Home Reading Review: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks

Review: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks

by Kristeena
Review: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver SacksThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
Published by Touchstone on January 1st 1985
Genre: Nonfiction-Psychology
Format: Paperback
Pages: 243
Challenge Theme: A microhistory


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Synopsis:
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.”

Review:
I love books about psychology & mental health so I was excited to read this being that it has such a high rating on Goodreads. Suffice to say I was disappointed. The stories themselves seem very interesting but the way in which Sacks writes is not compatible with my brain. The way he writes about these patients seems like it is meant for other doctors to read and not every day people. You can tell he is a very smart man but as a reader I found my eyes glazing over with boredom with how he wrote. I was very close to not finishing the book. I had a stack of books I really wanted to get to and it was taking me longer than I wanted. I DESPISE quitting on a book so I ended up skimming a lot of the chapters at the end. Those people who loved this book must just be smarter than I am 🙂

Favorite Quotes:
“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.”

“Very young children love and demand stories, and can understand complex matters presented as stories, when their powers of comprehending general concepts, paradigms, are almost nonexistent.”

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