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An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales | [Oliver Sacks]

An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales

To these seven narratives of neurological disorder Dr. Sacks brings the same humanity, poetic observation, and infectious sense of wonder that are apparent in his bestsellers Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. These men, women, and one extraordinary child emerge as brilliantly adaptive personalities, whose conditions have not so much debilitated them as ushered them into another reality.
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Publisher's Summary

To these seven narratives of neurological disorder, Dr. Sacks brings the same humanity, poetic observation, and infectious sense of wonder that are apparent in his best sellers Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. These men, women, and one extraordinary child emerge as brilliantly adaptive personalities, whose conditions have not so much debilitated them as ushered them into another reality.

PLEASE NOTE: Some changes have been made to the original manuscript with the permission of Oliver Sacks.

©1995 Oliver Sacks (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"True to his past work, he offers compelling stories told with the cognizance of a clinician and the heart and compassion of a poet." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (89 )
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  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-12-12
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

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    "Sachs The Scientist"

    Some readers complain of the overly metaphysical nature of Oliver Sachs' The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (and I do agree that he seems to mistake, surprisingly often for such an educated man, "personality" for "the soul" in that book and that he does ramble a bit into the etheric realms in "Hat," clouding his scientific points.) For those, I would recommend Anthropologist on Mars. This is the best of Sachs, as he returns to what makes Awakenings so good to read: it brings complex medicine to the layman's terms (without dumbing down) and it includes the human element of neurology and neurological conditions without the threats of floating off into abstract philosophy as in "Hat."

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 09-22-13
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 09-22-13 Member Since 2007

    50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SACKS IS AN ABSOLUTE JOY !!"

    . The jaw dropping stories in this book mated to Sack`s insight, sensitivity, and remarkable articulation are a balm for the soul and candy for the mind. His humanity and his remarkable ability to communicate the experiences of his patients and his own insight make him unique and unforgetable.

    The underlying premise for all these cases which sacks brings to light- is the unusual and unforeseen positive path the disabilities of these patients and disabilities in general can (after breaking through) engender.

    I am similar to those stories enclosed-in a way. 10 yrs ago I stepped out of the shower heard a crack and have been in terrible crippling disabling pain ever since. I went from being a very fit,strong and super active father of 2 very small boys to being bedridden and writhing in pain.. Things are marginally better now,but the point is- I started using audible books at the start because I couldnt do anything else-including tv. Audible books not only helped me endure the isolation, pain and loss of a way of life-it replaced my physical world with a mental one (generalization)-one in which I'm now relatively happy. This totally unexpected and unforeseen journey from one state of being to another positive state, is part of what is explored in this book. It is no exaggeration to say that audible books saved my life.

    I'm not sure just where this book fits into his bibliography, I've read them as I've come across them. and have pretty much enjoyed them all. The narrator (Jonathan Davis) who has done most if not all his books when sacks hasn't done the work himself is utterly perfect, getting the tone, timing and inflection just right.

    This book enriched my mind and soul,altered my perspective and relieved the mind numbing effect of a shockingly dumbed down world- at least for a few hours. Now that's credit worthy!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Levine 01-21-13
    M. Levine 01-21-13
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    "Dr. Sacks is Fascinating"

    Now I want to be a neurologist. Too bad my only qualifications are listening to Oliver Sacks' books... I would have been great!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mitch Buena Park, CA, United States 12-24-11
    Mitch Buena Park, CA, United States 12-24-11

    I am a documentary film producer from Los Angeles.

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    "You must enjoy lots of details that are pointless"
    Would you try another book from Oliver Sacks and/or Jonathan Davis and Oliver Sacks ?

    no


    What was most disappointing about Oliver Sacks’s story?

    The author gets in intricate details and does not make a point. Enjoyable for a medical professional, but not for the lay person.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Dunmore, PA, United States 05-01-12
    Judith Dunmore, PA, United States 05-01-12
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    "Wish I had read someone else's review before I got"
    What did you like best about An Anthropologist on Mars? What did you like least?

    I love stories of the brain and how it works but there wasn't anything to grab me in this one. Bring back The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, This felt hollow and uninteresting.


    What aspect of Jonathan Davis and Oliver Sacks ’s performance would you have changed?

    The performance was fine. That's all I can say.


    Could you see An Anthropologist on Mars being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    A rock.


    Any additional comments?

    Did I miss something? Maybe it was better if you read it.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • Chris Cody
    Old Colwyn
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Thoughtful, melancholy and inspiring"
    What did you like most about An Anthropologist on Mars?

    Looks at some difficult and hard to talk about subjects in an often positive and uplifting light. Takes the line of some people being more 'different' than 'damaged' and often strives to see the best in these situations. You also get to feel very up close and personal to the people involved.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Person-centred outlook on neurological conditions.


    Have you listened to any of Oliver Sacks and Jonathan Davis ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. And very nearly did.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sydney
    London, United Kingdom
    10/4/13
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    "Wonderful as always"

    Oliver Sacks is hard to beat for fascinating, humane, and beautifully written stories of neurology and the human condition, and this book is full of the mix of sadness of wonder one expects. Docked a point for the reader, who is a little flat; what a shame it's not read by Sacks himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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