• 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."

Unlistenable - way too academic

Any additional comments?

I read a fair amount of deep, challenging nonfiction books but this one was EXACTLY like reading a paper published in a medical journal that is aimed only at fellow doctors/scientists in the field. The narrator does an amazing job with all of the highly technical medical and pharmacological words but it destroys any sense of reading enjoyment. I can't imagine this was really meant for the general public.

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- Mark

Book Details

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