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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Life, The Answer by E. R. Leyva is a philosophy book intended to assist readers in better understanding what life may truly be about so that we might then discover what our own individual lives are about. Leyva works to accomplish this by way of a fictional dialogue that takes place among astronauts in a space station. The reasoning behind Leyva's process is to allow readers to witness conversations between intellectuals who are also in a unique position as pioneers, and who have the capacity to offer a point of view based quite literally on a perspective most of us have never and will never experience. Through the astronauts, Leyva covers a wide range of distinct and interconnected philosophical topics that all weave into the conceptual question. Ultimately, with the tools provided and discussion prompts, our journey might just be a bit clearer on Earth than before we entered the station.
Life, The Answer is probably the first philosophy book I've read that is almost exclusively dialogue between fictional characters who are addressing factual arguments. With the technical aspects of this literary writing style, there's not much room for a reader who needs to feel engaged in a conversation to emerge fuller than when they entered to satiate that demand. However, for the introverts out there on Earth who genuinely appreciate a more passive absorption method, E. R. Leyva has got your golden ticket. Listen and learn in the truest sense of the phrase. I liked the introduction of the Life Map and how it is explained, as well as the hypothetical examples the astronauts provide to drive home the message. These were most helpful in behavioral profiles. There is levity injected with some light ribbing and joking. I took a side jab at my wife when Western adherence to “contradicting philosophies” was briefly mentioned, having told her once before that she cannot say, “What you see is what you get,” one day and then, “You cannot judge a book by its cover,” the next. [spoiler alert: I spent the night on the sofa]. I think Leyva presents a solid entry point into the fundamentals of human philosophy and, yes, I dare say his book will bring you closer to understanding yourself and what life is about to you. Recommended.