The Book Of Immortality

Hardcover | August 20, 2013

byAdam Leith Gollner

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What have we not done to live forever? Adam Leith Gollner, the critically acclaimed author of The Fruit Hunters, weaves together religion, science, and mythology in a gripping exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality.
 
Raised without religion, Adam Leith Gollner was struck by mankind’s tireless efforts to cheat aging and death. In a narrative that pivots between profundity and hilarity, he brings us into the world of those whose lives are shaped by a belief in immortality. From a Jesuit priest on his deathbed to anti-aging researchers at Harvard, Gollner--sorting truth from absurdity--canvasses religion and science for insight, along with an array of cults, myths, and fringe figures.
 
He journeys to David Copperfield’s archipelago in the Bahamas, where the magician claims to have found “a liquid that reverses genes.” He explores a cryonics facility, attends a costume party set in the year 2068 with a group of radical life-extensionists, and soaks in the transformative mineral waters at the Esalen Institute. Looking to history, Gollner visits St. Augustine, Florida, where Ponce de Leon is thought to have sought the fountain of youth.
 
Combining immersive reporting, rigorous research, and lyrical prose, Gollner charts the rise of longevity science from its alchemical beginnings to modern-day genetic interventions. He delves into the symbolic representation of eternal life and its connection to water. Interlaced throughout is a compelling meditation on the nature of belief, showing how every story we tell about immortality is a story about the meaning of death.
“Part journalist, part detective, part scientist” (New York Post), Adam Leith Gollner has written a rollicking and revelatory examination of our age-old notion of living forever.

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From the Publisher

What have we not done to live forever? Adam Leith Gollner, the critically acclaimed author of The Fruit Hunters, weaves together religion, science, and mythology in a gripping exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality. Raised without religion, Adam Leith Gollner was struck by mankind’s tireless efforts to cheat...

Adam Leith Gollner has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, and Lucky Peach. The former editor of Vice magazine, his first book is The Fruit Hunters, which was recently adapted into a feature-length documentary film. He lives in Montreal.

other books by Adam Leith Gollner

The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession
The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commer...

Paperback|Jun 11 2013

$18.16 online$18.99list price
Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.28 × 6.34 × 1.37 inPublished:August 20, 2013Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385667302

ISBN - 13:9780385667302

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Editorial Reviews

“Gollner’s meticulous eye for absurd detail is everything a reader could want from a non-fiction immersion in the ‘science, belief and magic behind living forever.’” —The Globe and Mail“It’s an engrossing, immensely fascinating tour of beliefs and attitudes about death, presented with a relatively unbiased, if skeptical, eye.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review“. . . . [a] beautiful and illuminating opus.”—Toronto Star  “An entertaining, well-researched account of the quest that brims with our fond hopes, foolishness and even desperation.” —Kirkus Reviews