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Amazon Best of the Month, December 2007: Legendary R&B icon Ray Charles claimed that he was "born with music inside me," and neurologist Oliver Sacks believes Ray may have been right. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain examines the extreme effects of music on the human brain and how lives can be utterly transformed by the simplest of harmonies. With clinical studies covering the tragic (individuals afflicted by an inability to connect with any melody) and triumphant (Alzheimer's patients who find order and comfort through music), Sacks provides an erudite look at the notion that humans are truly a "musical species." --Dave Callanan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sacks is an unparalleled chronicler of modern medicine, and fans of his work will find much to enjoy when he turns his prodigious talent for observation to music and its relationship to the brain. The subtitle aptly frames the book as a series of medical case studies-some in-depth, some abruptly short. The tales themselves range from the relatively mundane (a song that gets stuck on a continuing loop in one's mind) through the uncommon (Tourette's or Parkinson's patients whose symptoms are calmed by particular kinds of music) to the outright startling (a man struck by lightning subsequently developed a newfound passion and talent for the concert piano). In this latest collection, Sacks introduces new and fascinating characters, while also touching on the role of music in some of his classic cases (the man who mistook his wife for a hat makes a brief appearance). Though at times the narrative meanders, drawing connections through juxtaposition while leaving broader theories to be inferred by the reader, the result is greater than the sum of its parts. This book leaves one a little more attuned to the remarkable complexity of human beings, and a bit more conscious of the role of music in our lives. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I guess I just expected more case histories of people with music tastes more similar to my own and most baby boomers. Seems like ALL of his patients only enjoyed classical music. Read morePublished 7 days ago by pamd
I've heared so much about this book, and how great it was. However, I found it be simply story after story about weird things that happened to people after some life event. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Eric Leberg
A bit of repetition from his earlier books but revealing of what a complicated, flawed and brilliant person he was. He will be missed.Published 25 days ago by J. Kiniry
Oliver Sacks never fails to fascinate the reader. He is a storyteller who enchants. So sorry he is gone. Will now read every book he wrote. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Donna Germain
A great book by an amazing doctor, scientist, researcher. Profound stuffPublished 1 month ago by david haeger