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I loved this book. An amazing neurobiologist and an amazing writer, Sacks takes us into his work life and shows us just how wondrous and perplexing the sciences can be. He reminds us that even though we use objectivity in science, we shouldn't forget the human component.
Absolutely fascinating! Oliver Sacks powerfully demonstrates humanity's ability to adapt, and even thrive, in face of neurological disorder by presenting thoughtful and remarkably sensitive portraits of real people with various conditions. Trying to put myself in the shoes of these individuals was an exercise in imagination and empathy unlike any I've ever experienced. Though some portions are a bit didactic, I still enjoyed An Anthropologist on Mars immensely, and Jonathan Davis is an excellent narrator.
Highly recommended. Out of seven stories, I enjoyed five. I think the book would have been better served with only five stories anyway as it was extremely dense and could not be considered a fast read by my standards. The material required frequent pauses between stories or even during them to really let all the science and information sink in.
I did think Sacks repeated himself fairly often by the end. If he pondered to himself again whether an autistic person can have a complete sense of self without the access to the emotional experiences and depth the average person experiences, I was going to go crazy.
I get it Overall though, the stories and the neurology were interesting and written in a way that you don't need any strong scientific basis to understand them. Good book, but recommended only if you embrace your nerdy side. Reviewed May Another great Oliver Sacks book. You know the stories are compelling when you find yourself telling people about them. I had to bite my lip many times while riding with the kids, to keep from dominating the conversation about these unique characters. As usual, Sacks is far more technical than needed at least for me but he tells very interesting stories about people with neurological problems.
His focus in this book is telling the story from the perspective of how they function in the real world. What amazes me is how Sacks is all over the world with these people, he must have tons of frequent flier miles.
I've known for many years I wanted to read something by Sacks - now I know I want to read everything by him. His focus is on the case histories, well, actually, on the people. Only by getting to know individuals well and comparing their stories to the literature does he bring together theories and share those ideas with us. He doesn't bang us over the head with an agenda. Nice selected bibliography. A tidbit: [W]aking consciousness is dreaming - but dreaming constrained by external reality.
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