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Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver…
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Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (original 1985; edition 2011)

by Oliver W. Sacks

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6,75389548 (3.95)196
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Title:Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Authors:Oliver W. Sacks
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The man who mistook his wife for a hat and other clinical tales by Oliver Sacks (1985)

  1. 102
    The Tell-Tale Brain by V. S. Ramachandran (lorax)
  2. 20
    The Man Who Forgot How to Read: A Memoir by Howard Engel (meggyweg)
  3. 20
    Blindsight by Peter Watts (hnau)
    hnau: Science fiction inspired by the works of Oliver Sacks (among others).
  4. 20
    Toscanini's Fumble: And Other Tales of Clinical Neurology by Harold L. Klawans (joririchardson)
  5. 10
    Love's Executioner & Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom (clairecc)
  6. 10
    Fractured Minds: A Case-Study Approach to Clinical Neuropsychology by Jenni A. Ogden (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: I read this for pleasure but have since learned it's used as a textbook. I've learned too that there's a much-expanded 2nd edition, with patient updates, which I shall almost certainly enjoy every bit as much as the 1st. Quite probably it's not got so broad an appeal as Sack's (interesting and well-written) book but to me the Ogden not only seems more substantial but it's even more the page-turner.… (more)
  7. 10
    Bomb in the Brain : A Heroic Tale of Science, Surgery, and Survival by Steve Fishman (meggyweg)
  8. 00
    Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain by Antonio Damasio (ShaneTierney)
  9. 00
    The Barmaid's Brain: And Other Strange Tales from Science by Jay Ingram (geophile)
  10. 00
    The Burning House by Jay Ingram (geophile)
  11. 00
    A Journey Round My Skull by Frigyes Karinthy (meggyweg)
  12. 14
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey may be paired with The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks or even Awakenings by the same author. All three books explore the idea that once a person becomes ill or is institutionalised, they lose their rights and privileges.… (more)
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» See also 196 mentions

English (75)  Italian (5)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
I quickly found this insubstantial, more a bathroom book of the bizarre than an enlightening set of clinical studies, as I'd hoped for. And it doesn't take an aphasiac to to see through his political cheap shot aimed at a 1980s American president. Sacks is impressed with his own cheekiness. I'm afraid these pieces, on the whole, don't even rank as interesting mag articles. ( )
  JamesMScott | Sep 22, 2014 |
This book is an anthology made of four parts, each delving into a specific area of neurology that is seldom viewed and reviewed.

I adore this book. It is just beautiful in all the right ways and every way possible.

The first two parts cover loss of self and excess. These two parts were what I expected from the synopsis - fascinating and terribly intriguing. Each story is marvelous on its own, and the way Sacks describes his approach and the situation combined with his thoughts on the nature of the mind and body and soul really resonates with what I believe medicine should look like.

The third and fourth part of the book moves more into a more abstract view of it all - less medicine, more abstract soul and emotions. But still beautiful.

What makes this book so beautiful (and why I'm waxing poetic about it) is just because each scene could be an interesting story on its own; but Sacks sets them together into a story that reveals something about the human mind as well as human nature. There is an artistry to his writing, there is something there that combines science and soul. Or perhaps art.

I also love the amount of references he makes to other famous works. I will definitely be rereading this book to fully understand all referenced literature.
And his postscripts are particularly fascinating to read - to know what happens in the aftermath, or if other thoughts have occurred after writing it all.

I should also note that you can tell this book was written quite a while ago with some politically incorrect terms used in the books and the science articles referenced, but that just adds to my amazement of how relevant all of this still is.

Five stars because it is well written and it's just beautiful, and I feel like it changed me. And I only give five stars to books that have opened my eyes to something fundamentally different in the world, or have particularly touched me.
Recommended for people interested in medicine and in neurology. But also recommended for people who wonder if science and soul can be combined.
Actually... really, recommended for everyone, because everyone should read this. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
This book is an anthology made of four parts, each delving into a specific area of neurology that is seldom viewed and reviewed.

I adore this book. It is just beautiful in all the right ways and every way possible.

The first two parts cover loss of self and excess. These two parts were what I expected from the synopsis - fascinating and terribly intriguing. Each story is marvelous on its own, and the way Sacks describes his approach and the situation combined with his thoughts on the nature of the mind and body and soul really resonates with what I believe medicine should look like.

The third and fourth part of the book moves more into a more abstract view of it all - less medicine, more abstract soul and emotions. But still beautiful.

What makes this book so beautiful (and why I'm waxing poetic about it) is just because each scene could be an interesting story on its own; but Sacks sets them together into a story that reveals something about the human mind as well as human nature. There is an artistry to his writing, there is something there that combines science and soul. Or perhaps art.

I also love the amount of references he makes to other famous works. I will definitely be rereading this book to fully understand all referenced literature.
And his postscripts are particularly fascinating to read - to know what happens in the aftermath, or if other thoughts have occurred after writing it all.

I should also note that you can tell this book was written quite a while ago with some politically incorrect terms used in the books and the science articles referenced, but that just adds to my amazement of how relevant all of this still is.

Five stars because it is well written and it's just beautiful, and I feel like it changed me. And I only give five stars to books that have opened my eyes to something fundamentally different in the world, or have particularly touched me.
Recommended for people interested in medicine and in neurology. But also recommended for people who wonder if science and soul can be combined.
Actually... really, recommended for everyone, because everyone should read this. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
First published in 1970, last updated in 1985. I always enjoy Oliver Sacks's writing and this collection of tales of neurological disorders is no exception. In spite of a rather large amount of medical jargon, he knows how to tell a story. Sacks truly puts a human face on each patient, and looks beyond the diagnosis, beyond the obvious. The parts that particularly interested me were the stories where music plays an important role. He observes how music seems to cut across all neural pathways, how it can seem to touch and even *waken* a part of the brain that nothing else seems able to do.

I recently saw a wonderful documentary film called Alive Inside, about how an experiment in the United States proved this very point. A group of Alzheimers patients were given ipods programmed with music that was meaningful to each individual. In every case, patients *woke up* and began talking and moving, something that many of them had not done in years. Oliver Sacks appears in this film several times, speaking to this phenomenon. I saw the film as part of a documentary film festival here in Toronto last month, but the filmmakers (who were at the screening) said it will be opening to general distribution sometime in July. If you have any interest in music, or in the workings of the brain, or even in seeing a remarkable piece of humanity, I really recommend this movie. In fact, it was after seeing it that I went to my shelf to find this book and was really interested to see how relevant the book, written so long ago - long before the ipod or any such technology was available to us - still is. ( )
1 vote jessibud2 | May 21, 2014 |
In his most extraordinary book, “one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century” (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders.

Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine’s ultimate responsibility: “the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject.” ( )
  MarkBeronte | Mar 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
In addition to possessing the technical skills of a 20th-century doctor, the London-born Dr. Sacks, a professor of clinical neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, sees the human condition like a philosopher-poet. The resultant mixture is insightful, compassionate, moving and, on occasion, simply infuriating. One could call these essays neurological case histories, and correctly so, although Dr. Sacks' own expression -''clinical tales'' - is far more apt. Dr. Sacks tells some two dozen stories about people who are also patients, and who manifest strange and striking peculiarities of perception, emotion, language, thought, memory or action. And he recounts these histories with the lucidity and power of a gifted short-story writer.
 
The book deserves to be widely read whether for its message, or as an easy introduction to neurological symptoms, or simply as a collection of moving tales. The reader should, however, bring to it a little scepticism, for outside Sack's clinic, things do not always fall out quite so pat.
added by jlelliott | editNature, Stuart Sutherland (pay site) (Dec 26, 1985)
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sacks, Oliverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cassel, BooTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moll-Huber, P.M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morena, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wensinck, F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
To talk of diseases is a sort of Arabian Nights entertainment.

- William Osler
The physician is concerned (unlike the naturalist)... with a single organism, the human subject, striving to preserve its identity in adverse circumstances.

- Ivy McKenzie
Dedication
To Leonard Shengold, M.D.
First words
Neurology's favorite word is 'deficit', denoting an impairment or incapacity of neurological function: loss of speech, loss of language, loss of memory, loss of vision, loss of dexterity, loss of identity and myriad other lacks and losses of specific functions (or faculties).
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Author Oliver Sacks
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Book description
A romantic rendering of the daily sufferings of people with relatively obscure neurological issues.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0684853949, Paperback)

In his most extraordinary book, "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century" (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks's splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine's ultimate responsibility: "the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In his most extraordinary book, "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century" (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents. If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks's splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine's ultimate responsibility: "the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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