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The Island of the Colorblind

by

The Island of the Colorblind Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands — their remoteness, their mystery, above all the unique forms of life they harbor. For him, islands conjure up equally the romance of Melville and Stevenson, the adventure of Magellan and Cook, and the scientific wonder of Darwin and Wallace.

Drawn to the tiny Pacific atoll of Pingelap by intriguing reports of an isolated community of islanders born totally colorblind, Sacks finds himself setting up a clinic in a one-room island dispensary, where he listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. And on Guam, where he goes to investigate the puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis endemic there for a century, he becomes, for a brief time, an island neurologist, making house calls with his colleague John Steele, amid crowing cockerels, cycad jungles, and the remains of a colonial culture. The islands reawaken Sacks's lifelong passion for botany — in particular, for the primitive cycad trees, whose existence dates back to the Paleozoic — and the cycads are the starting point for an intensely personal reflection on the meaning of islands, the dissemination of species, the genesis of disease, and the nature of deep geologic time.

Out of an unexpected journey, Sacks has woven an unforgettable narrative which immerses us in the romance of island life, and shares his own compelling vision of the complexities of being human.

Review:

"Magical... Sacks's fans are in for a treat." Kirkus

Review:

"Sacks's total immersion in islands life makes this luminous, beautifully written report a wonderous voyage of discovery. As a travel writer, Sacks ranks with Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin. As an investigator of the mind's mysteries, he is in a class by himself."Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Dr. Sacks's humane inquisitiveness lends a philosophical perspective to every threatening change. His scenes are stills from the moving picture of timeless evolution. And the way his subjects accept their fate redeems his story from gloom, even lending it a certain gaiety." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

Review:

"Sacks's fans are in for a treat: This is a magical medical mystery tour of South Sea islands that goes beyond the neurological lore to reveal the good doctor as historian, botanist, environmentalist, anthropologist, and, as always, caring human being." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A grand entertainment, a trove of learning. It is [Sacks's] combination of the artist's eye and the healer's touch that makes [his] work — and the man himself — so memorable. Unfailingly tolerant, open and curious, he humanizes everything he touches.... This makes him for many — our prophet of understanding." Martin Levin, The Globe and Mail

Synopsis:

"An explorer of that most wonderous of islands, the human brain," writes D.M. Thomas in the New York Times Book Review, "Oliver Sacks also loves the oceanic kind of islands." Both kinds figure movingly in this book — part travelogue, part autobiography, part medical mystery story — in which Sacks's journeys to a tiny Pacific atoll and the island of Guam become explorations of the time, and the complexities of being human.

Synopsis:

"An explorer of that most wondrous of islands, the human brain," writes D.M. Thomas in The New York Times Book Review, "Oliver Sacks also loves the oceanic kind of islands." Both kinds figure movingly in this book--part travelogue, part autobiography, part medical mystery story--in which Sacks's journeys to a tiny Pacific atoll and the island of Guam become explorations of the meaning of islands, the genesis of disease, the wonders of botany, the nature of deep geological time, and the complexities of being human.

About the Author

Oliver Sacks is a neurologist and author of seven books, including Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and An Anthropologist on Mars. He lives on City Island in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Lucy Little, August 31, 2007 (view all comments by Lucy Little)
Oliver Sacks writes another great "medical mystery." He travels through tiny islands in the South Pacific following disorders unique to their inhabitants. This book encompass travel, cultures, medicine and botany all in one. Fascinating.
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(3 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
deanna, March 20, 2007 (view all comments by deanna)
A medical mystery combined with a travelogue written only as Oliver Sacks can put into words. I couldn't put this book down--the descriptions are so specific, yet interesting.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375700736
Author:
Sacks, Oliver
Publisher:
Vintage
Author:
Sacks, Oliver W.
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Neurology
Subject:
Oceania
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Diseases
Subject:
Human Physiology
Subject:
Physicians
Subject:
Ophthalmology
Subject:
Dementia
Subject:
Parkinsonism
Subject:
Medical anthropology
Subject:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Subject:
Color blindness
Subject:
Micronesia
Subject:
Parkinson's disease
Subject:
Cycads.
Subject:
Chamorro
Subject:
Pingelap
Subject:
Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
Subject:
Color blindness -- Caroline Islands.
Subject:
Parkinsonism - Guam
Subject:
Neuropsychology
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Professional Medical Reference
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Vintage Books ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
AR-3
Publication Date:
19980112
Binding:
Undefined
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 ILLUSTRATIONS, 3 MAPS + 6,5
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.7 in 0.75 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Essays
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Professional Medical Reference
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Vision
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General

The Island of the Colorblind Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375700736 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Magical... Sacks's fans are in for a treat."
"Review" by , "Sacks's total immersion in islands life makes this luminous, beautifully written report a wonderous voyage of discovery. As a travel writer, Sacks ranks with Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin. As an investigator of the mind's mysteries, he is in a class by himself."
"Review" by , "Dr. Sacks's humane inquisitiveness lends a philosophical perspective to every threatening change. His scenes are stills from the moving picture of timeless evolution. And the way his subjects accept their fate redeems his story from gloom, even lending it a certain gaiety."
"Review" by , "Sacks's fans are in for a treat: This is a magical medical mystery tour of South Sea islands that goes beyond the neurological lore to reveal the good doctor as historian, botanist, environmentalist, anthropologist, and, as always, caring human being."
"Review" by , "A grand entertainment, a trove of learning. It is [Sacks's] combination of the artist's eye and the healer's touch that makes [his] work — and the man himself — so memorable. Unfailingly tolerant, open and curious, he humanizes everything he touches.... This makes him for many — our prophet of understanding."
"Synopsis" by , "An explorer of that most wonderous of islands, the human brain," writes D.M. Thomas in the New York Times Book Review, "Oliver Sacks also loves the oceanic kind of islands." Both kinds figure movingly in this book — part travelogue, part autobiography, part medical mystery story — in which Sacks's journeys to a tiny Pacific atoll and the island of Guam become explorations of the time, and the complexities of being human.
"Synopsis" by , "An explorer of that most wondrous of islands, the human brain," writes D.M. Thomas in The New York Times Book Review, "Oliver Sacks also loves the oceanic kind of islands." Both kinds figure movingly in this book--part travelogue, part autobiography, part medical mystery story--in which Sacks's journeys to a tiny Pacific atoll and the island of Guam become explorations of the meaning of islands, the genesis of disease, the wonders of botany, the nature of deep geological time, and the complexities of being human.
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