Synopses & Reviews
Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals-also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.
In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks' extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his Uncle Tungsten, whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes-in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.
This memoir from Oliver Sacks is both a departure from and an enhancement of his previous psychologically oriented "medical" writing. It is an account of his English childhood, seasoned by a childish passion for science, providing insight into the mind of one of today's most accessible scientists.
A memoir from renowned psychologist and bestselling author Oliver Sacks, offering a beautifully written account of an English childhood, seasoned with a hunger for scientific knowledge, and told with the insight and frankness of a leading exponent of the science of psychology. Sacks is one of the godfathers of today's popular science writing and, as one of his most commercial books to date, this should do extremely in this B format paperback edition.