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Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (Picador) Paperback – February 28, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
A neurologist who claims to be equally interested in disease and people, Sacks (Awakenings, etc.) explores neurological disorders with a novelist's skill and an appreciation of his patients as human beings. These cases, some of which have appeared in literary or medical publications, illustrate the tragedy of losing neurological facultiesmemory, powers of visualization, word-recognitionor the also-devastating fate of those suffering an excess of neurological functions causing such hyper states as chorea, tics, Tourette's syndrome and Parkinsonism. Still other patients experience organically based hallucinations, transports, visions, etc., usually deemed to be psychic in nature. The science of neurology, Sacks charges, stresses the abstract and computerized at the expense of judgment and emotional depthsin his view, the most important human qualities. Therapy for brain-damaged patients (by medication, accommodation, music or art) should, he asserts, be designed to help restore the essentially personal quality of the individual. First serial to New York Review of Books, The Sciences and Science; Reader's Subscription alternate. January
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Neurologist Sacks, author of Awakenings and A Leg To Stand On , presents a series of clinical tales drawn from fascinating and unusual cases encountered during his years of medical practice. Dividing his text into four parts"losses" of neurological function; "excesses"; "transports" involving reminiscence, altered perception, and imagination; and "the simple," or the world of the retardedSacks introduces the reader to real people who suffer from a variety of neurological syndromes which include symptoms such as amnesia, uncontrolled movements, and musical hallucinations. Sacks recounts their stories in a riveting, compassionate, and thoughtful manner. Written on a somewhat scholarly level, the book is highly recommended for larger collections. Debra Berlanstein, Towson State Univ. Lib., Baltimore
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
by Oliver Sacks
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Book Lenght: 243 pages
Genre: Psychology, Nonfiction, Neuroscience
Sacks is a neuropsychologist who through his career has seen a number of interesting cases. Sacks started in his field when there was so much unknown about the brain. While there is still so much for us to learn, case studies, like those found in this book, have increased our understanding.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales is a classic of psychology literature. It is a collection of case studies that have inspired research and even featured films. Nearly every introductory psychology textbook will include information on the man who actually did mistake his wife for a hat. Although, I found most of that reading more interesting than the actual story in this book.
The case studies themselves are pretty succinct. They do not give you a whole sense of the person behind them. Each patient could have an entire book written about them. Many times I was left wishing that I knew more about the individuals.
As reviewed on The Book Recluse Review
And not only is Sacks’ book engrossing, it’s enlightening and challenging, too. It demonstrates beautifully how the brain is still deeply mysterious, particularly in how it creates our sense—or more accurately, senses—of reality. And it makes you realize, that many of the things we take for granted, are tied to basic brain functions, that could be taken from us, at a moment's notice.
My immediate thought after finishing this book was: ‘If only every science field has an Oliver Sacks‘. Reading scientific books would’ve been much more accessible and appealing.
Rest in peace, you brilliant scientist\artist\human.
While the subject matter and supporting examples are truly fascinating, the narration is droll and overly clinical in its tone presenting what is already an overly pedantic style of writing. Dr. Sacks opens a door to the layman and offers a sideways glance into conventional psychology and psychiatry with thoughts, ideas, observations and evidence regarding truly fascinating psychological conditions and phenomena. Unfortunately, the style of prose is often overly academic and so field-specific at times that it can be rather inaccessible to those not well-versed in the history and nomenclature of his field. At times, the style of prose actually seems so far removed culturally that it might be more at home in 19th century fiction.
Most recent customer reviews
The rest was not interesting to me