Book report #11 (2017)

Sum, by David Eagleman. Pub 2009

A slim volume of very short stories, the book presents 40 versions of the afterlife – various visions of heaven, hell and everything in between. The stories are very creative, and widely various in their joy and bleakness. I’ve read this book a few times, and enjoyed it each time, so much so that I loaned out my copy, never to receive it back, so this is third or fourth one. My favourite afterlife versions (not the ones I want, but the stories I enjoyed):

– Sum – you live your entire life over again, this time with like experiences grouped together. So you spend 51 days deciding what to wear, and 18 days staring into the refrigerator (for others, this would verge on years, I’m sure).

– Metamorphosis – after death, you wait in a large lobby until the day no one left will remember you. The lobby is relatively dull, albeit populated by all the famous people ever, who may never get to move on (poor Shakespeare).

– Conservation – the universe is made up of a single quark moving so rapidly that everything has mass and energy and life. But the little quark is getting tired and so to conserve his energy, is slows down imperceptibly and puts everything living thing to rest.

Funny little stories that will make you think.

7. A book written by a male author.

13. A book set somewhere you’ve never been.

18. A book of short stories.

19. A book you can finish in a day.

20. A book with a one word title.

24. A book written by someone younger than you.

One book that I have read previously.

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