A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
I love how Sacks, through his small clinical vignettes, exposes the complex, narrative powers of the brain. Written with a clinician's eye, but a poet's heart, I also love how he is able to show how these patients with all sorts of neurological deficits, disabilities, and divergences are able to adapt and even thrive despite their neurological damage. For the most part, they are able to find "a new health, a new freedom" through music, inner narratives, etc. They are able to achieve a "Great Health," a peace and a paradoxical wellness THROUGH their illness.
I found this book very touching and absolutely fascinating...
Oliver Sacks' other books are similar, but i found not as broadly interesting. Apart from that i have not ventured to read anything like it.
not having a background in psycho-anything, i think that reading the text would have been very difficult. i think that the narrator makes it possible to get the meaning while not needing the background, as i have found in other audiobooks.
over and over
even if you don't think this book will interest you, i would suggest you give it a try, i was very surprised. i literally caught myself with my mouth wide open in some of the stories!
Oliver Sacks is the undisputed King of the medical neurology tale. Weaving drama, intrigue, suspense, and moving characters with incredible and extremely academically enlightening medical fact. The book, one of my favorites since college, (and one I re-read numerous times through medical school and my eventual neurology residency) is simply phenomenal. I have given copies to college students considering medical school, and medical students considering their residency. It truly reveals the brain, and the mind, better than any other book, text, or article.
Don't be frightened off, however. The layperson, the non-physician, will be just as captivated, just as amazed. The intrigue, the mystery of some of the brain injuries, or pathology of the disease, captures better than any James Bond villain. The suspense more real, the issues more valid.
I have read this book many, many times, but I must comment on the narration. The reader brings this story alive. He is slow, deliberate, and moves at the perfect pace. Inflecting, pausing perfectly, enunciation of each word, each idea; as good as any audible book in my library. (over 700, so this is rare, and high praise for me.).
I give this a Thumbs Up. A home run by the Sultan of Neurology.
Hi I am a geologist that now lives in South Australia I work in remote locations and find audiobooks essential for my sanity.
One of the pleasures of login on to audible is the surprise of which books are new to download. I have owned a text copy of this book since 1990 until I started to listen to the recording I had almost forgotten what an excellent series of compassionate single studies formed the book. It could be considered vicarious, the detailed study of individuals each with one or more "deficits". However it ends up as a deeply moving study of these individuals and in the process it tells us of the thin line that we each tread between fully functioning and being lost in the world. Great audio with the author reading the introduction and Jonathan Davis's voice pitched at exactly the right pitch to convey the pathos of each circumstance.
I would recommend this to friends who enjoy exploring the workings of the mind.
I would be willing to read another Oliver Sacks' book because his case studies are sometimes fascinating and it is clear that he has the personal experience to back up his work.
The book is expertly read. Where I would have stumbled over terminology, it was nice to have a narrator deliver the words smoothly.
I can't say that I was inspired, more than anything I felt a little fearful of what could potentially happen to my own mind.
The mind is an amazing and scary place! I think a layperson can definitely follow along, though it is occasionally bogged down with technical language that is obviously meant for the experts. Most of these case studies are the minute exception to the norm, but many of them are incredible. The most tragic common denominator for me is the fact that there are so many brain disorders that completely rob a person of purpose and happiness. The good part, I guess, is that some of them don't know it.
I am self-absorbed and...oh wait this isn't an e-mail to my therapist. hehe I love the Science and Technology section here, it's my favorite. I hope to write my reviews at least well enough to peek the interest of a few listeners to the point where they will shift their tastes more toward educational literature, knowing that(after receiving some insight from me) they can be just as entertaining, if not more so than mainstream fiction
I read this eighteen years ago. It was the most intriguing book I ever read to that date, as I was previously a fiction fan. This is a case by case story of Dr. Sacks most interesting patients, as well as other doctors patients that he met and found intriguing. I shared these stories with others years ago after first reading this, and you will, as I plan on doing again, have a blast sharing the idiosyncrasies of these marvelous humans, explored by a renowned neuropsychologist yourselves. The vernacular is heavy, and if you are not comfortable referencing a dictionary, google every once in awhile, or are a medical doctor it may be a minor disappointment for you, however I would guess context is enough for a layman to march through this still greatly satisfied.
Don't pass this by because of its publication date either. I listen to many psychology and science audio here, and this is not going to give you that out of the loop feeling some books do. Enjoy this new and updated gem!
Very interesting. Informative. Easy to listen to. This book presents a subject that traditionally requires a massive educational process to enable you to debate it, listen to it and read it, in a very understandable way to people not familiar to the field of psychiatry. It is really well written and very well narrated. A definite thumbs-up from me!
I like the fact that this book was written by a doctor who sees his patients as persons, not things. These are real case histories, and these people are suffering from various forms of brain damage and defects. It is interesting to learn how they are coping, and how their personalities are being effected.It is also so fascinating to learn how much our organic physiology effects our personality.
The book ends by pointing our how many ways one of the authors patents could have their very special gifts employed in fruitful work, but also points out that instead the patents will probably (like many others) be overlooked and discarded for life to the back room of a public hospital.
It made me happy to know that some doctors really do care, and see potential, for the handicapped. It made me sad to think that so many people are discarded.
Oliver Sacks is such an engaging, exciting, and thoughtful author. These stories far surpassed scientific documentation of odd mental illnesses and instead discussed the lived experience of his patients as people. Sacks is a formidable writer. I highly recommend this book.
Very well read - interesting subject matter - really enjoyed. Will listen to it again and again - worth its price, but not for just anyone.