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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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6,70989556 (3.96)195
Member:Arten60
Title:Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Authors:Oliver W. Sacks
Info:Picador USA (2011), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Work details

The man who mistook his wife for a hat and other clinical tales by Oliver Sacks (1985)

Recently added byShannon_Perez, NineLarks, TheBookStop, piedrambar, milpidge, private library, teaholic, aquileyo, padmacatell
Legacy LibrariesSusan Sontag
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    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)
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    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 195 mentions

English (73)  Italian (5)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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 |
This book was absolutely impossible to put down. The stories were extremely bizarre, but they all actually happened. If you find yourself consumed by morbid curiosity every so often, this should satisfy you for a short time. ( )
  ScribbleKey | Jan 10, 2014 |
Should be more famous that it seems to be these days.
  AMcBurnie | Nov 27, 2013 |
These clinical tales were fascinating but I felt the book was weighed down by a superabundance of medical jargon. The author introduced an endless stream of neurological terms with little to no explanation of what those terms meant. I don't regret reading it but this is not something I would recommend for the casual reader. ( )
  diovival | Oct 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (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.
Haiku summary

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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