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An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales by [Oliver Sacks]
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An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 381 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The works of neurologist Oliver Sacks have a special place in the swarm of mind-brain studies. He has done as much as anyone to make nonspecialists aware of how much diversity gets lumped under the heading of "the human mind."

The stories in An Anthropologist on Mars are medical case reports not unlike the classic tales of Berton Roueché in The Medical Detectives. Sacks's stories are of "differently brained" people, and they have the intrinsic human interest that spurred his book Awakenings to be re-created as a Robin Williams movie.

The title story in Anthropologist is that of autistic Temple Grandin, whose own book Thinking in Pictures gives her version of how she feels--as unlike other humans as a cow or a Martian. The other minds Sacks describes are equally remarkable: a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome, a painter who loses color vision, a blind man given the ambiguous gift of sight, artists with memories that overwhelm "real life," the autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire, and a man with memory damage for whom it is always 1968.

Oliver Sacks is the Carl Sagan or Stephen Jay Gould of his field; his books are true classics of medical writing, of the breadth of human mentality, and of the inner lives of the disabled. --Mary Ellen Curtin --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Library Journal

According to Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, LJ 2/15/86), developmental defects, diseases, and disorders play a paradoxical role in human lives. Ravenous and destructive on the one hand, they also bring about unexpected growth and evolution of the extremely adaptive nervous system as it is forced to develop new paths and new ways of doing things. Sacks offers seven portraits exemplifying the "creative" potential of disease, including an artist who loses all sense of color in a car accident but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white; a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette's Syndrome unless he is operating; and an autistic Ph.D. who cannot interpret the simplest social exchange between humans but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behavior. Taking leave of his white coat and the hospital environment, Sacks explores his subjects closely. True to his past work, he offers compelling stories told with the cognizance of a clinician and the heart and compassion of a poet. He also includes a superbly annotated bibliography for further study. This insightful and inspirational collection is essential for all libraries. [BOMC selection.]-David R. Johnson, Arnold LeDoux Lib., Louisiana State Univ., Eunic.
--David R. Johnson, Arnold LeDoux Lib., Louisiana State Univ., Eunice
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • Publication date : November 14, 2012
  • File size : 5326 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 366 pages
  • Publisher : Vintage; 1st edition (November 14, 2012)
  • ASIN : B009UAO0J8
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 381 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
381 global ratings
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3.0 out of 5 stars Humbly, I am disappointed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2012
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