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Publisher's Summary

The first immortals are already living among us. You might be one of them. At first glance, that arresting statement sounds as if it might come from a science-fiction story. But it is an astonishing, exciting fact - as explained clearly and cogently by Dr. Ben Bova.

In his distinguished career, Dr. Bova has predicted the discovery of life on Mars, the space race of the 1960s, solar-powered satellites, the discovery of organic chemicals in interstellar space, virtual reality, the Strategic Defense Initiative, the advent of international peacekeeping forces, the discovery of ice on the Moon, and electronic book publishing. Now he explores the future effects of science and technology on the human life span - and discovers that one day, death will no longer be the inevitable end of life.

Dr. Bova guides listeners through worldwide research into the biochemical processes that cause aging and death, and shows what scientists are discovering about stopping, perhaps even reversing, these processes.

According to Dr. Bova, if you have a normal life expectancy today, the medical and biological advances that will be achieved over the next 10 to 20 years will probably allow you to live long past 100. The longer you live, the more knowledge scientists will glean, and the further they will be able to extend your life span.

With crystal-clear, utterly accessible prose, Dr. Bova explains how science could maintain the youth and vigor of a 50-year-old indefinitely, perhaps even reversing the effects of aging. He also offers provocative thoughts on the tumultuous societal consequences of such biomedical breakthroughs, as greatly extended life spans and virtual immortality transform institutions like Medicare, Social Security, pension plans, life insurance, even the very foundations of work and retirement. Here is a compelling, startling, understandable, and vitally important study of the greatest challenge - and the most tantalizing opportunity - ever faced by humankind.

©1998 Ben Bova (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"While ostensibly about the coming conquest by science of aging and death, this is actually a lively overview of the exciting work being done in biomedical research today....the review of microbiology, especially genetic research, is engrossing." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Jill
  • North Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • 08-20-10

Mountains of information

This book, Immortality, was a enjoyable read. It's packed with information and research in the history of science in the field of immortality. The only down side for me was that the book was somewhat dated. As I'm listening to the science on telemers the author states that 'currently, no known way yet for the average person to extend the life of telemers'. (paraphrased) This caused me to pause, since today we know that multi-vitamins especially C & E can allow the telemers to not shrink as fast, and in essences therefore, increasing the life of a telemer. I then checked the publish date on this book and saw that although is stating the publish date as 5/10 it is actually 1999. /sigh ... So no wonder the information in here is somewhat dated. I do which that audible would in the future make sure they are entering both the publish date and the audible date so that customers can make a more informed decision as to whether they want to spend 7 1/2 hours or not reading (listening) to a particular book. However, It was a fasinating read, and even somewhat dated contains a huge amount of information.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter
  • Palm Springs, CA, United States
  • 06-19-11

A really bad choice for me

This book is very simplistic. If you know anything about biology (like you have taken college cell bio) you will be bored as I was. Also, the book is old, 1999. It is out of date. My mistake was to look at the release date of the audiobook and conclude it was current and not to find out when it was first published in print. The narrator's voice is just so deep as to be distracting, and he mispronounces medical and scientific words. Also, my mistake, I should have listened to the sample. Now, if Mr. Bova would write a 2011 version, getting a new reader, skipping the basic biology, and prognosticate, speculate, and predict for 300 pages, well that would be attractive.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Can we get a second edition?

Would you listen to Immortality again? Why?

Yes. While I kept up with most of it, I am positive that there are sections I could have understood better. It is a fascinating listen that gives you a lot of information and leaves you with much to think about. Do we want this future to come about or not.

What other book might you compare Immortality to and why?

Not sure I have any that I could. This book is predicting a not so distant future, yet it is more like a journal of recent events. It is science fiction and journalism in a single package.

Have you listened to any of Stefan Rudnicki’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Stefan is a master. I doubt that he could ever deliver a poor performance. He does this every bit as well as he does Ender's Game or any other tale.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The science around the cell reproduction and the limits to how often some cells can reproduce.

Any additional comments?

It is now nearly a decade since this book was published. I'd love to see a sequel or second edition with updates on the progress and notes on if Dr. Bova would stick with his original timelines or adjust them in or out.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marcus
  • SOUTH LYON, MI, United States
  • 03-13-12

Good for beginners

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

For me, not really. This book is strongly geared towards lay people without a scientific background. In fact, the book simply acts as a scientific review of research relating to aging at the time (1998, so a lot of the info is rather dated) for the layperson. If you already have some grasp of life extension research, I wouldn't recommend this book. Many of the concepts are over simplified to the point of bordering on being false. I give this book 2 stars basically just because it promotes the idea of aging being programmed.

What could Ben Bova have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Include more specific case studies and why he thinks such studies will lead to immortality. He doesn't really give any original ideas.

What didn’t you like about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance?

I wasn't sure if it was read by a computer or not. There were some parts that definitely sounded very much like a computer voice, and other parts where I thought it was too good to be a computer. And many words, such as

Did Immortality inspire you to do anything?