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Surrey, United Kingdom

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman

Wow. For such a small book, this certainly packs a punch. It's a while since I read something that made me pause to think. These are forty short stories or imaginings (and I mean short, the majority are two pages) of what the afterlife might hold for us. They are like fairy tales for grown ups and raise some interesting philosophical questions. David Eagleman, the author, is a neuroscientist which I found made the whole thing even more interesting - what would someone who has studied neuroscience have to say about faith and death? Well, there are plenty of interesting and thought-provoking ideas: we are already in Heaven but God has stepped outside for a while, we are all actors playing parts in other people's lives, we can choose what we wish to be in the next life or perhaps rather than God being outside and bigger than us, He is actually an intrinsic part of each of us. Each imagining gives just enough detail and suggestion to explain the idea, leaving you to consider and expand on the implications and possibilities. This is not so much a book to sit down and read cover to cover, as one to dip into every now and then and even to return to over time. I am now intrigued to read Eagleman's other book - Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia


  1. This was discussed on The Review Show a couple of weeks ago. paul Morley raved about it, saying he thought it was as relevant to current religious feeling as the Bible! It sounds intriguing.

  2. Definitely worth a read. Thanks for letting me know about the Review Show - will see if I can catch it on You Tube or similar!