Non-Fiction: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks

In his most extraordinary book, "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century" (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.
If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks's splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine's ultimate responsibility: "the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject."

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  • Gisella

    I'm very sorry this is last minute, but I'm not gonna be able to make it. Have fun tomorrow though!

    March 2

  • A former member
    A former member

    Remembered Saturday that the first of the month is earlier than expected... will see how far I get!:)

    March 2

  • Amy

    Brain processing suggests music as a higher form of language:­#

    This link is only tangentially related, but I thought some people in this group would find it interesting.

    February 20

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ok, I have tried (and tried and tried!!) to get into this book...I just can't. I am abandoning it on page 32. He is waaay too verbose. I am so disappointed because I find brain-based learning and biology to be fascinating. Sorry to be negative!

    February 17

    • megan

      Melissa- the first two stories were really long. You might try skipping ahead to some of the other stories that are just a couple of pages long.

      February 20

    • A former member
      A former member

      It's isn't the length of each case study. It's his constant switching of audience and rambling "mental masturbation" as another reviewer put it. I am curious to hear which cases were the most interesting to others and why.

      February 20

  • John

    I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to discussing it. While I felt empathetic for some of the people, I could not stop laughing at the effects of their illnesses. I wonder if I would be able to take these symptoms in stride... a few sound like they would be entertaining to experience.

    February 13

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