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Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets Paperback – May 2, 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 343 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An exciting, artful blend of family and medical history.”The New York Times

“In prose both elegant and intimate, and often thrilling,
Patient H.M. is an important book about the wages not of sin but of science. It is deeply reported and surprisingly emotional, at times poignant, at others shocking. . . . A scintillating book, infused with humanity.”The Washington Post

“Spellbinding . . . The fact that Dittrich looks critically at the actual process of scientific investigation is just one of the things to admire about
Patient H.M.”—The New York TimesBook Review

“Astonishingly insightful . . . A fascinating story in its own right to anyone interested in the history of modern science’s attempts to understand the causes of mental illness along with the many botched attempts to treat it . . . [
Patient H.M.] is indeed about memory, madness, and family secrets and, in that sense, about the paths that shape the core of the self, in each and every one of us.”Psychology Today

“Beautifully told . . . a book that will rank with Rebecca Skloot’s
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in the realm of outstanding medical ethics narratives.”Associated Press

“Dittrich’s account raises entirely new questions about the way in which the research on H.M. was conducted—and about the conclusions that have long been incorporated into our understanding of memory.”
New York Magazine

“Remarkable.”
Wired

“Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine’s darker hours. . . . A mesmerizing, maddening story and a model of journalistic investigation.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“At the heart of this breathtaking work . . . is [Luke] Dittrich’s story of his complicated grandfather, his mentally ill grandmother, and a long-held family secret, with Molaison stranded ‘where the past and the future were nothing but indistinct blurs.’”
Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“The machinations of scientists and researchers—their personality and ambition, power and hubris—are of equally vital (and cautionary) importance in Dittrich’s unusual and compelling mix of science and family history.”
Booklist (starred review)

Patient H.M. tells one of the most fascinating and disturbing stories in the annals of medicine, weaving in ethics, philosophy, a personal saga, the history of neurosurgery, the mysteries of human memory, and an exploration of human ego. A monumental contribution to our understanding of medical research, and of ourselves, Patient H.M. is sweeping, meticulous, and seamless—with an ending that, like the best of scientific investigations, challenges everything that came before it.”—Sheri Fink, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Five Days at Memorial

About the Author

Luke Dittrich is a National Magazine Award–winning journalist, and a contributing editor at Esquire. This is his first book.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 2, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 480 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0812982525
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0812982527
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.19 x 0.97 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 343 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
343 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 11, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 12, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

KennethJones
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 22, 2017
Victoria
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 28, 2016
Cuyo E.J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelente libro
Reviewed in Mexico 🇲🇽 on October 2, 2017
Mike Driscoll
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on March 4, 2021
Banjobreath
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a remarkable book, part personal account, ...
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 13, 2016
One person found this helpful
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