This book is an anthology made of four parts, each delving into a specific area of neurology that is seldom viewed and reviewed.
I adore this book. It is just beautiful in all the right ways and every way possible.
The first two parts cover loss of self and excess. These two parts were what I expected from the synopsis - fascinating and terribly intriguing. Each story is marvelous on its own, and the way Sacks describes his approach and the situation combined with his thoughts on the nature of the mind and body and soul really resonates with what I believe medicine should look like.
The third and fourth part of the book moves more into a more abstract view of it all - less medicine, more abstract soul and emotions. But still beautiful.
What makes this book so beautiful (and why I'm waxing poetic about it) is just because each scene could be an interesting story on its own; but Sacks sets them together into a story that reveals something about the human mind as well as human nature. There is an artistry to his writing, there is something there that combines science and soul. Or perhaps art.
I also love the amount of references he makes to other famous works. I will definitely be rereading this book to fully understand all referenced literature.
And his postscripts are particularly fascinating to read - to know what happens in the aftermath, or if other thoughts have occurred after writing it all.
I should also note that you can tell this book was written quite a while ago with some politically incorrect terms used in the books and the science articles referenced, but that just adds to my amazement of how relevant all of this still is.
Five stars because it is well written and it's just beautiful, and I feel like it changed me. And I only give five stars to books that have opened my eyes to something fundamentally different in the world, or have particularly touched me.
Recommended for people interested in medicine and in neurology. But also recommended for people who wonder if science and soul can be combined.
Actually... really, recommended for everyone, because everyone should read this.