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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With an introduction by Will Self. A classic work of psychology, this international best seller provides a groundbreaking insight into the human mind.

If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self - himself - he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it.

In this extraordinary book, Dr. Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients struggling to adapt to often bizarre worlds of neurological disorder. Here are people who can no longer recognise everyday objects or those they love; who are stricken with violent tics or shout involuntary obscenities; who have been dismissed as autistic or retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents. If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales illuminate what it means to be human.

A provocative exploration of the mysteries of the human mind, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a million-copy best seller by the 20th century's greatest neurologist.

©1985 Oliver Sacks (P)2011 Audible, Inc

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating insight into the human mind

This was a really interesting collection of case histories involving patients with a collection of bizarre neurological disorders. I initially wanted to read it (or listen to the audiobook in this case) because the title case sounded so unlikely I needed to understand how it could happen.

It almost sounds like this is a Guinness World Record book. A man who mistook his wife for a hat, a man who woke up every morning thinking he was eighteen, a woman whose body feels completely alien to her. Something you'd flick through absentmindedly every once in awhile.

But Oliver Sacks wrote it with such heart, that it's more about the human ability to persevere and overcome these disabilities. The joy that can still be found in life for many of these people is quite inspiring. Of course it's not the case for all of the patients in this book, but I'm impressed by the determination by so many not to give up.

At times the book was too clinical for my tastes, a little dry and between chapters I had to listen to other audiobooks just to take a break from how intense it gets at times.

The audiobook was narrated by Jonathan Davis and I can't praise him enough. He talks in a fairly neutral American accent, I'd hazard a guess to say it's a transatlantic accent. It's neutral for the most part which helps in the clinical nature of this book but he gives each patient their own unique voice to help differentiate them from the author's voice.

It can be hard getting through such a medically focused book, but I Davis does it perfectly.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Everything you want in a good book.

Simply brilliantly written regardless of the lens for critique. I can't wait to start Musicophilia.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate E-J
  • 27-01-2019

Fantastic listen!

This book was an amazing listen - the stories were interesting and different from anything I've read before. Sacks' accounts of his different patients are written so you can really imagine the patients there with you. It's really eye-opening about the world of neurological disorders and the methods that doctors can use to try and diagnose and treat the conditions. Definitely worth listening, and brilliant value on audible!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott at the Junction
  • 23-02-2019

beauiful

A beautiful book about humanity, occasionally a bit thick with medical language.
Sacks is an inspiration for us all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • D. John
  • 16-09-2019

Good book, slightly let down by the narration

the narration is a but too monotone to remain engaged over long periods, but If broken up it is a great listen!

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  • Zada
  • 09-06-2019

ramblings of an old doctor with few points

only two stories in the first 6 hours are worth listening to and one of those is on the title! stopped listening after that

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-2018

an introduction to neurology

I now have an understanding of basic neurology and the issues surrounding neurological disability thanks to Oliver sacks

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  • Bert
  • 12-12-2018

dull, out of date

This was a collection of stories about his patients. It is very old more in terms of what we know about neuroscience. It have me no benefit and was a waste of my time.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful