thegreenangel, January 30, 2011 (view all comments by thegreenangel)
A born story-teller and physician, Dr. Sacks can write with the best of them, making complex neurology a completely understandable as well as thouroughly enjoyable subject matter. This isn't just about eyes and brains; it's about perception and the basis of consciousness itself, provoking far more thought long after the last page is turned than the average book, one that will stay in the working consciousness for decades to come, as in his past offerings. Sacks causes us to question how we see, how we interprete what we see, and how we take all of this complexity for granted. He gives us portraits of the brave, ones who've been dealt a harsh hand and through ingenuity,determination and sheer grit create marvelous ways to carry on with life...maybe not just as before, but in a new way, a way that often leaves us in amazement, wondering if we could have done the same. We come to appreciate and marvel at what we have, but are able to stretch our definition of what it is to be human, and see. Plus, Dr. Sack finally revels to us why he's been so fascinated with the mind, and bares to us the face of his own affliction, something most physicians are loathe to do, hence they become less than Gods. Ask yourself: what would you do if you couldn't recognize your mother's own face? Your spouse's? Child's? You OWN? If any spark of curiousity results, then read this book.
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Marie Angell, December 9, 2010 (view all comments by Marie Angell)
If you have any interest in the neurological function of the brain (and you should), this is an excellent book for thinking about how to cope with disorders that may happen to any of us. (But fortunately, probably won't.)
Dr. Sacks is witty and erudite who makes medical explanations fascinating without being patronizing.
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Knopf Publishing Group -
Oliver Sacks, as fascinating, empathetic, and formidably talented as always, focuses on six individuals who've lost what we think of as essential abilities, including reading, face recognition, and speech. The Mind's Eye is a mesmerizing and exhilarating exploration of how we interact with language and each other.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Sacks, a neurologist and practicing physician at Columbia University Medical Center, and author of ten popular books on the quirks of the human mind (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) focuses here on creative people who have learned to compensate for potentially devastating disabilities. From the concert pianist who progressively lost the ability to recognize objects (including musical scores) yet managed to keep performing from memory, to the writer whose stroke disturbed his ability to read but not his ability to write (he used his experience to write a novel about a detective suffering from amnesia), to Sacks himself, who suffers from 'face blindness,' a condition that renders him unable to recognize people, even relatives and, sometimes, himself (he once confused a stranger's face in a window with his own reflection), Sacks finds fascination in the strange workings of the human mind. Written with his trademark insight, compassion, and humor, these seven new tales once again make the obscure and arcane absolutely absorbing. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"An absorbing attempt to unravel the complexities of the human mind."
by Boston Globe,
"Rich with the sort of observation and insight that makes Sack's writing satisfying. He reveals essential truths about what makes us human."
by The Guardian, UK,
"The fascinating stories of ordinary people living with extraordinary conditions."
Sacks explores some of the most fundamental facets of human experience--how we see in three dimensions, how we represent the world internally when our eyes are closed, and the remarkable, unpredictable ways that our brains find new ways of perceiving that create worlds as complete and rich as the no-longer-visible world.
by Random House,
From the author of the best-selling Musicophilia (hailed as "luminous, original, and indispensable" by The American Scholar), an exploration of vision through the case histories of six individuals—including a renowned pianist who continues to give concerts despite losing the ability to read the score, and a neurobiologist born with crossed eyes who, late in life, suddenly acquires binocular vision, and how her brain adapts to that new skill. Most dramatically, Sacks gives us a riveting account of the appearance of a tumor in his own eye, the strange visual symptoms he observed, an experience that left him unable to perceive depth.
In The Mind's Eye, Oliver Sacks explores some of the most fundamental facets of human experience — how we see in three dimensions, how we represent the world internally when our eyes are closed, and the remarkable, unpredictable ways that our brains find new ways of perceiving that create worlds as complete and rich as the no-longer-visible world.
In The Minds Eye, Oliver Sacks tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world.
There is Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music and is eventually unable even to recognize everyday objects, and Sue, a neurobiologist who has never seen in three dimensions, until she suddenly acquires stereoscopic vision in her fifties.
There is Pat, who reinvents herself as a loving grandmother and active member of her community, despite the fact that she has aphasia and cannot utter a sentence, and Howard, a prolific novelist who must find a way to continue his life as a writer even after a stroke destroys his ability to read.
And there is Dr. Sacks himself, who tells the story of his own eye cancer and the bizarre and disconcerting effects of losing vision to one side.
Sacks explores some very strange paradoxes—people who can see perfectly well but cannot recognize their own children, and blind people who become hyper-visual or who navigate by “tongue vision.” He also considers more fundamental questions: How do we see? How do we think? How important is internal imagery—or vision, for that matter? Why is it that, although writing is only five thousand years old, humans have a universal, seemingly innate, potential for reading?
The Minds Eye is a testament to the complexity of vision and the brain and to the power of creativity and adaptation. And it provides a whole new perspective on the power of language and communication, as we try to imagine what it is to see with another persons eyes, or another persons mind.
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