An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales

An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales

4.2 12
by Oliver Sacks
     
 

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To these seven narratives of neurological disorder Dr. Sacks brings the same humanity, poetic observation, and infectious sense of wonder that are apparent in his bestsellers Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. These men, women, and one extraordinary child emerge as brilliantly adaptive personalities, whose conditions have not so

Overview

To these seven narratives of neurological disorder Dr. Sacks brings the same humanity, poetic observation, and infectious sense of wonder that are apparent in his bestsellers Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. These men, women, and one extraordinary child emerge as brilliantly adaptive personalities, whose conditions have not so much debilitated them as ushered them into another reality.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Among doctors who write with acuity and grace, Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) takes a higher place with each successive book. In this provocative collection of previously published essays, the noted neurologist describes his meetings with seven people whose ``abnormalities'' in brain function generate new perspectives on the workings of that organ, the nature of experience and concepts of personality and consciousness. ``It's not gentle,'' notes Canadian surgeon Carl Bennett of Tourette's syndrome; Bennett's compulsive lungings, tics and speech patterns are stilled when he is in the operating room and moderated, Sacks observes firsthand from the passenger seat, while Bennett is flying his Cessna Cardinal. The broad effects and differing degrees of autism are probed in his conversations and observations, over many years, with Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic British artist-prodigy, and his visit with Temple Grandin, an animal behavior specialist. Writing with eloquent particularity and compassionate respect, Sacks enlarges our view of the nature of human experience. Illustrations. 100,000 first printing; BOMC selection; author tour; Random House AudioBook (ISBN 0-679-43956-0, $17). (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679756972
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1996
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
99,351
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

Oliver Sacks was a neurologist, writer, and professor of medicine. Born in London in 1933, he moved to New York City in 1965, where he launched his medical career and began writing case studies of his patients. Called the “poet laureate of medicine” by The New York Times, Sacks is the author of thirteen books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia, and Awakenings, which inspired an Oscar-nominated film and a play by Harold Pinter. He was the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, and was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2008 for services to medicine. He died in 2015.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
1933
Place of Birth:
London, England
Education:
B.M., B.Ch., Queen's College, Oxford, 1958

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An Anthropologist on Mars 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oliver Sacks 'An Anthropologist on Mars' was one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Although Sacks took a slightly scientific perspective in the stories, the subjects and his observations were extremely gripping. I read this book for a class and ended up doing a research paper on one of the conditions (cerebral achromatopsia) for another class because I was so intrigued. I suggest, though, that the reader should not read the stories in the order they are in the book. I read until the second, skipped to the sixth and seventh, and then read the third, fourth, and fifth. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about different traits and the coping mechanisms people with these traits develop. FIVE STAR BOOK!
Kenlee More than 1 year ago
I did like the book. The language is a little complex for an easy/comfy read due to the medical terms. Yet, I still liked it. Opens up your mind on some level and lets you think differently and more openly. Definatelly different from what I was reading before; therefore hard to accept at first but I'd recommend it for sure.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
An Anthropologist on Mars is the sixth book by neurologist Oliver Wolf Sacks and deals with seven intriguing case studies. The first is an artist who becomes completely colour-blind (cerebral achromatopsia) and details both the unimaginable impact this has on normal life, and the adaptation that can make life liveable. The second involves amnesia and looks at different ways of forming memory. The third deals with Tourette’s syndrome in a surgeon with a pilot’s licence, shows both the funny and the dark sides of this condition, and the effect of medications. The fourth examines the effect of regaining sight on a person who has been blind since childhood. The fifth involves seizures of reminiscence and examines what memory actually is. The sixth deals with an autistic savant artist, and the final case study is about the well-known Aspergian, Temple Grandin. It is this remarkable woman who, in explaining what it feels like to try to understand normal human behaviour, lends her phrase to the title, An Anthropologist on Mars. Grandin gives a fascinating insight into the autistic spectrum, explaining that autistic people Think in Pictures (the title of her own book). Occasionally Sacks is rather too generous with technical detail jargon, so the reader may be tempted to skim or skip. The footnotes enlarge on or update the text, the book is fully indexed and there is a bibliography for those interested in further reading. This book is interesting, occasionally scary and will make the reader appreciate the brain they have.
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