Book Reviews

Book Review – The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat// Oliver Sacks

Hello friends, how are we all? Today I’m going to be gracing your screens with a review of my first non-fiction read of the year. I don’t usually review the books I read, because I know some amazing bloggers on this site can do it better, but I think this is a book my audience would not normally come across, therefore I would like to share it with you.


Oliver Sacks,  a well known neurologist, recounts the stories of patients he has come across with the most extraordinary neurological disorders in this intelligent and well thought out book. The book is split into four parts: Losses, Excesses, Transports and The World of the Simple.

This book tells some truly remarkable stories, some of which really shook me up for a long time. The stories were told with empathy but also clinical precision. I am interested in becoming a Clinical Psychologist when I am older, therefore this was a wonderful introduction into the world of mental disorders.

My favourite part of the book was the section about Losses. It told stories of people with severe memory losses, for example a man stuck in WWII, forgetting everything in his life past that point. A woman who felt detached from her own body or a man who mistook his wife for a hat, unable to recognize people or common objects. I’m not sure why this section interested me so much, I think it was so alien and bizarre, I had never heard of anything like it.

Sacks really does give us a unique insight into the ‘mysteries of consciousness’ and I think this book has made me realize the uncontrollable power of the human mind. HOWEVER it’s a challenging read. Lots of complex terminology and concepts are used and sometimes I felt a little lost, trying to catch up with Sack’s train of thought. It’s an undoubtedly interesting read, but the complexity of it, made me sometimes plough through the pages. This is not such a criticism of the writer, but personally I sometimes found the content difficult to understand.

Although on the other hand, at times I wondered why I had ever put the book down,  it’s so intelligent I felt like I was filling my brain with all this wonderful potential whilst completely absorbing myself in these fascinating and sometimes saddening stories.

I’m going to finish with a quote from the book I picked out, I find it very thought provoking.

“Will everything seem dead when I am treated?”


Overall rating: 3.8/5


Thank you so much for reading,



18 thoughts on “Book Review – The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat// Oliver Sacks

  1. This sounds like such an intriguing read! Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts on it, Alex! And clinical psychiatry sounds like a wonderful field. I have some friends applying to graduate school to study it more. And you should definitely review more books on your blog if you want to. I agree that there are some pretty prominent and amazing voices that seem to voice their opinions on books so well, but it’d be great to read more of yours, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love reading your comments so much, thank you for taking the time to talk to me! And I’m thinking of reviewing my non-fiction reads this year, as it is part of my New Year’s Resolutions to read more non fiction. It’s so weird that it’s the middle of February but I’m still talking about New Year, 2016 is going too quick!


  2. I loved that book. My sister had it. I saw it on her table, picked it up, started reading, and didn’t put it down. I love how Sacks treats people with such grace and dignity and they were truly remarkable, intriguing stories. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s more about life stories but there are pieces of texts from a clinical point of view for those interested in neurology, which is different from psychology but the sometimes intertwine. It’s half documentary half scientific study 🙂


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