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Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 10. Februar 2009


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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 107 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pantheon (10. Februar 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0307377342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307377340
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12 x 1,6 x 19,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 695.950 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

Mehr über den Autor

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

“[SUM] belongs to that category of strange, unclassifiable books that will haunt the reader long after the last page has been turned.”
—Alexander McCall Smith

SUM has the unaccountable, jaw-dropping quality of genius.”
—Geoff Dyer

“This delightful, thought-provoking little collection belongs to that category of strange, unclassifiable books that will haunt the reader long after the last page has been turned. It is full of tangential insights into the human condition and poetic thought experiments . . . . It is also full of touching moments and glorious wit of the sort one only hopes will be in copious supply on the other side.”
The New York Times

“Imaginative and inventive.”
Wall Street Journal

“This little book is teeming, writhing with imagination.”
Los Angeles Times

SUM is terrific. It’s such a good idea that I was grinding my teeth all the way through wishing I’d thought of it first. The inventiveness, the clarity and wit of the prose, the calm air of moral understanding that pervades the whole thing, add up to something completely original. I hope SUM will be the great big hit it deserves to be.”
—Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass

“A clever little book by a neuroscientist translates lofty concepts of infinity and death into accessible human terms. What happens after we die? Eagleman wonders in each of these brief, evocative segments. Are we consigned to replay a lifetime’ s worth of accumulated acts, as he suggests in ‘Sum,’ spending six days clipping your nails or six weeks waiting for a green light? Is heaven a bureaucracy, as in ‘Reins,’ where God has lost control of the workload? Will we download our consciousnesses into a computer to live in a virtual world, as suggested in ‘Great Expectations,’ where ‘God exists after all and has gone through great trouble and expense to construct an afterlife for us’? Or is God actually the size of a bacterium, battling good and evil on the ‘battlefield of surface proteins,’ and thus unaware of humans, who are merely the ‘nutritional substrate’? Mostly, the author underscores in ‘Will-’o-the-Wisp,’ humans desperately want to matter, and in afterlife search out the ‘ripples left in our wake.’ Eagleman’s turned out a well-executed and thought-provoking book.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“With both a childlike sense of wonder and a trenchant flair for irony, the Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientist generously offers forty variations on the theme of God and the afterlife, imagining what each of us might find when we shuffle off this mortal coil.... Sum is great fun—sort of a brainy parlor game in print--and a modest satire aimed at zealots who define heaven and God to serve their own ends. It is also a reminder that when it comes to our knowledge of the hereafter, we have loads of faith but not a scintilla of proof.”
Texas Monthly

“Wow.”
New York Observer

“This stunningly original book is little more than a 100 pages long. You can get through it in an hour, but you’d be mad to hurry, and you will certainly want to return to it many times . . . . The real question, Eagleman indirectly reminds us, is how to live. This is what makes his book greater than the sum of its brilliant parts. Its success depends on a combination of exquisitely rendered detail and the massive implications that result . . . . It seems exquisitely adapted to fill the contemporary longing for a kind of secular holy book.”
—Geoff Dyer, author of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, in The Guardian

“Witty, bright, sharp and unexpected . . . as surprising a book as I’ve read for years.”
—Brian Eno

“David Eagleman’s SUM is a captivating collection of vignettes that portray possible afterlives–creatively conceived and deftly described. Each tale imagines an unexpected reality that might await us, possible worlds that illuminate life with colors rarely encountered.”
—Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe

SUM is an imaginative and provocative book that gives new perspectives on how to view ourselves and our place in the world.”
—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

DAVID EAGLEMAN grew up in New Mexico. As an undergraduate he majored in British and American Literature before earning his PhD in Neuroscience. He heads the Laboratory for Perception and Action at Baylor College of Medicine, and is founder and director of the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. At night he writes fiction.

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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Gelegenheitsleser TOP 500 REZENSENT am 20. März 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
In diesem Buch breitet der Autor, ein bekannter amerikanischer Hirnforscher, in 40 Kurzgeschichten seine Ideen von dem Leben nach dem Tod und Gott aus. Und ich kann versprechen, dass keine mit den Vorstellungen der Leser auch nur eine annähernde Ähnlichkeit haben wird; zu schwarz ist der Humor und zu skeptisch sieht er diese unsere Welt. Da kann Gott schon mal verzweifeln und sich mit dem Buch "Frankenstein" trösten, was auf uns Menschen und unser Wirken auf der Erde kein gutes Licht wirft.
Aber Gott kommt nicht nur in einer Gestalt vor: Mal ist er eine Göttin, mal ist er all die vielen Götter, die von ihren Anhängern verlassen wurden, mal eine Mikrobe, mal ein technischer Gestalter. Auf jeden Fall ist es immer originell und tiefsinnig: Noch nie bin ich angeregt worden, mich mit dieser Problematik so intensiv zu befassen.
Warnung: Gläubige - gleich welcher Religion - werden bei der Lektüre gute Aussichten haben, sich von der Richtigkeit der Beschreibung des Jenseits noch während des Lesens zu überzeugen, da sie wahrscheinlich einem Herzinfarkt erliegen werden ob der Ruchlosigkeit des Autors in Bezug auf Gott, dem er statt Bewunderung oft nur tiefes Mitgefühl entgegen bringt.
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Von Mrs. House am 24. Dezember 2013
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Was passiert mit uns nach dem Tod? Was macht die Hölle so höllisch? Sind Himmel und Hölle einfach zu unterscheiden? Schöne Gedankenspiele.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 221 Rezensionen
142 von 149 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A delightful book full of paradoxes and unexpected insights 14. Februar 2009
Von Leo McMarley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Occasionally a book comes along of such originality that it stops you in your tracks, of such sharpness that it makes you think again about so many things and of such warmth that it makes you want to share it with everyone you meet. David Eagleman's Sum is just such a book.

Ostensibly a book about what happens after we die, ironically Sum is really an examination of what it means to live. After all the divide is perhaps not as great as we think and as John Keats once wrote, "Life is but a Waking Dream."

In the course of these 40 imaginings of the afterlife, Eagleman takes you on a long and varied emotional journey. Some of the Sums are absurd and surreal, others are poigant and poetic, others are funny and wild, some are neurologically cutting edge while others are dreamily abstract. It's an astonishing feat of the mind and to top it all, they are all written is this clear and limpid prose that is a joy and completely effortless to read.

I have a feeling that this book is going to become one of these word of mouth sleeper hits. There are at least 20 people I plan to give it to straight away and everyone I have read snippets of it to has immediately responded to its humanity and humour.

I'm sure that at least one or two of reviewers of this book will be tempted to write, "Greater than the Sum of its parts", because that is exactly what it is. Enjoy and dream and smile and weep.
72 von 81 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"In the afterlife you meet God....She is the elephant described by blind men..." 25. Februar 2009
Von K. M. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
We live in a universe that doesn't simply lay its mysteries at our feet. Mystics, philosophers, theologians, and scientists all, in their own way, posit theories, beliefs, and "knowledge," about the existence of God and an afterlife. This inherent confusion opens the door for further "what ifs" about who, what, where, and when runs our cosmos and what kind of "life" might follow physical mortality. Neuro-scientist David Eagleman has seen his opportunity to contribute to the melee. His Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives plunges right in, brashly inventing new benchmarks for Divine behavior and eternal life. This small book of only 110 pages brims over with ideas as each vignette envisions a different, often ironic and amusing, afterlife.

For instance, there is "Distance" which allows "us" to ask God face to face why He lives in a palace far, far away instead of " 'in the trenches with us.' " God replies he used to live among us, but " '[o]ne morning I awoke to find people picketing in front of my driveway.' "

And "Circle of Friends" tells of an afterlife in which each person exists on an earth peopled only by those he or she knew in life -- for most people about "0.00002 percent of the world's population. "The missing crowds make you lonely."

Eagleman's biological expertise makes stories such as "Descent of Species" especially lucid and rich reading. The former asks what would happen to a weary sentient being -- say, you -- who decides to reincarnate as a lower species -- say a horse. What would happen to your capacity to make a higher choice during the next life/death cycle? After all: "The thickening and lengthening of your neck immediately feels normal as it comes about. Your carotid arteries grow in diameter, your fingers blend hoofward...and meanwhile, as your skull lengthens into its new shape, your brain races in its changes: your cortex retreats as your cerebellum grows, the homunculus melts man to horse, neurons redirect, synapses unplug and replug on their way to equestrian patterns, and your dream of understanding what it is like to be a horse gallops toward you from a distance. Your concern about human affairs begins to slip away...."

One of the most intriguing tales is "Mary" in which Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein (Enriched Classics), sits on a throne in heaven because God so admires her book: "Like Victor Frankenstein, God....has much to say about bringing animation to the unanimated. Very few of His creatures had thought deeply about the challenges of creating, and it relieved Him a little of the loneliness of His position when Mary wrote her book."

SUM is not a conventional religious book per se because it bursts out of established religious thought instead of reinforcing it. These tales conjure versions of the Supreme Being who have more in common with the foible Greek and Norse gods or us than with an image of an omniscient, omnipotent God. These imaginary Capital Beings cry, feel depressed and disappointed, and are uncertain and ignorant. They aren't the emblems of rectitude and glory usually portrayed by Western churches. These are a scientist's fabulous imaginings, not a parson's or a priest's.

This is also a humanist collection. SUM contains forty fables complete with subtle but unmistakable messages about living and loving in the here and now. For example, a person who isn't naturally gregarious who reads "A Circle of Friends" might begin to socialize more. Reading "Descent of Species" is apt to encourage people not to look the gift "horse" of their human life in the mouth....

SUM broadens our spiritual vision as it shines a witty light on forty postmortem worlds that each reach out in clever Aesopian admonition. Plus, it's just fun, fast reading. Don't miss it.
44 von 50 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Whimsical play on 'Possibilianism' 12. April 2010
Von Sirin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is a short book of 40 tales expousing Eagleman's 'Possibilian' (a neologism he has coined) view of afterlife. Possibilianism is predicated on the assumption that we know far too much to believe in standard religion anymore, given that many core religious texts were written by sand dwelling shepherd type people who knew little outside village, crop and flock, let alone science and metaphysics; and far too little to commit to full blown atheism - given the vast range and scale of the universe, as recent scientific research is uncovering.

Fact is, the wider mysteries of life cannot be solved. So this leaves plenty of scope for imagination. What if, in the aferlife, you meet all alternative versions of yourself - people who took the path you didn't take, versions of yourself who worked a little harder, who pursued that girl a little more forcefully. How would that feel? What if, in the afterlife, you meet God, but he is not the all powerful beast of the Christian religion but a rather confused man who realises the game is up - humans have outsmarted him on all his big conceits, they know more than he ever expected and he can't play the same fear trick as he did in the Old Testament?

Sum is 40 such stories. Some are brilliant - such as story one, where all your life episodes are rearranged in compartmentalised order: 3 years of showering, 2 weeks of pain, three months of looking for stuff etc. Some are quirky neuroscience ideas that don't quite fly off the page.

If you want to find out more about this possiblianism idea, I suggest both reading this book and looking at the clip on Will Self's website of Will Self interviewing David Eagleman about this book, and ideas about the afterlife. Eagleman comes across as an eager young pup who, at his stage of life (38 years old), can happily contemplate the afterlife as a whimsical intellectual exercise. He is not yet old enough to feel the dark chill of extinction, and the personal realisaton that the sands of one's own time on earth are about to run out.
38 von 43 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Poignant & Thought-provoking 15. Februar 2009
Von J. Stephenson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
SUM is both poignant and thought-provoking, while avoiding all the historical pitfalls of literature on the subject of death and the afterlife. Not preachy or pretentious, SUM is essentially a page-turner, but a page-turner that one revisits time and time again to savor a missed allusion or a significant observation.

Each alternate explanation of the hereafter is a fresh look at life and the living, communicated through a unique voice. Some heart-wrenching, some playful- none trite and all witty. Eagleman truly has a special gift for boiling concepts and ideas down to their simplest form, and in SUM, he has written something that will speak to each and every one of us. It is a book that can not only entertain, but also spark new lines of thought and imagination.

Upon mentioning the book to a new acquaintance, he replied that 3 of his friends had read it and were buying copies for all their friends- his own was sitting out in his car. And how often are people so moved to share a piece of literature that they buy copies for all their friends? I think this only speaks to SUMS' brilliance, creativity, and singularity.
18 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Light reading, yet profound 5. April 2009
Von S.B. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I heard and interview with the author on the radio and was intrigued enough to pick it up. It is a collection of vignettes each describing a possible afterlife. While they are all thoroughly thought out, they are not very long. I found some quite profound and provocative, many amusingly interesting, and a few somewhat lame.
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