- 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: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 333.284 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 10. Februar 2009
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“[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.”
“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.”
—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.”
“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.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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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It's difficult to write about this without giving too much away; if you want take the stories at their freshest, stop reading my review and read the book now. Come back when you've finished (in an hour or two) to compare your thoughts with mine.
In many of the chapters we can't communicate with God, or the creator(s), because there are such differences of scale or understanding. "Do you think it would have any meaning at all if you displayed one of your Shakespearean plays to a bacterium? Of course not. Meaning varies with spatial scale. So we have concluded that communicating with her is not impossible, but it is pointless." (P 16). Also: "She is the elephant described by the blind men; all partial descriptions with no understanding of the whole." (P 99)
This theme resonates with me; I first saw a form of this idea on the original Cosmos with Carl Sagan. Because God is beyond us we can't perfectly conceive of him (Sagan was talking about aliens not God). Consider a two dimensional universe; one with length and width but no height - thinner than a flattest, thinnest paper. Beings in this universe would develop math and philosophy based on their experiences. Then suppose a cube appears over the universe casting a varying shaped shadow as it revolves above this two dimensional universe. The two dimensional beings could see the shadow shape change but could not conceive of a three dimensional cube. We can only conceive of those things which meet our scale.
Other stories show the creator(s) were imperfect and even heaven is imperfect. "He is in the position of an amateur magician who performs for small children and suddenly has to play to skeptical adults." (P 93). Even then all is not lost: "He has recently faced his limitations, and this has brought Him closer to us." (P 94)
Still another recurring theme considers our physical, atomic structure of bacterium, molecules, atoms and quarks. "But it turns out your thousand trillion trillion atoms were not an accidental collection; each was labeled as composing you and continues to be so wherever it goes. So you're not gone, your'e simply taking on different forms." (P106).
My favorite story was the last: Reversal where we live our lives backward "The pleasures of a lifetime of intercourse are relived, culminating in kissed instead of sleep." (P109)
The most disturbing story was chapter four: Descent of Species. When given a chance to go back to earth as anything you want, pick wisely.
David Eagleman is a neuroscientist, not a theologian or a philosopher. This book is not for conservative religious, regardless of faith. But if you would like a small diversion to consider what might be ahead of us.
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