On the Move

A Life
Narrated by: Dan Woren
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,115 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Oliver Sacks was 12 years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: "Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far." It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening minutes on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.

With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions - weight lifting and swimming - also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists - Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick - who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer - and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.

©2015 Oliver Sacks (P)2015 Random House Audio

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent book from a excellent writer

sacks sums up interesting events in his life,
and do it in a captivating way. I devoured the book almost in one sitting if it hadn't been for the annoying need to sleep. I was especially surprised by his early life as a body builder and such, after knowing him as this rather whimsical scientist I've heard occasionally on Radiolab.
I highly recommend this book, it shines light on the eventful life of this remarkable man.

the narration was excellent. the only thing to nitpick on, is that I guess a brittish narrator would have made sense as he is brittish. but not that the American narrator was bad in any way
this book have made me want to read more of his work. he is a fantastic writer and it is sad to learn that he will be leaving us soon

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

His Own Life

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is a final memoir since Oliver Sacks discovered he is terminally ill after completing the book. In an astonishing piece in the New York Times in February 2015 Dr. Sacks essentially bids farewell and says "I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. . . .Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure."

This memoir is honest and forthright about his homosexuality, his fear of his schizophrenic brother, and his internship and residency in California where he led a double life of medical rounds in the day and drugs, motorcycles and muscle beaches on his own time.

Through living on the edge, he seems to have developed the profound empathy for his patients that led to his wonderful essays and case studies about the neurologically impaired.

How could the performance have been better?

Surely, the publisher could have found a reader with a British accent for a more authentic reading of Oliver Sack's story. The reader fails to convey Dr. Sack's puckish humor, irony, or emotion.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What an interesting life!

Sacks writes like a novelist about himself, his family, and his work. The scientific dimension of this memoir is fascinating, and his personal disclosers are courageous and enlightening.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Intellectually intriguing, emotionally moving read

I just finished and I am in awe of Mr. Sacks' drive, his intellect, his extraordinary talent to communicate complex ideas in ways that engage a lay person such as myself. The emotional poignancy is searing. The strong performance holds up well to the power of the story.

I read this book at a crossroads in my own life and I feel it has brought clarity to my own pending decisions in a very powerful yet unexpected way that I suspect I will ponder the serendipity of for years to come.

5 people found this helpful

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Reader was so monotone

Loved the content of this book, yet kept abandoning it because I couldn't stand the narration, which was so flat and monotonous. The guy just didn't seem to recognize what he was saying. Very very disappointing. Took me a long time to get through it because of this

3 people found this helpful

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Oliver Sacks's great Audio Book Memoir!

If you could sum up On the Move in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, Humbling and fascinating

What was one of the most memorable moments of On the Move?

When Oliver Sacks realizes he is as much a storyteller as a doctor

What does Dan Woren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A great narrator brings out the story that words on the page can't do on Thier own and Dan Woren brings the "voice" of Oliver Sacks into your mind and made his book a great read

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

Oliver Sacks's story makes awakenings seem like sleep walking!

Any additional comments?

I've been recommending g this book to all my friends. However if you are a doctor, you'll feel like Oliver Sacks is really just sharing his life with you!( I'm not a doctor and I still felt that amazing connection)

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, but strange choice of narration.

Very interesting story of an incredible man. I share the opinion of many reviewers that that narrator should have been English. Dan Woren did a fine job but it made me overly aware that I was listening to someone read the book, rather than allowing myself to be engulfed by it. This, however, is not a good enough reason to avoid the audiobook. Now I'm considering diving into some of Dr. Sacks' other works.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful memoir

Oliver Sacks is one of my intellectual heroes. This memoir of his is very welcome, as it gives further insight into how his mind works and who he is: brilliant, unpretentious, somewhat regretful, enthusiastic, profoundly curious and compassionate.

If you are coming across this without knowing Dr. Sacks’ oeuvre, I suggest you first start with The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and/or An Anthropologist on Mars, and then either read Awakenings or watch the wonderful movie starring Robin Williams as Dr. Sacks, Robert DeNiro as a post-encephalitic patient, and Marge Simpson as his nurse, and only then dive into this book. As an aside, Dr. Sacks was amazed at how well Robin Williams captured his persona.

In order to fully appreciate this wonderful memoir, you must be interested in neurology, and it would be good to also have some interest in the literary mind and process of writing; you must also not be put off by Dr. Sacks’ description of a few sexual encounters.

Narration was good, except that I question (as do others) the curious choice of an American to voice Dr. Sacks, who has a distinctive English voice. I also wish that the narrator would have researched some of the foreign words that he mispronounces -- a minor and mostly irrelevant point, but a pet peeve.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Book absorbing and thought provoking, narration i

This book felt like a meander through Oliver Sack's life. What a thought provoking pleasure. Opened up many things to think about as well as being very entertaining. The barrator detracted greatly from the experience mispronouncing words and names Disappointing and surprising given audibles usual quality. Am hoping that other Oliver Sacks books have a different narrator if not will read tgem

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting read about and interesting guy

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really liked getting to know the good doctor a little better. I have read some of his other more popular books (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, etc.) but I always wanted to know more about the actual doctor. He is a strange wonderful dude.

How could the performance have been better?

Since I know what he sounded like from the radio I was a bit disconcerted by the narrator's voice. I thought he sounded a lot like Kasey Kasem which was sometimes off putting. I wish they could have found some one with Sack's similar English accent. Would have made some of the stories better.

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

It was a good book to listen to while doing other things. It was entertaining but didn't demand all of your attention.

2 people found this helpful