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The Book of Immortality by Adam Gollner

The Book of Immortality by Adam Gollner

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Published by Simon and Schuster
What have we not done to live forever? The critically acclaimed author of The Fruit Hunters—now an award-winning documentary film—weaves together religion, science, and mythology in a gripping exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality.
Raised an atheist, 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 attends a costume party set in the year 2068 with a group of radical life-extensionists, explores a cryonics facility, 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 explores the symbolic representation of eternal life and its connection to water. Interlaced throughout is a compelling meditation on the nature of belief. An incredible thinker with “the talents of an investigative journalist, poet, travel writer, and humorist grafted onto one unusual specimen” (Mary Roach, The New York Times Book Review), Adam Leith Gollner has written a rollicking and revelatory examination of our age-old notion of living forever.
What have we not done to live forever? The critically acclaimed author of The Fruit Hunters—now an award-winning documentary film—weaves together religion, science, and mythology in a gripping exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality.
Raised an atheist, 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 attends a costume party set in the year 2068 with a group of radical life-extensionists, explores a cryonics facility, 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 explores the symbolic representation of eternal life and its connection to water. Interlaced throughout is a compelling meditation on the nature of belief. An incredible thinker with “the talents of an investigative journalist, poet, travel writer, and humorist grafted onto one unusual specimen” (Mary Roach, The New York Times Book Review), Adam Leith Gollner has written a rollicking and revelatory examination of our age-old notion of living forever.

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Published by: Simon and Schuster on Jun 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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Praise for Adam Leith Gollner
“An epic quest to understand the nature of immortality . . . [Gollner] leaves no fountain of youth
untested, no faith unexamined, and no pseudoscience unquestioned. . . . An engrossing,
immensely fascinating tour of beliefs.”
 — 
Publishers Weekl
(starred review)
 
"Adam Leith Gollner possesses a talent as rare and exotic as a coconut pearl…. Lustrous andexhilarating… The talents of a food writer, investiga
tive journalist, poet, travel writer and
humorist grafted onto one unusual specimen. Long may he thrive.”
 — 
Mary Roach,
New YorTimes Book Review 
 
“One of the most surprising, and satisfying, reads of the year.”— 
Washington Time
“Enough historical facts, h
orticultural wonders and real-
life adventures … to fill a thousand andone summer nights with delightful reading.”— 
Miami Herald 
“A series of surprises, made delicious by a writer’s skill.”— 
Dallas Morning News 
 
 5 
Introduction
The Nature of Immortality 
It is apparent that there is no death.But what does that signify?
 —Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Spring”
Because they believed in nothing, they were ready to believe anything.
 —Lucian Boia,
 Forever Young 
I
mmortality 
 
doesn
t
 
 actuall
 
 exist
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must
g    wa.ia a a, ua, v-g x  w   . i   pa a f a. i avag  uvg  . bu a a’  ,  a a w a’pv a  a  . n xap f ag a av v fu  . t a ju v, a, p, fa, aa  fa gz.i  f, a u
 aft 
a. t ug pva f a   a u fwg  a f  pa  pua a. t a p f  g p: w  u u u (   pa) ’. Ju a uf u a a, u p     u  pa u. A g  f w u uv  aa, g up   aff  u ak  .

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