By: David Eagleman
Release Date: 2010
Publisher: Canongate Books
David Eagleman’s Sum: Tales from the Afterlives is a very short collection of stories all centering on the afterlife or what a possible afterlife may entail. This isn’t Eagleman’s only published work. He has quite a long list of nonfiction books, most of which involve Eagleman’s background as a professor of neuroscience at Standford University and CEO of a neurototech startup.
Each story within the collection is rather short. They aren’t necessarily all the length of flash fiction, though some would certainly fit the description. Every story explores the afterlife and the endless possibilities of what an afterlife may be like, what it means, or if it has any deeper meaning at all. Conversely, there are also stories that explore the distinct lack of an afterlife.
As is true with all anthologies, some of the stories were much more memorable than others. Honestly, a few of the stories could probably have been cut without the collection loosing too much, but with its length being so short anyway, I understand their inclusion. Because of its short length, this would be a very good inclusion for things like readathons, reading challenges, or short vlogs for any interested in picking this up.
Now, I did listen to this on audiobook. While the narration was very good, and I enjoyed it a lot, there were still one or two snafus. The audio mixing could have stood for another pass. There were two or three places between stories where the turn of a page could be heard. Now, this isn’t anything egregious, but it was noticeable (at least by me). Otherwise, again, the narrators were fantastic.
This was an interesting collection I’m glad to have read. Sum: Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman certainly kept me interested from start to finish, and I do recommend picking up a copy for any who may be interested.
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