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,