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The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat

Updated on February 4, 2015

This book is a very fascinating read. This is a collection of stories about people with different neurological disorders. These affect different parts of the mind. Each disorder causes a different impairment. My mother purchased this book because she has a disorder which affects her ability to perceive her appetite in a normal way. Her interest was generated in this book after she had some CAT scans. There is a part of her brain which is underdeveloped. This is the part which registers when the body as full. My mother is abnormally obese due to this issue. This book was of interest to her.

I was home in Brockville, Ontario when I read this book. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer. I found it on her bookshelf. I used to work in a classical record store and was familiar with the opera by Michael Nyman based on this novel. I am a fan of contemporary classical music. I read this book. It was a very satisfying read.

It was published in 1985. Many of us have seen Robin Williams in the movie Awakenings. This movie is also based on Oliver Sacks' work as a neurologist. This book is very easy to digest. It is broken up into many case studies. It would be comprised of 24 essays. Each one discusses a different neurological case study. The title is based on a man who has visual agnosia. This means he will mistake everyday objects for something entirely different. There are also stories of heightened perception. There is a man who experiences heightened awareness of scent after experimenting with drugs. Sources say this information was based on Oliver Sacks own experiences. There is also discussion of idiot savants who are able to solve complex mathematical problems. These people will be mentally deficient in other areas.

This is a very worthwhile read. It is not only educational, but entertaining.


This is an opera based on Oliver Sack' book.



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    • Zola Mars profile image

      Lydia Workman 3 years ago from Canada

      @tribesearcher: It is indeed remarkable! People are capable of so much!

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      tribesearcher 3 years ago

      I remember reading it, There is also a story of a man with the Sydrom of Gilles de la Tourette. He has outbursts and curses without any control over it. Also his body reacts with movements all of sudden. However he is an awesome pilot. Oliver Sacks flew with him. he was terrified at first. But he soon saw a man very focused and concentraten, making no mistake at all. It was a real secure flight. Remarkable isn't it? This book convinced me even more that all people are awesome, with or without some constraints.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      your review interested me enough to consider reading this. great lens. congrats on lotd.

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      kherux 3 years ago

      Sounds like a quirky read. Great review!

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      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      Interesting I liked the movie Awakenings and I'm sure our minds capable of so much more that we have no clue about yet!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Fascinating. I had to go buy this book. I can't wait to read it.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      This Sounds like a very interesting read, I've never heard of this book but now will check it out. Thanks for your great review :)

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      johnmariow 3 years ago

      Thanks for the review. I did not know about this book.

    • Canterburybelle profile image

      Canterburybelle 3 years ago

      I have read and re-read this book-love it.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I've wondered about this book for some time. The title surely catches one's eye! Thanks for sharing your review. It does sound like an excellent read.

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      tonyleather 3 years ago

      This is an extremely enjoyable read, and an excellent review!

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 3 years ago

      Oliver Sacks is the best thing since sliced bread (only half kidding) I love how he writes about his case studies. Great review!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 3 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on being chosen Product Review of the Day!

    • Zola Mars profile image

      Lydia Workman 3 years ago from Canada

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you. I really enjoyed reading this book.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I had no idea what this book was about, though I've certainly seen it around for years. Very interesting topic, great personal story in the review.