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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales Library Binding – 26 Jun 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 265 customer reviews

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Library Binding, 26 Jun 2008
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--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product details

  • Library Binding: 243 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439503052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439503058
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Noel Perrin

"Chicago Sun-Times"

Dr. Sacks's best book.... One sees a wise, compassionate and very literate mind

at work in these 20 stories, nearly all remarkable, and many the kind that restore one's faith in humanity.



Clarence E. Olsen

"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"

A provocative introduction to the marvels of the human mind...



"New York Magazine"

Dr. Sacks's most absorbing book.... His tales are so compelling that many of

them serve as eerie metaphors not only for the condition of modern medicine

but of modern man.



Clarence E. Olsen"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"A provocative introduction to the marvels of the human mind...

"New York Magazine"Dr. Sacks's most absorbing book.... His tales are so compelling that many ofthem serve as eerie metaphors not only for the condition of modern medicinebut of modern man.

Noel Perrin"Chicago Sun-Times"Dr. Sacks's best book.... One sees a wise, compassionate and very literate mindat work in these 20 stories, nearly all remarkable, and many the kind that restore one's faith in humanity.

Noel Perrin "Chicago Sun-Times" Dr. Sacks's best book.... One sees a wise, compassionate and very literate mind at work in these 20 stories, nearly all remarkable, and many the kind that restore one's faith in humanity.

Clarence E. Olsen "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" A provocative introduction to the marvels of the human mind...

"New York Magazine" Dr. Sacks's most absorbing book.... His tales are so compelling that many of them serve as eerie metaphors not only for the condition of modern medicine but of modern man. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Review

‘This book is for everybody who has felt from time to time that certain twinge of self-identity and sensed how easily, at any moment, one might lose it.’ (The Times)

‘Oliver Sacks has become the world’s best-known neurologist. His case studies of broken minds offer brilliant insight into the mysteries of consciousness.’ (The Guardian)

‘Populated by a cast as strange as that of the most fantastic fiction ... Dr Sacks shows the awesome powers of our mind and just how delicately balanced they have to be.' (The Sunday Times) --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is written in a beautifully accessible and entertaining style; it is also moving, funny and tragic in equal measures.
Consisting mainly of short stories relating patient 'oddities' that the author has treated in his long career as a neurologist it manages to come across as anything but a list of dry case histories. The inclusion of the emotions of the patient as they deal with their difficulties and the reactions of the author keep this book human rather than academic.
Although this is a recommended book for undergraduate students of various disciplines, it should not be discounted as a mere informative reader because of that. Anyone interested in stories of the human condition or those with a fascination/awe of the human brain will find this intriguing, engaging and interesting.
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Format: Paperback
I first came across Oliver Sacks in a doctor's waiting room. There, lying on the table, was a copy of his first book, "Migraine". Since I suffer from bad headaches, I picked it up and started reading. Thoroughly intrigued by the elegantly written case studies it contained, I asked the doctor if I could borrow it, took it home, and finished it that evening. I then began to notice that Mr. Sacks periodically wrote articles for the New Yorker on strange neurological cases, and every time one came out I read it with delectation. So when I saw Mr. Sack's book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" at my local bookstore I bought it immediately.

I was not let down. The book is a fascinating compendium of neurological case studies, classified into four parts: Losses, Excesses, Transports, The World of the Simple. Mr. Sacks takes us on a journey through a series of neurological disturbances with extreme effects. Initially, one reads them with appalled fascination, with a feeling of being at the Circus staring at the Bearded Lady or the Elephant Man; I was forcefully reminded of Sylvia Plath's lines in "Lady Lazarus":
The Peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand in foot --
The big strip tease.

But Oliver Sacks writes soberly and with great compassion about his cases, and drags us away from mere peanut-crunching voyeurism to finally contemplate what the cases tell us about what it means to be us.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been intending to read this book for many years and now I have finally got around to doing so. It was worth the wait. Through a series of case histories, the author shows how mental illness - whether congenital or acquired - is very far from the imaginings of ordinary people who have had no personal experience of it. There are people whose whole view of the world is apparently skewed - such as the man of the title who genuinely could not distinguish between his wife and his hat but who still had tremendous musical abilities and knowledge.

Some of those with mental problems actually did not want them treated because they enriched their lives - for example the lady who was suddenly able to recall memories of her childhood which she had never been able to access before. I was also fascinated by the young man who found his sense of smell was heightened to the same level as that of a dog for a few weeks. He said it had added an extra dimension to his life which he missed when it was no longer there.

The book started me thinking about how modern society tries too hard to fit people into the normal range even though the definition of what is normal changes all the time. I was particularly struck by the twins who communicated by means of prime numbers and who could tell what day of the week a random date in eighty thousand years would fall on. They were separated in an attempt to help them to live `normal' lives and in the process they lost their phenomenal ability with numbers.

A case which brought tears to my eyes was the one of the young man who had been brought up in a musical family and had ended up in a home after both his parents were dead. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of opera and a particular love for the whole of the works of Bach.
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Format: Paperback
I can understand some of the critical reviews about this book but there is no doubt that it justifiably remains a classic and well worth reading - it was the first book of its kind and is for anyone interested in strange neurological case histories. Maybe the language is a bit dated but it was written a good few years ago. A more recent book that I've just read in a similar genre is 'Classic case studies in psychology' by Dr. Geoff Rolls - it contains different chapters on some of the best known cases in psychology (Genie, Phineas Gage, HM, David Reimer, and so on). It's a very easy and enjoyable read and most of the cases are perhaps better known than the ones in 'The Man who mistook his wife...' I notice that Amazon have paired it with Sach's book as a perfect partner so they must agree that the two are complementary. Both are well worth a read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was everything I had hoped it would be. Interesting, entertaining, even funny in parts. It basically follows several case study's into unusual neurological disorders. Each chapter covers a different patient, and each one is as interesting as the last.
The book brought to light the amazing fact that we are controlled by a series of electrical impulses, in different locations of the brain, fired off by various external stimuli and at the same time effecting our every action and reaction to our environment, and that at any time that control system can go wrong causing incredible and sometimes amusing results.
To read this book is to be enlightened and introduced to the fringes of the amazing world of neurology.
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