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Peter D. KramerWhat makes Musicophilia cohere is Sacks himself. He is the book's moral argument. Curious, cultured, caring, in his person Sacks justifies the medical profession and, one is tempted to say, the human race. Nothing is alien to him. If he has been saved by music, he also has been briefly afflicted by amusia, an inability to hear music as music, rather than "toneless banging." In his daily consciousness, Sacks embraces music at an extraordinary level. He writes in passing, "I have lately been enjoying mental replays of Beethoven's Third and Fourth Piano Concertos, as recorded by Leon Fleisher in the 1960s. These 'replays' tend to last ten or fifteen minutes and to consist of entire movements." Sacks is, in short, the ideal exponent of the view that responsiveness to music is intrinsic to our makeup. He is also the ideal guide to the territory he covers. Musicophilia allows readers to join Sacks where he is most alive, amid melodies and with his patients.
—The Washington Post