18 January, 2018


Title: The Man Who Mistook Hist Wife for a Hat
Author: Oliver Sacks
Series: -
Genres: Nonfiction, Psychology
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release: January 1st, 1985
Source: Kindle Edition
Pages: 328

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BLURB: In his most extraordinary book, "one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth 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."

EXPECTATIONS: I had no expectations. This book had been sitting in my TBR forever... it was recommended by a friend who knew I was interested in the brain. I think this was around 2013 haha and I just read it now... wow.

THE WORLD: Our normal world. It talks about in-real-life cases Dr. Sacks had when he was working as a psychiatrist. 

CHARACTERS: Not characters but real people. Each chapter talks about a different person and case. Overall, the book is divided in 3 parts to classify the kind of cognitive disorder the people in that part have.


GOOD: It' always interesting to read about the brain and about people with hmm different (yeah let's say that) brains. A lot of the cases were due to injuries, others due to illnesses, and others were congenital... I liked how he structured the book in different parts depending on their symptoms.

Oh, something I consider good. He doesn't touch on mental disorders such as depression at all. He's a psychiatrist, not psychologist, and he makes no intend to venture into depression, bipolar disorder, etc which I think is good because otherwise it could've gone completely wrong.

BAD: There wasn't anything terrible. I think the worst was the inaccuracy of some of the medical terminology, symptoms, and common misconceptions. Don't worry! there aren't that many fallacies and some of them even had a note added at the end of the chapter explaining it was corrected some years after first publishing the book.

OVERALL: 3.5 stars. Science has come a long way and some things were no longer accurate but apart from that it was an enjoyable and understandable read. I think if you're not familiar with the science you'll be able to understand as long as you read it slowly.

What do you think about THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT?



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