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Awakenings by Oliver Sacks, Oliver Sacks

Awakenings--which inspired the major motion picture--is the remarkable story of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen for decades in a trance-like state, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Oliver Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, "awakening" effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of his patients, their lives, and the extraordinary transformations which went with their reintroduction to a changed world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375704055
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1999
Edition description: REPRINT
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 77,823
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.89(d)

About 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.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

London, England


B.M., B.Ch., Queen's College, Oxford, 1958

What People are Saying About This

Harold Pinter

"A remarkable book."

Customer Reviews

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Awakenings 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
jeanetteb More than 1 year ago
I usually like only fiction; but this fascinating book about a group of victims of "sleeping sickness" was all the more interesting because not only of the strange disorder, which put the victims into comas lasting decades; but of the anomalies in their temporary "cures" brought about by Dr. Oliver Sacks. If one were writing it as fiction, it would be almost difficult to believe, and yet these case historys are true. Even more compelling is the compassionate care and personal dedication to his patients shown by Dr. Sacks. Small wonder part of the story became the movie film "Awakenings", starring Robin Williams playing the part of Dr. Sacks. Read the entire story in the book, and you will surely be caught up in the story, and the man who dared to bring about near miracles with his methods. I have read all his books now, never being disappointed. An unusual man who explores unusual neurological ailments; Awakenings is one of his best books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I admire this man!
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