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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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6,88492527 (3.96)201
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:****
Tags:None

Work details

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

  1. 112
    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. 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.
  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 201 mentions

English (78)  Italian (5)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (92)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
I nearly quit this book halfway through. Its contents are rather disconnected stories of people with different cognitive deficits. While it offers some insightful commentary on what it means to think well, I found the contents more sad than I like.

While I appreciated the author's medical and sometimes nueroscientific perspective, I often wished for more details about the treatment and solutions to the problems he presented. There was a great focus throughout the book on diagnosis, but much less on treatment and coping mechanisms. The author's writing is sometimes stiff and overly formal, but such can be expected from a doctor.

My favorite story in the volume was of an old woman who had actually benefited from a notorious neurodegenerative illness, which she knew as "Cupid's". It was cute, funny, and educational. ( )
  wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
In the Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, the author, Oliver Sacks, shares with us some of the strangest quandaries from his neuroscience practice. Yes, the very first story is about a man who did indeed mistake his wife for a hat and the rest of the stories are just as bizarre. The writing is a little wordy and is exhausting at times but overall the actual content of the case histories more than makes up for the pacing because these are real people with real, albeit very rare, disabilities. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Dec 26, 2014 |
Cognitive Maladies!
  xwgrace | Nov 19, 2014 |
As a therapist who studied and works with some of the people described in this book, all I can say is that I can relate. The stories were fascinating and sad at the same time. However, I really took a long time finishing the book. I feel like I was back in college reading journals. The book just couldn't hold my attention for long. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Nov 17, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (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 5 descriptions

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