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Customer Review

on 28 October 2003
I doubt that there is an actual neurological disorder that prevents Dr Sacks from revealing very much at all about himself in this entertaining book. He seldom touches on his own experiences and feelings during what was clearly a disturbing time when he was evacuated from London. Furthermore the book is named for an uncle but the cover shows young Oliver with his father who barely appears in the book. There are little or no reported conversations between Sacks and his father while there are great chunks of history devoted to the influence his uncles had and the anecdotes they shared.
Similarly his mother only truly comes to life in a conversation the older Sacks has with a former pupil of hers.
But while Sacks is begrudging with autobiographical information he is more than forthcoming with comprehensive biographies of some of the great scientists and chemical explorers of the past 400 years.
Once you put aside the idea that Uncle Tungsten is about Oliver Sacks and how he came to be a tremendous writer and explainer of neurological idiosyncrasies you have a book which entertains and amazes while reveling in the joy of scientific discovery.
Uncle Tungsten is a disappointment as an autobiography but a delight as a Sophie's World for science.
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