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Editorial Reviews

One of the great medical writers of our time, British neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks has been called the "poet laureate of medicine" by The New York Times. Speaking with Radiolab's Robert Krulwich, Dr. Sacks expands on the connection between music and the mind, the subject of his book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. Dr. Sacks has an elegant voice that contrasts appealingly with Krulwich's dry tones, and he demonstrates his unique ability to describe and explain medical and psychological topics in a graceful and accessible way.

Publisher's Summary

Dubbed "the poet laureate of medicine" by The New York Times, Dr. Oliver Sacks is one of the great medical writers and storytellers of our time. He has transformed our understanding of the human mind and restored narrative to a central place in the practice of medicine. His best-selling books, including Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, and An Anthropologist on Mars, entertain, enlighten, and inspire his many fans around the world.
©2009 92nd Street Y; (P)2009 92nd Street Y

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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fascinating stories and connections

this was just great- music has such connection to facets of our lives that we are only just beginning to inderstand

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very Helpful for Parkinson's Disease Patient

If you could sum up Dr. Oliver Sacks on Music and the Mind in three words, what would they be?

Brilliant, Enlightening, and Encouraging!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dr. Oliver Sacks on Music and the Mind?

I also listened to Sacks' Musicophelia, so I don't recall which; described Oliver Sacks breaking his leg in a mountain climb and having to haul himself backward down the mountain using only his arms and that he sang a little "chant" which gave him momentum like that of rowing a boat and allowed him to focus. He said that little ditty saved his life.

What about Robert Krulwich’s performance did you like?

Oh! You mean that wasn't Oliver Sacks? I didn't know that until I heard Dr. Oliver Sacks interviewed on Fresh Air (also available on Audible) and realized that Robert Krulwich was only the reader's voice. Fantastic!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was blown away by Sacks' research. I have since read all of his other books of which The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was my favorite. My husband sometimes introduces me to people we already know saying "and this is my...hat..." because it starts a fascinating conversation!

Any additional comments?

Bravo!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A good read

I very much enjoyed the ideas expressed in this book. I would urge anyone interested in music to give the book a read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Slightly dissapointed

Any additional comments?

Before getting this audio book, I was aware that this was an interview, but I was not aware that Dr. Oliver Sacks is not terribly good when being interviewed. Mr. Robert Krulwich who interviewed him and he was very dynamic speaker and he makes jokes, managing to engage me in the interview, but when Dr. Sacks comes on, even though his stories themselves are interesting, he makes them boring and he stutters slightly. It's not his accent that's not the problem, it's the little importance he seems to place in making us excited about the patients, who sound like they are a blast do be around, but when he talks he does not convey that feeling. It is only because I am fascinated by the subject, that I found some enjoyment, but I would not recommend it to a friend.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Gustavo
  • Joao Pessoa, Brazil
  • 01-30-12

How a terrible reader can spoil an audiobook.

What did you like best about Dr. Oliver Sacks on Music and the Mind? What did you like least?

I was listening to his Musicophilia, 25 times longer and better, because in this little book I cannot pay attention to his voice, so monotonal and lifeless it is. Actually, his reading made it unbearable to listen to anything he said, be it good or bad.

What was most disappointing about Oliver Sacks’s story?

I could not say becuase of his voice is so bad that one cannot pay attention to what is being read.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robert Krulwich?

I thought the voice was from the author. I guess it is difficult to find anyone worse than him. I've read several commentaries complaining about the quality of the narrator. In all of them I gave them a fair try, by listening to them in their free sample, and ended up by saying that it wasn`t that bad. This is the first one I cannot tolerate hearing to it. I should have gone to the free trial first. It was my bad. I guess that in this particular case I was enjoying so much the narrator (John Lee) of Musicophilia that, when I found out this other one reading the text, I could not bear such dramatic change for the worse.

Did Dr. Oliver Sacks on Music and the Mind inspire you to do anything?

<br/>To listen first the free sample before buying any audiobook from now. It is an important lesson. It could save both money and a lot of unnecessary anger.<br/>

Any additional comments?

ALWAYS LISTEN THE FREE SAMPLE FIRST TO JUDGE BY YOURSELF WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN STAND THE READING, BEFORE BUYING IT.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • KK
  • 04-22-17

Annoying interviewer

Dr. Sachs is a wonderfully odd and brilliant man with so many fascinating insights on a myriad of topics. Unfortunately, the interviewer seemed to think the audience was there for HIS "brilliant" banter. He started the talk with blather that can be fast forwarded through; then he interupted, answered and often asked questions before Sachs could finish.

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Musical rhythm and brain dysfunction.

This is a speech given by Oliver Sachs briefly discussing the relationship of musical rhythm and various brain pathologies. It a descriptive report of interesting observations with little pedagogical utility.

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  • NaNa
  • Bethesda, MD
  • 07-17-15

Great man, good interviewer

Dr Sachs is not a naturally comfortable interviewee, but RK did an excellent job of filling in blanks and keeping things moving.

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  • Nike
  • 08-17-17

Very Revelatory

Yes indeed Dr Sachs live with not so discrete partner who could not give the humanity to the medical confidentiality to the process. very American I feel.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil
  • 11-23-16

interview or interruptions?

a series of disjointed segments of Sacks own stories and patient stories with interjections and interruptions from Robert Krulwich... not what I was expecting, I hoped to hear more of Sacks findings on music and the mind but mostly it's interrupted anecdotes