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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 January 2011
I don't remember why I bought this book, but I'm so glad I did. I'm not a student; I have no knowledge of nor any interest in neurology. As other reviewers have said it is beautifully written, laugh-out-loud funny and yet so very tragic. While I can offer no serious critique for the student or professional, I can certainly recommend this book to everybody else.

When my seven year-old daughter read the cover title she became so intrigued that I was forced to read out-loud the first case study - The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. While she found it so funny that I was forced to read out every other case study too, I found it quite astonishing and thoroughly moving. I know now that I understand much less than I thought, and that to me is the sign of a great book.
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on 19 March 2008
An interesting book though I have to admit I didn't enjoy the writing style. I find Sacks to be overly academic (I'm in the medical field myself) and his use of technical jargon can be somewhat off putting. Unlike the popular work Phantoms of the Brains Sacks seems uninterested in explaining the ideas in scientific terms in any great detail, he instead takes a more anthropological approach and merely details the cases. Whilst the cases themselves are off considerable interest I found his analysis to be lacking. His writing style didn't sit well with me, though this may be more my fault than his, and ultimately I didn't find myself much wiser after having read the book.

The book is still worth reading, however for a non-medical reader I'd recommend the far superior Phantoms of the Brain before approaching this work as it'll help you understand a lot of what Sacks talks about. There were, within the book, one or two cases that viewers of House M.D. would recognise.
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on 3 May 2009
I really enjoyed the first half of the book "losses" but am finding the chapter on "excesses" a bit harder to get into. It's a good book for any medical students (by that I also mean nurses, physios, etc) to gain a bit more background knowledge of the subjects of neurology and psychology and how they interact so much with each other and affect so much of the patient's life. It also provides good insight into how well people can compensate for really profound losses. I think it may be a bit hard going for those with no medical interest or knowledge though.
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on 6 September 2009
This is a book that everybody should read to get a better idea of mental problems that can happen to all of us, but may seem scarey to outsiders when you don't understand. There is some medical jargon, but most of the content is very easy to understand and I do like Dr. Sack's very loving caring take on his patients.
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on 2 April 2011
Excellent book, it's really a whole bunch of neuropsychology case studies, but written by a doctor who sees his patients as more than just a disorder, each story is touching and informative. I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in the workings of the brain and the self.
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on 2 May 2011
The beauty of this book is that it covers what is an extremely complex area (neuropsychology) and makes it both accessible and enjoyable to the lay reader. If you so wish, you can read the more technical footnotes but this isn't necessary to make sense of the subject.
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on 21 May 2010
This is an excellent collection of wonderful and amazing stories. I totally enjoyed it.... some neurological knowledge might help understand better the underlying causes of the described afflictions. If you only want to read it as a novel without going too deep... enjoy!
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on 28 April 2011
This is a must read book! It doesn't matter what you do in life. It's one of the most fascinating books I've read about people. I loved the part that only the "fools" laughed at the president's speech! Hahahaha, who is the fool after all?

Get it!
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on 14 September 2010
This was an entertaining yet informative book. it even helped me with my exams which was a surprise. explains some of the complex aspects of neuropsychology using interesting case studies. written like a series of stories makes it easy to read.
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on 13 February 2013
I was delighted to learn that even if one has a mental problem it doesn't mean you cannot live a normal life. Felt desperately sorry for those who had strayed from the normal a little bit too much
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