7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Chilling, in the best possible way,
This review is from: Sum: Tales from the Afterlives (Paperback)
First, a bit of disclosure. I regard myself as a fairly phlegmatic person, not overly emotional and certainly not one to become teary eyed over a book. But by the time I read chapter 4 of "Sum", I had to put it down. The central premise of the book, and the emotional impact of the conceit, made it impossible to read on. This is most definitely a good thing.
The last book to effect me in such a way was "A history of the World in en and a Half Chapters" and it is probably no coincidence that "Sum" is both structurally and thematically similar (and, of course, the last chapter of "A History..." could quite easily slip unnoticed into "Sum"). I won't say too much for fear of spoiling either book for those who have not yet read them, but they are both incredibly life affirming, but achieve such affirmation by deconstructing the way that you regard the every day world around you. With both books, I found that sometimes you just need to step back and let your brain catch up.
It is so powerful, jarring, and moving that I've found it difficult to read more than 3 or 4 chapters of "Sum" in one sitting. There again, I rather think that was the author's intent.