Most helpful critical review
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Sacks covers familiar material
on 1 January 1999
With the format and style of the earlier "The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat", each chapter describing a patient suffering from a particularly unusual and often spectacular neurological disorder, Sacks successfully shows how poor our understanding of the functioning of our own minds really is. More than ever his primary focus is the human aspect of mental affliction, the emotional trauma involved, presumably so he can appeal to a wider audience. I feel that the earlier book actually has the best material and is certainly a better choice if picking one title. Though the cases in "The Anthropologist" are hardly dull, it does seem a little long winded and repetitive in places - is he paid by the page? Perhaps others would disagree, but I would prefer to see more of the clinical speculation and brain-function theorizing. This is my only criticism for what is for the most part provocative and illuminating reading.