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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

What listeners say about The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

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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.

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outdated but interesting

some outdated ways of thinking and terminology, overall interesting listen. people are odd. background listening

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Fascinating topic - poorly delivered

Fascinating cases - long-winded story telling. Author is trying too hard to sound intellectual at the cost of being succinct and engaging.

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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 person found this helpful

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  • Adeline
  • 27-01-2021

Amazing insights

Fascinating insights into the way in which people experience the world. Interesting insights into the correlations of music and the brain. Enjoyed it and plan to listen to it again.

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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!

4 people found this 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!

4 people found this 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.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-12-2020

In Parts

The storytelling of Sacks' is a joy to listen to, but not something to binge, listen to a chapter, perhaps two and take time to reflect on what has been shared. It's a close narration of Sacks' encounters with patients which I am glad he invited us all to hear, though there is a patch of perhaps a little too much jargon near the beginning.
If like myself you've heard this book mentioned for many years, give it a try.

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  • eve
  • 16-11-2020

The best narrator, for a great book

Many psychological books are often unbearable to listen, but it couldn't be in greater contrast to this!
It is a must read for anyone interested in wonders of human brain, behaviour, and neurology.
I'm glad I've chosen audio for this, as it's a pleasure to listen - I wish this narrator read all the books! It's friendly, engaging, reflective and feels so easy and natural to listen, as if you were talking to him in person. Even my teenage daughter started to listen to this with me - those who have witnessed uncanny criticism of a teen, will understand what a great compliment it is to this great read.

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  • Matt Cook
  • 04-10-2020

Very interesting and inciteful!

Very good listen, really enjoyed the different story elements and how they fed into the wider narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-08-2020

Beautiful book

One of the most profound books I have ever read. So important in many ways, it gave a new perspective on the mystery of humanity and the lives we all live, not just those with neurological conditions. Very humbling. Thank you, Oliver Sachs!

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  • H W
  • 05-03-2020

Delightful

I read this as I started medical school and it was delightful to read again 10 years later!

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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

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  • Pottages
  • 25-03-2021

I mistook this for a humorous book

An inspirational insight into our minds, our ability to heal and compensate biologically and neurotically and how we might treat those, we may not initially understand, better.

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