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Migraine [Paperback]

Oliver Sacks
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 May 2012

‘A mine of treasures, a source of visions, a microcosm of human experience and suffering, the philosopher’s stone: Migraine is a remarkable achievement’ Sunday Telegraph

Migraine is an age-old – the first recorded instances date back over two thousand years – and often debilitating condition, affecting a ‘substantial minority’ of the population across the globe. In this book, Oliver Sacks offers at once a medical account of its occurrence and management; an exploration of its physical, physiological, and psychological underpinnings and consequences; and a meditation on the nature and experience of health and illness.

‘It delves into the workings of the brain with brilliant complexity, and should be required reading for migraine sufferers or those with an intellectual bent’ Cosmopolitan

Migraine is full of those wondrous insights that have made Oliver Sacks the most accessible and at the same time the most magisterial of doctors’ Anita Brookner, Spectator

‘Written with Sacks’s customary insight and grace, no book has helped me understand more about the mind-body connection’ Hilary Mantel, Mail on Sunday

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330526146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330526142
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Oliver Sacks was born in London and educated in London, Oxford, California and New York. He now lives in America and practices neurology in New York, where he is also a professor of clinical neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is the author of ten books, including the bestselling The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings. His most recent book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain was an international bestseller. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the Hawthornden Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Product Description


"Balanced, authoritative . . . brilliant." --"The London Times""Written by one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century, Migraine . . . should be read as much for its brilliant insights into the nature of our mental functioning as for its discussion of the migraine." --"The New York Times Book Review""I am sure . . . that any layman who is interested in the relation between the body and mind . . . will find the book as fascinating as I have." --W. H. Auden, "The New York Review of Books""Oliver Sacks's commentary is so erudite, so gracefully written, that even those people fortunate enough never to have had a migraine in their lives should find it equally compelling." -- "The New York Times"

About the Author

Oliver Sacks is a physician and the author of many books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film) and Musicophilia. Born in London and educated at Oxford, he now lives in New York City, where he is Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is the first, and only, Columbia University Artist, and is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. In 2008, he was appointed Commander of the British Empire.

For more information, visit www.oliversacks.com

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on migraine 3 July 2011
My partner suffers weekly from migraine headaches. I experience regular migraine auras without the ensuing headache. Sick of being a migraine victim I wanted to understand what was actually happening to both of. Why did it happen? Why was he so ill every weekend? Why could I see these bright, shining, metallic objects for 20 minutes at a time? This book was recommended and it didn't disappoint.

The book is an exploration of everything 'migraine'. It starts right from 'what is a migraine?' (first time anyone had explained that a migraine is not a headache, a headache is part of a migraine) right through to detailed brain biology of how an aura might be formed. Last updated in 1992, the book hasn't suffered for being nearly 20 years old and isn't afraid to say certain things just aren't known.

It's remarkably reassuring, but never patronising. The case studies are fascinating and free from judgement over the choices patients have made. The book is a little technical in places, but I didn't find that alienating. In fact I feel it's helped give me the proper vocabulary to use when trying to discuss our migraine experiences.

Thanks to this book I'm now a participant in my migraines, not a victim of them.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Technical, but Wonderful 12 April 2000
By A Customer
I have migraines, and I think this book is terrific. It does tend to be too technical, but has a Glossary that includes most unfamiliar terms. The artwork is great, and his whole treatment of the disorder is fascinating. I recommend it highly for all who experience migraines and for their families, although with the caveat that getting through it probably does require some combination of advanced education, patience with flipping to the glossary, keen interest, and openness to learning quite a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really in depth 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bit outdated now as a migraine book but i'm sure many migraine specialists have built upon the foundations of this book. Does address many issues surrounding migraine and is an interesting read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BOOK for all suffering from Migraine 17 Jun 2013
By Anna
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to everyone, who suffers from Migraine. It explains a lot, helps you deal with the headaches and understand them. Good language helps in easy, fast reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best migraine book 13 Mar 2010
This is an in depth book about migraine that I have found extremely helpful and reassuring. It is good to know that one's symptoms are "normal" and suffered by many other people. Just a shame it isn't completely up to date on the drug information as written a while ago.Some parts need reading more than once becasue it is written in unfamiliar language - a dictionary nearby is helpful!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing dots - a joke? 30 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is quite a heavy read with a lot of medical/neurological terminology (if you've come from "The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat", it's a lot more academic - though there is a glossary). I've enjoyed reading it though as it's helped me understand migraine a lot better.
Rather unfortunately throughout my copy the dots on the letter I's are missing here and there (but not consistently absent). This has the unsettling effect of mimicking the start of a migraine attack for some, so I'm not sure it it's an accident or a joke (I'm about two-thirds through, so maybe there'll be a denoument, though we are past the section where this would make sense). It also made it hard to read at first as you tend to notice the words without dots aren't quite right, interrupting the flow, although the brain in a study of plasicity does rapidly adapt to ignoring this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 11 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting but turgid.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Full of information 10 May 2014
By Babs
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's okay, sometimes a little heavy going but provides some interesting insights into the background of migraine. If you're looking to relieve headaches, this isn't the book for you - try The Miracle Cure.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It will arm you with great insights.
Fascinating, but quite heavy language (although I kind of think that was the point). Definitely, you should read it if migraine comes knocking. It will arm you with great insights.
Published 6 days ago by liz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This man knows what he is talking about. Well researched and with references it goes into depth about the condition(s) and the myriad of possible causes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr D Robinson
1.0 out of 5 stars At last, a comprehensive study.
The best book I have come across for migraine sufferers. It is comprehensive, scientific but accessible and very thorough. Read more
Published 16 months ago by derek telfer
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful classic text
This is a wonderful classic text by a renowned writer and expert. This will help any migraine sufferer - or any healing practitioner or psychotherapist - to understand more about... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for migraine sufferers
I have suffered migraines all my life, but never really understood enough about them. Sometimes I have suffered when I need not have, had I understood I was having a migraine. Read more
Published 18 months ago by monique pryke
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives a much better understanding of the other symptoms of migraine
Had always thought that it couldn't be migraine I was getting because there were so many other symptoms that came with the headache and spirally patterns. Read more
Published 21 months ago by J Ives
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the professionals
I've read several other books by Oliver Sacks and although I find a lot of his material absolutely fascinating, I sometimes find the medical and psychological terminology very hard... Read more
Published on 1 Jun 2012 by A. Cippico
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book but...
...print so small, it gives you a migraine just reading it! But otherwise an interesting read, some theory and background and case studies as per with Sacks.
Published on 30 Aug 2011 by G. A. Austin
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