"I want to live for ever" sang the Kids from Fame, and they are not alone: the search for immortality has been a constant human refrain throughout history. But medical science has improved at an exponential rate in recent decades and there are those who believe that the ability to cheat death will soon be within our reach: the first person to live to be 1,000 years old has, they say, already been born. What has happened to get people so excited about the prospect of eternal life? And if they are right, what would it mean for us as human beings? If death became negotiable, would we still fall in love or have children? Would we still, in fact, be human? HOW TO LIVE FOREVER OR DIE TRYING tackles these and myriad other questions with dazzling skill. Funny, thought-provoking and often profound, it manages to grapple with the big issues of existence without blinding the reader with science, and sheds new light on why we are the way we are.
Bryan Appleyard is a special feature writer and columnist for the SUNDAY TIMES. He is the author of several previous books including BRAVE NEW WORLDS: GENETICS AND THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE.