Publication Date: 24th April 2009 Published by: Canongate Books Author: David Eagleman What happens to us when we die? Unfortunately I can’t answer that, if I could I’d be lying in Aruba, dismissing minions and signing a million pound book deal with Random House via my blackberry. Yeah, I’m a self-proclaimed capitalist who won’t be drinking lattes with the angels anytime soon. So the answer remains a mystery, but there’s a lot of fun to be had in speculating and making some dosh along the way. Too bad I was beat to the job by David Eagleman, some Texan neuroscientist who just published Sum – Forty Sales from the Afterlife, a pocketsize book of hilarious tales of ‘what ifs’ that make you question the boundaries of your own rigid imagination. Picture this: you die, and are recreated in Heaven based on your credit card bills, God is the size of a peanut, and your forced to live with every annoying version of yourself – a Darth Vader breathing nose-picker with a tendency for toenail-biting – perhaps that’s just me. The dystopian tales are endlessly charming and at times a little insightful, although there’s no moral air that whispers ‘appreciate your loved ones and stop smoking,’ which could have easily made the book religious schlock disguised as fiction. I guess the only message is that although life sucks at times, it’s a fat lot worse afterwards and this gives it an existential twang for all the cynics out there. Romantic and chilling, the book makes for the perfect in-between novel read. And although I’m not a huge fan of short stories it ticked my boxes, because despite being a scientist, and this being his first foray into fiction, this Eagleman chap can write a darn good story. Perhaps a little overpriced at £9.99, but overall a delightful little read that’s gruesomely cute. The only downside is that the whole time your reading it you can’t help thinking ‘why the bloody hell didn’t I think of this!’ Eagleman, I’ll see you in hell.