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What I expected when I purchased this book was what one usually gets in an Oliver Sacks book: a neurological examination of a form of perception. In fact, I thought it was a book about synesthesia (especially given the title). It is, rather, a rich and detailed history of the treatment (and, far too often mistreatment) of deafness in the Western world. I highly recommend this book not only for fans of Oliver Sacks who will enjoy this change of pace from this usual fare (which is, I must insist, itself quite good on the whole) but also for those who wish to understand the richness and challenges of the deaf community and the challenges that have faced them in Western culture for the past four hundred years.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
From the author who has written many other books on the brain, this book is about how pre-lingual deafness differs from those who learned a spoken language before they lost their ability to hear. The connections of language to thought, the mis-assumptions of hearing people and the impact of using sign language has on the brain are wrapped together in a free-flowing, almost stream of consciousness. There were some bits that were technical enough so that I would like to re-read them. Most, however, was very understandable by the amateur.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I didn't like this as much as his other books I've read, I don't know if it was because it was an audio book or if it was the book itself. The subject matter was interesting but suffered from a couple of things:
1. A lack of examples. When talking about the spatial grammar of sign, for example, it would've been really helpful to have a description of some of the features so I can visualise them.
2. It was just too wordy in parts. There was an excess of adjectives.
The narration was ok, but it sometimes felt like the narrator was quoting passages rather than reading a book.