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Sum: Tales from the Afterlives cover art

Sum: Tales from the Afterlives

By: David Eagleman
Narrated by: Gillian Anderson,Emily Blunt,Nick Cave,Jarvis Cocker,David Eagleman,Noel Fielding,Stephen Fry
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Summary

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.

©2009 David Eagleman (P)2010 Canongate Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"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)
'Welcome to the audiobook intiative of the year. Brian Eno staged a community-centric version of this cult hit for the Brighton Festival - but audio is best for capturing Eagleman's frank but sympathetic bedside manner'. ( Time Out)

What listeners say about Sum: Tales from the Afterlives

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A gem of a book not to be missed

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.

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jaw droppingly brilliant

This is one of the few occasions where I can use the word awesome and really mean it. Here are forty tales describing a possible afterlife and each one is a piece of perfection. This is impossible to take in in one sitting but this is great because I can't wait to listen to it all over again.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

I absolutely love this! I have read this as well as listened to it three times. I love how easily digestible it is with most of the stories only lasting 2 or 3 minutes. However in that 2 or 3 minutes the most profound message can be communicated. Some have stayed with me more than others but I love them all. What an amazing mind David Eagleman has, I am envious of his talent and how he managed to create all these different Worlds and give them such life in the short space of time that each story lasts. Also with the all-star cast of narrators you will not be disappointed, I could not complain about any of them as they are brilliant.

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11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A thoughtful and fun book

A fantastic and thought provoking series of musings on potential versions of the Afterlife. Not to be taken as fact, but as a starting point for your own thoughts.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

calm story telling

loved it. i have listened to it in car or walking...also while going to sleep but not because it boring. its brilliantly engaging and gently thought provoking with humour moments and stops me thinking about work. i wake and listen to rest in morning while getting ready for work. ive listened to the stories several times. There are 39 stories but all very different. the readers are all great and complement each other.

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book

The all-star narrator line-up notwithstanding, I love this book and its varied takes on what might happen after we die. Spanning religious, spiritual, natural and atheist doctrine whilst managing to remain unpatronising and often amusing, these vignettes are a must for anyone who suffers the occasional existential crisis.

Having both read and listened to this book, I find that I prefer the audio version for the lovely range and variation of narration, although I'll admit that I love them both.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Astonishingly thought provoking

Excellent book, bursting with ideas. The stories are short but each one conveys an insight into the human condition.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Boldly Revealing

This book is a compendium of witty, thought-provoking, belief-busting and contrarian ideas on a subject that has been held as sacred for so long. It breaks barriers by the sheer unapologetic suppositions that each segment posits. The author is a stellar writer and neuroscientist.

I was deliciously enthralled by every one. This book for me is boldly revealing. I am purchasing the hardcopy version too.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sublime

What did you like most about Sum: Tales from the Afterlives?

The diversity of each of the stories is incredible. The most imaginative collection of flash fiction I've ever read.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The array of narrators only adds to the diversity of the book. Each performance is as good as the last. Although, speaking of last, the final story was ever so slightly marred by the style in which Gilian Anderson chooses to narrate, she seemed to needlessly read it frustratingly slow.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I must've listened to this book, in one sitting, over two dozen times. And will continue to do so. Even after all these sessions with this book it still seems just as fresh as the first time I heard it.

Any additional comments?

The imagination behind each and every story is second to none, in my opinion. And to accumulate forty such stories blows my mind. An absolute gem of a book. Top marks!

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

very will writen book and enjoyable

very interesting way of looking at things and an alternative way of thinking about afterlives.

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3 people found this helpful