mixture of death, hope, computers, immortality, love, biology, and desire that exposes radiant new facets of our humanity.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307377340
Branch Call Number: FIC Eagl
Characteristics: [110] p. ; 20 cm


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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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