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Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever Hardcover – October 7, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The idea behind Kurzweil and Grossman's Fantastic Voyage is that if you can make it through the next 50 years, you might become immortal. How will that be possible? Through some rather science fictional steps, it turns out, including taking advantage of the latest in biotechnological breakthroughs and not-yet-invented nanotechnology. Is all this longing for immortality driven by an obsession with youth or a fear of death? Readers can judge for themselves, as both Kurzweil and Grossman reveal the personal histories that led them to develop this plan. Fantastic Voyage is written in an easy-to-understand tone, with lots of sidebars giving examples of what the future holds for medicine and health. Whether or not you think that science will find a way to keep our bodies or our disembodied minds alive forever, this book is full of diet and lifestyle tips. For instance, the authors suggest carefully controlling the body's overall pH at an alkaline level, meditating, eating a diet composed mostly of vegetables and protein, and taking loads of supplements (Kurzweil downs about 250 pills each day). The dietary options presented here will mostly only be practical for people whose income levels can support buying organic produce, fresh fish and meat, and top-shelf supplements. The authors cavalierly state that we are living in a "time of abundance," but it seems likely that most who are able to follow this regimen will be Americans of a fairly high socioeconomic class. --Therese Littleton

Review

This visionary book provides a state-of-the-art synthesis of the latest evidence on aging. (Dean Ornish, M.D., developer of the Opening Your Heart program) A concise yet comprehensive journey that accurately recounts the past and present state of our collective knowledge. (Dean Kamen, physicist and inventor of the IBOT Mobility System and Segway Human Transporter, and recipient of the National Medal of Technology) "Fantastic Voyage" boldly challenges conventional wisdom about aging and illness and offers groundbreaking solutions to remain young and healthy indefinitely. (John Gray, Ph.D., author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus") Anyone can find it easy to implement action that will enhance their health. (George King, M.D., professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1St Edition edition (October 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579549543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579549541
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book, but it isn't all it promises to be. I am a non practicing MD, working in IT and a health book signed by Kurzweil was bound to attract my attention.

The book follows three lines, called "Bridges" by the authors. Bridge One is what you can and should do today to extend your life expectancy in order to maximize your chances to benefit from Bridge two drugs and devices who, in turn, should allow you to wait for the big prize: Bridge Three technologies.

Bridge one is definitely the best part of the book. The authors explain our current understanding of the mechanisms involved in atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammation, etc... and cover a tremendous amount of reliable, mostly peer reviewed, scientific litterature and large scale studies. This understanding is then used to derive the optimal diet and supplementation policy. The book doesn't break any new ground, but is remarkable in the way it synthetizes a large amount of information into understandable and directly usable recommendations. I was constantly telling myself: "yes, they are right, I know that! why am I not acting upon it?". True, there are some weak points: alkaline water comes to mind (check the many discussions on the net about this issue), stevia definitely hasn't been studied enough, it's hard to see how minerals would lose their properties in canned food (bioavailability??) but those blemishes are more than compensated by the careful research that went into other topics: for example, the authors rightly insist on inflammation's role but stop an inch short of recommending rofecoxib (Vioxx). They also shine on heart disease and myocardial infarction, clearly stating that heavy and expensive bypass surgery doesn't improve survival in many many cases.
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Format: Hardcover
Here is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone without any hesitation. For those who are interested in attaining and maintaining good health in all its aspects, I would even go so far as to say this book is essential reading and a necessary resource to keep close at hand. If you even entertain the possibility of living forever, then this book is a must for you. The authors are, without a doubt, knowledgeable about the topics of which they write and provide literally hundreds of facts, proposals, insights, suggestions, and recommendations regarding everything from developments in medical nanotechnology and biotechnology to disease prevention, nutrition, food preparation, living a healthful lifestyle, and, in fact, more information than you will assimilate during a first reading.

The authors are well-known within their fields of expertise. Ray Kurzweil, a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and an inductee into the Inventors Hall of Fame, is one of the world's leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists and the author of three previous books on technology. Terry Grossman M.D., the founder and medical director of the Frontier Medical Institute in Denver, Colorado, a leading longevity clinic, is certified in anti-aging medicine and lectures internationally on matters related to longevity and anti-aging strategies. These two experts, one in technology and one in medical science, have joined together to write about how you can "live long enough to live forever."

While I endorse and highly recommend "Fantastic Voyage," the subtitle of the book presents a problem for me. The very idea of "living forever" is a proposition with which I am not entirely comfortable.
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Format: Hardcover
Since the time of Nicolas Flamel and the alchemists of old, people who are interested in anti-aging medicine fall in two categories: those who know the truth but who don't talk a lot about it (you find their writings in arcane and specialized peer-reviewed publications) and those who don't know but who write numerous books and find many ways to make your money transmigrate from your pocket to their bank accounts.

At first I was very happy to discover Kurzweil's book, thinking that he has filled a gap and made some interesting but hard-to-interpret informations available to all. And then I went from disappointement to frustration.

It started first with the chapter on alkalinized water. I will not talk about water alkalinizers since other have made enough comments on this topic. However this chapter is very representative of the book, since you can find this kind of over-simplified, misinterpreted informations in other chapters. Let's look at a few examples:

Genetic testing: Kuzweils says that the P53 gene mutation is found in 50% of cancers so he advocates testing for the presence of this mutation in blood samples. Big misinterpretation! The p53 mutation is mutated in 50% of CANCEROUS CELLS, but not in the BLOOD CELLS of people with cancer... Technically speaking, Kurzweil don't understand the difference between a germ-line mutation and a stem-line mutation. This difference is taught early in medical school's genetic classes. Obviously Kurtzweil has not read or don't understand the reference he is giving (Soucci).

DHEA: hormone of youth . Same BS as the alkalinized water. Kurtzweil takes some correct informations, mixes them with some pure speculations and make a kind of very spicy stew of it.

Tea and heart disease.
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