Customer Reviews for

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    Unconventional Minds and Uncommon Sense

    I just finished reading 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat' by Oliver Sacks. I'm so glad that I bought this book. The author is a neurologist who describes some of his most fascinating patients. I feel like these characters will stick with me for the rest of my life. Among the characters you'll meet in this book are a music teacher(the title character) who can no longer recognize faces, twins diagnosed retarded who can generate six-digit primes, and a murderer who forgets his crime. There's also a sailor who is convinced that it is still 1965. The cases themselves are amazing but Sacks treats their stories with a beautiful kind of dignity. Sacks never loses sight of the person, of the soul, that he treats. This book left me with a deep sense of gratitude and a fresh hope in humanity.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    Couldn't put it down!

    This great read was long overdue and I could not put it down. I would recommend this story, filled with love and courage, to anyone. Shannon Morgan

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    A very interesting and compelling book.

    The book was very fascinating and really showed how people in the clinical cases and people with the same brain disorders or brain malfunctions lived. The book attempted to explain how, but more importantly, what was lost or gained because of the person's trauma or neurological disorder. It achieved its goal and showed a view from both the patient and the doctor. Even though the human mind may not be functioning properly, when closely looked at, the person has gained more than lost without them knowing it. This is the beauty of the brain and all of nature.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2014

    Fascinating Read & Perfect for AP Pyschology Assignments

    I must confess that I have a love-hate relationship with Dr. Sacks' writing as this is the second title of his that I have read. He is brilliant. I am not. His writing and story telling is remarkable & entertaining - & requires me to always have a dictionary present.

    I love how this book was written in short vignettes as it made it easy to read a chapter before my 2 children pulled my attention away. I also love how he incorporates the arts into the science of neurology as it is perfect for my science students at a performing arts high school to relate to their own lives.

    If you are fascinated by the mysteries of the brain, love science, love the arts, or love writing with meticulous grammar and advanced vocabulary, then this book is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Impaired and Interesting

    Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook his WIfe for a Hat was an teresting read, unlike anything I have previously encountered. It told the stories of several mentally and physically impaired patients struggling to live a normal life. Sacks is a neirologist who wrote about what each of his patients were experiencing and how it affected their life. He described it in such humanistic terms you could almost feel what that patient was enduring through the pages. Sacks not only gave the scientific explanation, but also included what was gained and lost in that person's life due to their disability. The book took you from the comfort of your own life of normalcy, and exposed you to what life would be like without a perfectly functioning body. I would reccomend this read to everyone; it allows you to see life through new eyes and gravitates you into the office of a neurologist with some pretty interesting patients whose stories give you an insight to a side of reality you otherwise wouldn't encounter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2005

    a door to the world of the impaired..

    Dr Sacks is a neurologist and a people observer rolled into one..it is amazing how he narrates neurological disorders not just in medical terms but also in a humanistic way..reading the book transports you from the comforts of your normal life to the world of a lost memory and other abberations with a sense of kindness and sympathy to the people with neurological disorders. Definitely a refreshing medical book written in an artistic way accesible by our humanistic and sympathetic nature as humans..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2003

    There is more in our minds than we have ever been able to dream in our philosophies

    There are few science or medical writers who have the ability to make their case- histories so vivid and interesting as Sachs does. He writes with tremendous insight and sympathy about worlds of mental aberration and strangeness which truly are beyond ordinary imagining. The world seems a stranger and more troubling place after reading this book. But the reader too has the sense that he has been given insights into areas of reality he would never by himself have come across.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks is a coll

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks is a collection of intriguing instances of neurology in some of his patients.

    Oliver talks about these patients and their strange but interesting disorders.

    For instance, the title character has a difficult time seeing certain things like faces and other images, and in one instance, he pulls on his wife's head because he thinks it's his hat.

    One of my favorite excerpts is about a neurological disorder of the temporal lobe in the brain, which can be called "musical epilepsy."  Basically, a few elderly women were experiencing seizures which would cause music to be playing loudly in their heads.

    Sacks said, "Conversation was far from easy, partly because of Mrs. O'C's deafness, but more because I was repeatedly drowned out by songs-she could only hear me through the softer ones."

    Sounds humorous, but the patients couldn't "adjust" the volume or "choose" their songs, so it's kind of like being in the car when another person is in charge of the radio.

    In between the vignettes, there was a lot of doctoral gibberish.  Well, to me it was gibberish.  But I read as much as I could and skimmed through the rest of those parts.

    If these strange neurological instances sound like something you'd want to read about, pick up a copy of the book.  Just keep in mind that you might need to or want to skim through the more technical aspects of a lot of these stories, which mainly occurs in the postscript.

    What's the strangest medical condition you know of?

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Read

    Oliver Sacks has a great ability to tell a story and suck you in. These short stories about real cases are intriguing and thoughtful. I am eager to read his other works as well.

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    Posted October 4, 2014

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