A Leg to Stand On

  • by Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks - introduction
  • 7 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Dr. Oliver Sacks' books Awakenings, An Anthropologist on Mars, and the best-selling The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat have been acclaimed for their extraordinary compassion in the treatment of patients affected with profound disorders. In A Leg to Stand On, it is Sacks himself who is the patient: an encounter with a bull on a desolate mountain in Norway has left him with a severely damaged leg. But what should be a routine recuperation is actually the beginning of a strange medical journey when he finds that his leg uncannily no longer feels like part of his body.
Sacks's brilliant description of his crisis and eventual recovery is not only an illuminating examination of the experience of patienthood and the inner nature of illness and health but also a fascinating exploration of the physical basis of identity.
PLEASE NOTE: Some changes have been made to the original manuscript with the permission of Oliver Sacks.


What the Critics Say

"A neurologist in [the] great tradition... [this is] a narrative comparable to Conrad's The Secret Sharer." (The New York Review of Books)
"In calling for a neurology of the soul and a deeper and more humane medicine, Sacks's remarkable book raises issues of profound importance for everyone interested in humane health care and the human application of science." (The Washington Post Book World)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A very rewarding read but Not for everybody.

While this is a fine book with an amazing true story, I feel the need to put out a word of caution. The degree to which sachs goes off on his poetic existential meanderings in this book is excessive . It requires patience and a fair amount of concentration to get through these unfortunately verbose tirades. An editor really should have tightened it up. This book does have a great story and immense insight that should be heard by everyone. It will be of particular value to doctors, nurses and caregivers. I really love sacks work but his verbosity gets to be too much at times.
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- jeff

Not sure what he was trying for here

Audible just brought this one out in audio, a year or so after Sacks' latest "The Mind's Eye"; my library didn't have a print copy of "Leg", so I spent a credit on it. Both books deal with the issue of doctor-as-patient, but this one's less approachable. Once he's rescued in Norway, and sent off to Britain for treatment, the story becomes progressively more inward and self-absorbed. I was interested when he veered towards the mind-body connection in healing, but otherwise his thoughts were just that ... thoughts. Not very focused ones either - not quite metaphysical, not really philosophical, and a little medical stuff thrown in. For Sacks fans only, those new to his stuff would probably never read another.

Narration helped me keep going when the going got kind of tough.
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- John S.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-21-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios