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An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales Hardcover – February 7, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 498 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Among doctors who write with acuity and grace, Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat) takes a higher place with each successive book. In this provocative collection of previously published essays, the noted neurologist describes his meetings with seven people whose "abnormalities" in brain function generate new perspectives on the workings of that organ, the nature of experience and concepts of personality and consciousness. "It's not gentle," notes Canadian surgeon Carl Bennett of Tourette's syndrome; Bennett's compulsive lungings, tics and speech patterns are stilled when he is in the operating room and moderated, Sacks observes firsthand from the passenger seat, while Bennett is flying his Cessna Cardinal. The broad effects and differing degrees of autism are probed in his conversations and observations, over many years, with Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic British artist-prodigy, and his visit with Temple Grandin, an animal behavior specialist. Writing with eloquent particularity and compassionate respect, Sacks enlarges our view of the nature of human experience. Illustrations. 100,000 first printing; BOMC selection; author tour; Random House AudioBook (ISBN 0-679-43956-0, $17).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

According to Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, LJ 2/15/86), developmental defects, diseases, and disorders play a paradoxical role in human lives. Ravenous and destructive on the one hand, they also bring about unexpected growth and evolution of the extremely adaptive nervous system as it is forced to develop new paths and new ways of doing things. Sacks offers seven portraits exemplifying the "creative" potential of disease, including an artist who loses all sense of color in a car accident but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white; a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette's Syndrome unless he is operating; and an autistic Ph.D. who cannot interpret the simplest social exchange between humans but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behavior. Taking leave of his white coat and the hospital environment, Sacks explores his subjects closely. True to his past work, he offers compelling stories told with the cognizance of a clinician and the heart and compassion of a poet. He also includes a superbly annotated bibliography for further study. This insightful and inspirational collection is essential for all libraries. [BOMC selection.]-David R. Johnson, Arnold LeDoux Lib., Louisiana State Univ., Eunic.
--David R. Johnson, Arnold LeDoux Lib., Louisiana State Univ., Eunice
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Knopf; 1st edition (February 7, 1995)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 327 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0679437851
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0679437857
  • Item Weight : 1.43 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.75 x 8.75 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 498 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
498 global ratings
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A Raven
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Humbly, I am disappointed
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Writer Who Treats the Reader as an Intelligent Person.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 17, 2016
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4.0 out of 5 stars He finds some cases more interesting than others and sometimes is disappointed at the lack of solution or cure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 6, 2016
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