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Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind Kindle Edition

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Length: 236 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In a chance encounter on a New Orleans levee top, a respected neuroscientist crosses paths with an itinerant blues singer. The result of the meeting launches the doctor on a voyage of discovery about jazz, about his beloved New Orleans, about human relations, and mainly about his own search for understanding the horrible affliction of Alzheimer's disease which he had battled clinically for years. In his search he discovers that it is not enough to simply study the physical brain and it's attending neurons and synapses but also to recognize the beauty of the person for whom the brain functions.

Dr. Nicolas Bazan has written a novel that is wrapped within interests that he obviously knows and cares about deeply. In doing so we are not only given a well-told story, but an invitation to passionately embrace his favorite subjects through the thoughts, dreams and dialogue of his characters. Admittedly, at times we are not sure if we are listening to the musings and observations of his main character, Alvaro Cruz, or lectures in history, culture and medicine by Bazan himself. In either case we understand the goal that Cruz/Bazan has set for himself early on. In the ancient, childlike and bluesy Mazy Waters - Una Vida - we see the embodiment of all that the inquisitive Cruz must confront as cognition slowly saps essence from her being. Throughout we explore Cruz's efforts to piece together members of her family and her past, all in a race against the time left to the mind of the singer.”

(Patrick M. Burke (New Orleans, Louisiana))

About the Author

Nicolas Bazan is a man driven by his life's many passions including a thirst for knowledge about the human mind and eyes, and a hunger for great food and fine music. Born in the tiny town of Los Sarmientos in Tucuman, Argentina, Nicolas Bazan's defining moment was witnessing an aunt suffer a seizure while walking him to a music lesson when he was a young boy, putting him on the path to becoming one of the world's premier neuroscientists.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2086 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1589851129
  • Publisher: Five Star Publications, Inc. (AZ) (January 2, 2009)
  • Publication Date: January 2, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041D8ATK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,776 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wernerhaas on August 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Una Vida
The book Una Vida completely captured my mind. While it is as thrilling as the best detective story, it is distinguished from it by the absence of gun shots, crimes and malignant villains. I fell in love with the main characters, Mazy Waters known as Una Vida, a Jazz singer in the streets of New Orleans suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and Dr. Cruz, his wife Elvira, and Jessica, who uncover the mystery of Una Vida's past in a breathtaking journey with many twists and surprises. The main characters , and others, who play minor roles in the story, are real, good-natured, believable people, well described by a gifted writer, who has a deep understanding of the human mind, and a great knowledge of and love for New Orleans with its multi-ethnical influences and rich history in Jazz music.
The story of Una Vida suggests that the creation and recognition of art, a unique property of the human brain, is controlled by neuronal circuits, that are, at least in some patients, resistant against the demolishing effect of the disease; circuits, that do not relate to the past, nor the future, but exclusively to the present. Thus music and visual arts may provide an avenue by which the brains of some, if not all Alzheimers patients may be reached, at least for short episodes of enjoyable communication (divine sparks of humanity), an important message of hope for relatives, friends and caretakers of Alzheimers patients. There is also a lesson for drug addicts. Jessica, a very attractive potter, whose mother was delivered by the still healthy Una Vida, wins her struggle against drug addiction through her love and strong feeling of responsibility for Una Vida as she sinks into the darkness of Alzheimer's disease.
In the course of the story Dr.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Wright on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was interesting from beginning to end- and brought New Orleans, mystery, alzheimer's and history to life. I highly recommend it. I plan on buying copies for friends who have relatives suffering from this disease.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By River Road Creative on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Check out this extraordinary novel, which paints a wonderful portrait of Jazz, New Orleans, with all her color and character, and the mystery that surrounds the disease known as Alzheimer's.

It's a story about compassion, about the human condition that inspires us to reach out to those more vulnerable than ourselves, and about music and its mysterious connection with the human brain.

Written by an accomplished and lauded neuroscientist, Una Vida: A Fable of Music and The Mind convinced this particular reader that scientists are truly artists at their very core.

A must read...and I hear they're making it into a movie!
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By Patrick M. Burke on October 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
In a chance encounter on a New Orleans levee top, a respected neuroscientist crosses paths with an itinerant blues singer. The result of the meeting launches the doctor on a voyage of discovery about jazz, about his beloved New Orleans, about human relations, and mainly about his own search for understanding the horrible affliction of Alzheimer's Disease which he had battled clinically for years. In his search he discovers that it is not enough to simply study the physical brain and it's attending neurons and synapses but also to recognize the beauty of the person for whom the brain functions.

Dr. Nicolas Bazan has written a novel that is wrapped within interests that he obviously knows and cares about deeply. In doing so we are not only given a well-told story, but an invitation to passionately embrace his favorite subjects through the thoughts, dreams and dialogue of his characters. Admittedly, at times we are not sure if we are listening to the musings and observations of his main character, Alvaro Cruz, or lectures in history, culture and medicine by Bazan himself. In either case we understand the goal that Cruz/Bazan has set for himself early on. In the ancient, childlike and bluesy Mazy Waters - Una Vida - we see the embodiment of all that the inquisitive Cruz must confront as cognition slowly saps essence from her being. Throughout we explore Cruz's efforts to piece together members of her family and her past, all in a race against the time left to the mind of the singer.
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Format: Paperback
This remarkable narrative truly captures the complex distinction between the medical science of a condition and the actual patients experiencing that condition, and the tremendous courage of those professionals who can move fluidly between both areas. "Una Vida" is a tale of courage, discovery and the endless significance of family within one's personal legacy. This beautifully written novel follows an unusual quest to reassemble memory and, in turn, reveals one man's opportunity to reunite and revive the love of a whole family. The vital importance of empathy, ambition and faith echo throughout the novel and ultimately combine to form the resounding message of hope that remains with the reader long after the book is completed.

For those interested in discovering new environments, "Una Vida" offers the reader an integrated way to travel between the cultural and culinary landmarks of the complex, unique city that is New Orleans. One actively falls in love with the city and its people through a cognitive, literary experience, and is left with a deeply felt appreciation for the charming, haunting atmosphere of New Orleans that is treasured by so many.

"Una Vida" functions as a real analysis of the enigmatic chasm between scientific knowledge and the human experience. It studies the metaphysical force that binds these two polarities, encountered and understood only by those individuals who are brave enough to hover between the two.
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