Sum: 40 Tales From The Afterlives

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Sum:40 Tales From The AfterlivesSum: 40 Tales From The Afterlives by David Eagleman
Published: 2009

I first heard about this little book when Stephen Fry mentioned it favourably on Twitter, and since I am powerless to his suggestions, I added it to my next Amazon shipment. It’s taken me a long time to get around to it, but I’m glad I did.

The title of the book really says it all. This is a collection of forty vignettes that imagine different afterlife scenarios. They range from comical to heartbreaking, and each one is perfectly sized but could easily inspire longer pieces. The amount of creativity packed into this is astonishing. As someone who used to talk about writing fiction a lot but could never focus on a strong idea, this book makes me want to uninstall my word processor and curl up in the fetal position.

I often struggle with short story collections, as I find it hard to keep interest through the stop and go of so many stories in a row, but I didn’t have that problem with this book. It’s very short, just over a hundred pages, so my mind didn’t really have time to wander. Each story is also only two to three pages long, so I found myself thinking just one more a lot.

Very glad I picked this up. One of the more memorable books I’ve read this year.

2 thoughts on “Sum: 40 Tales From The Afterlives

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