The Book of Answers, London: Rider, 2006.
Life After Death is one of Deepak Chopra’s best books. I am talking about this specific edition that he published with Rider in London, not about the later version entitled Life after Death: The Burden of Proof, that he published in the USA.
What makes the strength of the present edition is that designers and the publisher really worked well to bring over Chopra’s poetic content to the distinguished reader. For this book is not just scientific in the modern sense of the word; it is scientific within the oldest traditions of the world, and among them the tradition Chopra himself originates from, the wistful Vedic tradition of India. In this sense, the book is an artful composition of poetic teaching tales and scientific text interwoven in a fantastic poetic tale.
I do not presently know an author who could do such a fusion without losing his style, and get into popular science jargon.
Chopra is beyond these categories, which is why he can afford to put his whole heart and soul in a book where others, afraid of public opinion in a matter that is still highly controversial, would probably stay with the hard facts. That is truly admirable. I would like to laud the designers and the publisher, Rider-Randomhouse in London, for this wonderful rendition of Chopra’s thoughts. The choice of the cover, the font, the layout and design, all is the work of skilled craft-makers, and it shows so much care taken! This is how it should.
This book was for me a journey, and I read it parallel with Charles W. Leadbeater’s Inner Life (1911)—which I am equally reviewing in this present volume—and that was truly a good mix.
However, it should be noted that Leadbeater comes over as a dry mind compared to Chopra, who is a poet. Chopra really is the better writer, as he is less academic, less convoluted, more to the point, and more holistic in his overall approach to life. Passages of the book remind me of pamphlets written by Sufi writers.
Chopra uses an ancient technique of building a teaching tale by weaving an Ariadne thread from the first to the last page that helps the reader to bridge over the necessary dryness of pages that deal with hard scientific facts and statistics, or medical issues that Chopra eruditely expands into for the obvious reason of giving flesh to metaphysical issues. Indeed the mix he has brewed from this assemblage is really alchemical in the good sense of the word, and it has been appreciated by many readers.
I want to see the person who, after reading this book, still fears death! I think that one of Chopra’s main goals for writing this book was to help people cope with their fear of death, and he has dealt with this task in a magnificent way, indeed!