The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales



The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales Here Dr Sacks Recounts The Case Histories Of Patients Lost In The Bizarre, Apparently Inescapable World Of Neurological Disorders People 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.

10 thoughts on “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

  1. says:

    It s rare that I read non fiction It s just not my bag.That said, this is one of the most fascinating books I ve ever read I m guessing I ve brought it up hundreds of times in conversation.It s written by a neurologist who works with people who have stranger than usual brain issues And not only are the cases interesting, but the way he writes about the people invovled is really lovely It s not clinical at all Not judgemental It s very loving, I would say It s intere...

  2. says:

    Dear Dr Sacks, On page 112 of the paperback edition of your book, the second paragraph begins with the following sentence And with this, no feeling that he has lost feeling for the feeling he has lost , no feeling that he has lost the depth, that unfathomable, mysterious, myriad levelled depth which somehow defines identity or reality I ve read this sentence at least twelve times, and I still don t even have the slightest inkling of what the hell it means What is the subject What is the verb Why is the word that italicized twice Good God man, what are you trying to tell me Sincerely,Baffled in BrooklynSome people may think well, if I read the whole chapter, I m sure I could decipher the meaning To those people I say good luck, Charlie I hope you may succeed where I have so miserably failed This book has many fas...

  3. says:

    Despite so many people recommending this book, my high expectations were disappointed Yes, it s perversely interesting to hear about neurological conundrums that afflict people in peculiar ways, but Sacks isn t a particularly good writer, nor does he have a good grasp on his audience At times he obliquely refers to medical syndromes or footnotes other neurologists, as if he is writing for a technical physician audience, but on the whole his stories are too simplistic to engage such an audience He talks about phenomenology, but doesn t satisfactorily discuss mechanistically what is going on in the brain, so what s the point To quote a friend in college, it s his own mental masterbation he likes to show off how well read he his, how many bizarre patients have been referred to him or he s God s...

  4. says:

    When I had come across the title of the book on Goodreads, I had mistakenly assumed to it to be a humour novel But, when I finally found the book during one of my book hunts, I learnt that it is a non fiction book where the author, a neurologist as well as a gifted writer, has presented some fascinating case studies about his patients with unique afflictions.The book has been divided into 4 parts wherein each section contains the case studies pertaining to a particular category of neurological afflictions.Medical case studies are written in a dry, clinical language where the patient is dehumanized, and reduced to a cursory phrase In the preface the author says, Such medical case histories are a form of natural history but they tell us nothing about the individual and his history they convey nothing of the person, and the experience of the person, as he faces, and struggles to survive, his disease Thus, the author has attempted to deepen the case history to a narrative or tale and I liked the way he has talked about his patients with warmth, sympathy and respect.The narratives are often enriched with quotes, theories and experiences of other doctors, some of whom were stalwarts in their fields There is a reference to Anton Chekhov as well.I believe mo...

  5. says:

    This is not only an informative work on neurological disorders, but a humbling meditation on the beauty of imperfection Through entering the worlds of a number of limited individuals, Sacks reveals the brain s and therefore the individual s remarkable ability to overcompensate for cognitive deficiencies As a result of these heightened states of perception, the often frightening and infinitely compelling worlds of each individual are manifested in the means with which they organize and engage with the ordinary, whether it be through mathematics, dance, music, or the visual arts In simply dealing, they manage to transcend Sacks explores the varying cognitive expressions of his patients without coming across as cold, sterile, or objectifying Rather, he devotes a chapter to each individual case, creating in the reader a sense that they are engrossed in a series of...

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  7. says:

    10 This is such a classic that I can t possibly review it, so I ll just share some stories Oliver Sacks was the much loved, highly regarded neurologist who opened up the world of the mind and brain not only to doctors but also to the public The well known movie, Awakenings, where he was played by Robin Williams, was based on his successful treatment of catatonic patients including Leonard, played by Robert De Niro , frozen for decades after being afflicted with encephalitis Sacks s perception and inspiration led to the trial which awakened them, and he continued to use his remarkable insight and warmth until he died in August 2015.This book is a collection of cases of people with various brain anomalies, some caused by accidents or illness and some conditions present at birth It is disconcerting today to read some of the accepted references to patients in 1985 retardates, defectives, idiots, morons, simpletons The Man of the title piece, lost not only the ability to recognise faces, he didn t even know what a face was When he tried to put his shoe and sock back on after a medical test, he picked up his foot and asked if that was his shoe His wife was seated next to him, and he reached across and pulled on her head when looking for his hat He was almost like a blind man, guessin...

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  9. says:

    I picked up this book because I am a fan of Oliver Sacks and his various speaking engagements lectures, public radio interviews, etc but I have to say I was fairly nonplussed with it.While the case studies in and of themselves make for interesting reading, the tone of the writing is fairly clinical andremoved Despite the rev...

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