When Oliver Sacks was 12 years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: "Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far." It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening minutes on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.
With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions - weight lifting and swimming - also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists - Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick - who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer - and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
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excellent book from a excellent writer
His Own Life
This is a final memoir since Oliver Sacks discovered he is terminally ill after completing the book. In an astonishing piece in the New York Times in February 2015 Dr. Sacks essentially bids farewell and says "I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. . . .Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure."
This memoir is honest and forthright about his homosexuality, his fear of his schizophrenic brother, and his internship and residency in California where he led a double life of medical rounds in the day and drugs, motorcycles and muscle beaches on his own time.
Through living on the edge, he seems to have developed the profound empathy for his patients that led to his wonderful essays and case studies about the neurologically impaired.
Surely, the publisher could have found a reader with a British accent for a more authentic reading of Oliver Sack's story. The reader fails to convey Dr. Sack's puckish humor, irony, or emotion.