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Oliver Sacks, a scientist and a storyteller, is beloved by all for the extraordinary neurological case histories (Awakenings, An Anthropologist on Mars) in which he introduced and explored many now familiar disorders - autism, Tourette's syndrome, face blindness, savant syndrome. He was also a memoirist who wrote with honesty and humor about the remarkable and strange encounters and experiences that shaped him (Uncle Tungsten, On the Move, Gratitude). Sacks, an Oxford-educated polymath, had a deep familiarity not only with literature and medicine but with botany, animal anatomy, chemistry, the history of science, philosophy, and psychology. The River of Consciousness is one of two books Sacks was working on up to his death, and it reveals his ability to make unexpected connections, his sheer joy in knowledge, and his unceasing, timeless project to understand what makes us human.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Timothy Crabtree on 11-27-17
Absorbing and relatable, historically educational and philosophically engaging. I loved every subject and supposition, constantly feeling like Sacks asked (and answered) questions I had not considered since childhood.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Michael on 11-16-17
Important but Less Interesting
This was written based upon an outline and notes from Oliver Sacks after his death and is quite a bit more rambling that most of Sacks' books. This book is about the brain and quirks of brain processing but is very different from most Sacks' books. It seems the underlying theme is the dysfunction of science blinded by prevalent theories and the old ideas of influential scientists. The book describes how these influences can stymie scientific progress for decades leaving well meaning scientists effectively blind to obvious evidence right before their eyes.
Perhaps this is Sacks' most important book but it was not the most interesting or compelling of his books.
This was worth reading, but I would read everything else by Sacks first.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful