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Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2010: With the bookshelves full of deathless vampires these days, it's refreshing to read about immortality in the real world for a change. In Long for This World, Jonathan Weiner, who won a Pulitzer Prize for The Beak of the Finch, has written an elegant, curious, and personal account of the modern scientific search for a Fountain of Youth. The search for immortality has long been seen as a fanciful, alchemic quest, and the study of aging a mere biological backwater, but recent advances in both evolutionary and molecular biology have made the prospect of finding a cure for our apparently inevitable deterioration seem tantalizingly reachable, at least to figures like Aubrey de Grey, the bearded, beer-drinking English researcher whose impossibly confident drive toward thousand-year life spans is at the center of Weiner's tale. Is Weiner convinced? He's appealingly skeptical, and clear enough in explaining the science to make us equally so: if aging is a disease, it's at least as complicated to cure as cancer (and in fact would require us to cure cancer, along with everything else that hunts us down). But he presents the optimists' case with verve and appreciation, making their quest to exceed our human limits into a wonderfully human story. --Tom Nissley
Starred Review. The promise of eternal youth is both tantalizingly close and far-fetched in this fascinating primer on longevity research. Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Weiner (The Beak of the Finch) focuses on amateur gerontologist and oddball visionary Aubrey de Grey, a charismatic motormouth who has won a respectful scientific hearing for his argument that we will soon achieve life spans of thousands of years. (His immortality program starts with the removal of a gunky cellular buildup called lipofuscin.) Weiner takes readers on an engrossing tour of cutting-edge research, while citing established life-cycle experts like Shakespeare and Yeats, and he has a knack for translating science into evocative metaphor. He tempers the "prolongevist" optimism with some daunting reality: evolution never engineered humans to last forever, the bodyÖs myriad modes of decay may make that goal impossible, and reaching it, he speculates, might render us morbidly averse to risk or even to having children. WeinerÖs erudite, elegant exposition of the underlying science is stimulating yet sobering.
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This is one of the better popular science books I've read. The author has a remarkable ability to make genetics on the molecular level comprehensible to the non-specialist, and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jon Corelis
You people are idiots! The only way to achieve eternal life is through the salvation of Jesus Christ! Every heard of him? Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
The author chooses a sort of winding scenic route through the world of research addressing the possibility of extending human life way past a mere hundred years or so--and appears... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ulfilas
This is a fascinating book about scientists engaged in a new field called “immortality science.” It has to do with new research into extending the human life span and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Clifford D. Conner
This book combined the best of fiction and non-fiction writing. It had an intriguing central character surrounded by specific scientific information about the history and present... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Annette A. Holm
Purchased for my son's birthday. Delivery was timely and book was in great condition. My son is quite enthralled by the contents and is happy with the purchase.Published 24 months ago by Angela Hood
Well written. An exciting peek into the future of human striving for immortality! I thorougly enjoyed the weaving of pure science with the author's excellent story telling... Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Michael Rushnak
Fascinating, improbable, hopeful, scary, Sci Fi? Easy to read in spite of medical terminology. The mystery of it all pulls you along. Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by P. Like
And you will surely find them the most greedy of people for life - [even] more than those who associate others with Allah . Read morePublished on September 5, 2012 by Emadove