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4.2 out of 5 stars15
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 January 2011
Dr Sacks, an extraordinary neurologist with a persistently enquiring mind, has used his experience of a seriously injured leg to offer his readers a fascinating and informative story. It is a deeply personal account told with unstinting openness.

Dr Sacks quickly engages his readers, sharing with them the experience of being one moment happily and enthusiastically climbing upwards and the next a helpless cripple alone on the mountain, and subsequently his long, painful and arduous struggle to survive. He is rescued and hospitalised but this is only the beginning of his story.

This experience, for Dr. Sacks, is a learning opportunity. To understand patienthood one must first be a patient. He describes the depersonalising experience of the admission procedure, the shrinking, paralysing effect of remaining for 18 days, bed bound with his leg in a cast, in a windowless room and the lack of a listening ear as he agonizes over his strangely alien and unresponsive limb. Feelings of self respect and self integrity are lost in this 1970s hospital.

Dr. Sacks also recounts his profound neurological experience. His painstaking observations and reflections lead him to express the need to progress to a model of neurology which acknowledges that our nerves and brains are ours and their perceptions and memories represent our own personal space and are intensely subjective.
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on 21 June 2012
This is a fascinating glimpse into the world of Dr Sacks, a neurologist, as he becomes a patient of others' care, and his reflections on his illness. He explores the neurological and physiological aspects of what's happening to himself with the eye and mind of a critical physician. Then he delves into the poetics and meaning of existence and being itself, with beautifully haunting portraits of the patient experience. He takes us on the journey from injury to initial treatment, then through rehabilitation and the newer editions are blessed with an afterword of reflections. Like all of Oliver Sacks' books, this is beautifully written prose, questioning how the mind works and what does it mean?
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on 12 January 2013
I am currently writing an essay regarding disability and its relation to the medical profession. In this book Oliver Sacks provides a keen insight into both his relationship with the clinicians around him and also the divide that occurs within himself following a neurological injury to his leg. He learns much about the existential challenges faced by the disabled and also the flaws in how the medical profession interact with this demographic. Sacks writes with the profound amazement of one who has just opened his eyes. I highly recommend this book.
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on 7 March 2012
This is a very interesting study of loss of proprioception. I have suffered from this, so understand it well. It is a little archaic in style and probably only for medics or sufferers, but is the only book I have discovered on this subject.
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on 27 October 1998
In hospital after a climbing accident, Sacks is revulsed to find a corpse leg in his hospital bed. He throws it out - and swiftly follows it onto the floor! Sacks describes from personal and patient experience the distressing problem of losing your body sense for a limb that you are still attached to. A touching journey into the land of spiritual and physical amputation.
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on 18 August 2015
A great exploration of the human mind through the personal experience of living through the process of dealing with an injured leg. I enjoyed this quite a lot more than Awakenings, which of course is much better known (and well worth reading).
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on 7 July 2014
This was recommended by the physio who was treating me. I enjoyed it but don't have the same problem as the writer. I liked that it was not patronizing.
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on 1 February 2014
Enjoyable story, a bit rambling at the end. Bit it was still enjoyable to read. It's only short so quick to read in a weekend.
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on 20 February 2015
A very interesting book written in manner that ordinary people can understand
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on 4 May 2015
bought again as a gift for a friend who has broken a leg. Very satisfying
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