Readers and critics praise
Long for This World

“With humor and a bracing mix of skepticism and indulgence, Mr. Weiner dissects in his essays the theories of gerontologists while pondering whether, except for you and me, immortality would be a good thing for the world.” The Wall Street Journal

“I admire all of Jonathan Weiner’s books, but this one especially because of its intellectual depth and clarity, its sense of personal involvement, and its tone and wit. The chapter on the evolution of aging is particularly brilliant! I couldn’t put the book down.” Oliver Sacks

“Weiner’s strength as a writer is his ability to flesh out…complex theories without losing the reader…. Long for This World is a great trip.” Abraham Verghese, New York Times Book 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 body’s 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. Weiner’s erudite, elegant exposition of the underlying science is stimulating yet sobering.” Publishers Weekly (starred review) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

“A brilliant and improbably funny look inside the mind-bending science of immortality.” The Village Voice

“I love this book….a mesmerizing blend of vivid reporting, wide-ranging scholarship, and the thoughtful probing of a great mystery. Like everything Jonathan Weiner does, it is far more than the sum of its parts.” James Gleick

“In Long for This World, one of our finest journalists explores the shadowy sword hanging over us all, weaving together the latest research with time-tested cultural wisdom: Will we ever live forever?” Jonah Lehrer

“A rich and fascinating study of the longing for immortality and our lingering doubts about the possibility of surpassing our mortal limits.” Simon Critchley

“Masterful.” Carl Zimmer

“A gripping account of the science of aging… Wonderfully crafted… Demystifying the workings of the mitochondria that power our cells, the author brings to life the various theories of aging advanced by researchers… Weiner’s lucid, brightly paced narrative brims with snapshots of scientists, stories of experiments and informed speculations on what the conquest of aging would mean for the human experience. Immensely readable and informative.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.” Timothy Ferris

“Weiner’s deftness and insight are vital in making sense of the many factions and perspectives vying for the one scientific goal that might properly called the Holy Grail. ” Seed magazine

“Illuminating and inspiring… A science book, but one written with verve and vitality.” BookPage

“An astute and elegantly presented discussion… [Weiner] has written a fascinating, deeply thought-provoking book full of intricate science and complicated moral questions made easily accessible for barmaids and the rest of us ordinary mortals. We will be certain to ponder Weiner’s rich topic for eternity.” Elyssa East, Kansas City Star

“A brilliant exposé of the fascinating science that has emerged in the quest for everlasting life, and the quacks, drunks and geniuses participating in one of the greatest shows on Earth.” S. Jay Olshansky, The New Scientist

“An extraordinary ride through the ages, touching on science, philosophy, literature and mythology, to explore the centuries-old human quest for longevity…. The author is as adept at parsing the ancient epic of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian hero who sought the secret of immortality, as he is at explaining the inner workings of mitochondria, the cell’s tiny energy powerhouses.” Robin D. Schatz, Bloomberg

Long for This World lends perspective and therefore comforting reassurance on this most basic of human conditions. Millions have been here before us, and some have left their thoughts as gestures to immortality. Weiner has gathered them here, and they are worth reading.” Repps Hudson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Weiner, who has a gift for making science lucid and for weaving in the perfect literary allusion, is a pleasure to read.” Emily Yoffe, Slate