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Ryan

Louisville, KY
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  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales

  • By: Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks - introduction
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,282
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,757
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,757

Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Lest we forget how fragile we are..."

  • By ESK on 02-23-13

Subject matter could have been interesting, but...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-14-16

Sacks' unique patients are certainly interesting, but I often felt as if I have just opened up his clinical diary to a random page and was expected to understand technical terms and other context without a primer. Other reviewers have spoken about Sacks' compassion for his patients and that is clear, but as a reader I would like more framing, signposting, and analysis to link each case to a broader point or argument. This book has its moments, but overall it failed to reach its potential.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Gulp

  • Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
  • By: Mary Roach
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,977
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,656
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,662

Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome, quirky read!

  • By Heather on 06-24-14

Gulp wasn't for me, but will keep reading Roach

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-05-14

I decided on Gulp because I loved Mary Roach's Stiff - a superbly written and read book on human cadavers. As expected, Gulp was well-researched book on the topic of digestion and was written in a similar style. I like Roach's writing, but unfortunately the topic did not capture my interest so I struggled through the book. I learned a few things here and there, but overall I do not share the author's curiosity about the alimentary canal. I would only recommend Gulp to those who know for sure that they like the topic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Banished

  • Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church
  • By: Lauren Drain
  • Narrated by: Lauren Drain
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 306
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 307

You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hopefully the first of many more to come!

  • By Cory on 03-09-13

Inside the Wesboro cult

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-13-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you're interested in the story behind the Westboro headlines, this is one of the few sources of insider information. "Banished" was comprehensive and reasonably well written, and was an enjoyable (if shocking) read. This book is a good companion to Louis Theroux's documentary "The Most Hated Family in America" and its follow up "America's Most Hated Family in Crisis".

What was one of the most memorable moments of Banished?

Leaving Westboro. Her expulsion from the church was swift and harsh. I'm sure this was ultimately a double edged sword for Drain - on the one hand, she is out of the cult and free to live her life as she pleases, but on the other she lost almost everything she had known, including siblings to whom she was close.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes. Drain is certainly not a professional narrator, but her narration wasn't too distracting either.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Puts your parents' faults into perspective!"

Any additional comments?

Lauren Drain's story of living in the Westboro cult was, without question, an important one to tell. She is an imperfect but sympathetic character, and she does a good job of explaining the psychology behind her family joining the church (in particular Steve Drain's narcissism).

One aspect of the book let it down slightly. It is an autobiography of a young person, therefore contained more than its fair share of minutiae about being a teenager (e.g. complaining about punishments and the unfair nature of the group's restrictions).

All in all, though, I have a lot of sympathy for Lauren and the losses she's suffered at the hands of an intolerant belief system.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful