• by Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
  • 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
PLEASE NOTE: Some changes have been made to the original manuscript with the permission of Oliver Sacks.


What the Critics Say

"One of the most beautifully composed and moving works of our time." (The Washington Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Absolute classic!

Sachs does a marvelous job of taking one through the science of "sleepy sickness" and then immersing one in the lives of the poor souls affected by it. We see their "rebirth" into life and how some came to chose the return to total immobility once more. Like so much of Sachs' work, this is a strange and wondrous portrayal of neurology and this bizarre and glorious experience we call human life. (If you saw the movie years ago... be prepared for a rather long--but necessary primer on the science of the illness in the beginning of the book. It is not a novelization. It is first and foremost a science book.)
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- Douglas "College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey."


My husband wanted me to get this for him. We had seen the movie and loved it. He had read other books by Oliver Sacks and enjoyed each one. This did not disappoint....loved every minute of it and the narration was terrific as well. To inject the personalties of the patients aided in understanding the different problems that each one had before going to "sleep" and after they awakened was very interesting, sometimes sad, sometimes funny - just wonderful. The patients themselves were often humorous and knowing the difficulties they faced enlightened the situation. My husband, being a Parkinson's patient, could relate to some of the difficulties of the disease.
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- Ellanora

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-11-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios