Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Leg to Stand On Paperback – April 29, 1998
|New from||Used from|
Elsevier Sales & Deals
Save up to 50% on textbooks, study guides & resources for your medical specialty.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Jonathan Raban The Sunday Times (London) A remarkable, generous, vivid and thoroughly intelligent piece of writing -- a 'neurological novel,' as Sacks calls it.
Jerome Bruner The New York Review of Books A neurologist in [the] great tradition... [this is] a narrative comparable to Conrad's The Secret Sharer.
Vic Sussman The Washington Post Book World In calling for a neurology of the soul and a deeper and more humane medicine, Sacks's remarkable book raises issues of profound importance for everyone interested in humane health care and the human application of science.
About the Author
Oliver Sacks was born in London and educated in London, Oxford, California, and New York. He is professor of clinical neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is the author of many books, including Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
Top Customer Reviews
The first chapter, "The Mountain", tells how Sacks suffered a terrible injury to his left leg while hiking high above Hardanger Fjord in Norway. He was alone, and nobody knew where he was; he would certainly die of exposure if he didn't reach help by nightfall. The chapter is as gripping as anything in a thriller, and much more believable.
The next chapter, however, "Becoming A Patient", is the one that will give readers of Sacks' other work a frisson of recognition. Many times Sacks has taken the reader through the doctor-patient relationship from the doctor's side, but now he must experience it from the patient's side, and it is a revealing chapter. It ends with an extraordinary transition: Sacks has realized that he has a neurological problem with his leg--he can't "locate" it; it feels like it's made of wood--but the surgeon who operated on him refuses, point-blank, to accept that there is a problem.
The remainder of the book--about half--is devoted to the path to Sacks' ultimate recovery. Sacks has deep powers of observation, and there are luminously informative sequences here--my favourite is perhaps the exchange with the physiotherapists, when they are trying to show him how to walk, but he has forgotten how.Read more ›
This is an eminently readable book, free from the conglomeration of footnotes and asides that accompany most of Sacks' other books. I read it in one day, fascinated and entertained throughout the reading. Besides being an autobiographical, neurological novel, this book also explores what it is like for the physician to become a patient, how experiencing something firsthand can change the way a physician views and practices medicine, and how the mind-body image so strongly affects our worldviews.
I suppose Oliver Sacks isn't quite a likely candidate for this tables-turned scenario. In his books and TV interviews (e.g., "Glorious Accident"), and in Robin Williams' portrayal of him in "Awakenings," he comes across as anything but the stereotypical doctor. But he learns plenty from his experience anyway, and not just from the imperious surgeon who insists that there's nothing wrong with Sacks now that his leg has been repaired or the jolly hockey-stick nurse who is copeless when he does not respond to physical therapy.
He also learns first hand the terror of being injured, alone, and far from any other humans to rescue him. He experiences the helplessness that can overwhelm a person who not only loses the use of a limb, but as a "patient," loses his identity as an independent person. Sacks' descriptions of his feelings as a patient, sometimes soaring, sometimes despairing, are vividly told and are a reminder to any healthcare worker of the wild fluctuations of emotions that a patient can experience, even from one hour to the next.
Another fascinating aspect of the book is its account of the mystery of healing. Sacks describes in great detail the slow and unpredictable experience of recovering the ability to walk again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wait: a world famous nuerologist sustains a severe leg injury and lies motor and sensory nerve ability to the quadriceps but then waits 5 years for an EMG??? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Yuko I.
Another great read from Oliver Sacks.
Sacks uses a personal experience to illustrate some neurological principles that assist him in his recovery. Read more
I have just finished reading a strange little memoir called, A Leg to Stand On, by Oliver Sacks. It was given to me by a friend during my convalescence from a total knee... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Katy M.
Sack is a ground breaking author to give us insight into the brain. I always have a lot to think about after reading his books.Published 7 months ago by Joel Levitt
This account of Oliver Sacks losing total perception and touch with his left leg after fleeing a bull on a mountain in Norway is at best tedious and repetitious. Read morePublished 8 months ago by John Sollami
This book is a wonderful read even without a medical backgroung. He writes in such a way that one can picture and almost hear what he is saying. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Carol B. Mattison
I found his story of the accident and recovery fascinating. He has since passed on, but left behind good writing. He is a brainy sort of writer. Read morePublished 9 months ago by K. Crosby