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Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood Kindle Edition
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"Good prose is often described as glowing: luminous, numinous, glimmering, shimmering, incandescent, radiant. Sacks's writing is all that, and sometimes, no matter how closely you read it, you can't quite figure out what makes it so precisely, unsparingly light...By the time he was 15...Sacks's attention began drifting away from
chemistry...He can't quite say why he abandoned his first love and Mendeleev's Garden. His 'intellectual limitations? Adolescence? School?...The inevitable course, the natural history, of enthusiasm, that burns hotly, brightly...and then, exhausting itself, gutters out?' No matter. With Uncle Tungsten, Sacks has reignited the fire, so the rest of us can read by its glow."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Artful, impassioned memoir of a youth spent lost in the blinding light of chemistry from neurologist/essayist Sacks. . . . . In a kind and gracious voice, Sacks guides readers on his journey of passionate discovery into the romance of chemistry. . . . The realm of science is alchemy in Sacks's hands as he spins pure gold from base metals."
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"In Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sacks weaves together the wonders of chemistry and his boyhood experiences with grace, ease, and just the right comedic touch. The result is a rich, unique, and compelling glimpse into the development of an enormously fertile and creative mind."
"A gift from a wonderful man and a masterful scholar and writer. This sharing of life can only merit the chemist's symbol for Tungsten: W --a winner!" -Stephen Jay Gould
"Oliver Sacks is an extraordinary soul-scientist and artist, healer and explorer-and he has given us an extraordinary memoir. Uncle Tungsten is profoundly illuminating and continually surprising."
-James Gleick --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00FIN2IDQ
- Publisher : Vintage; Reprint edition (December 11, 2013)
- Publication date : December 11, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 4409 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 357 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #252,013 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I can understand why the casual reader would object to the detail that Dr. Sachs uses in his narrative. I probably requires some insight into the history of experimental science to appreciate the story. I am fortunate in having such knowledge and thoroughly enjoyed the book.. It is not a book that can be understood by many without a science background. I giver the book five stars for my own selfish reasons.
Top reviews from other countries
Young Oliver had an extended family full of many unusual characters including the eponomous "uncle tungsten" - his Uncle who ran a light bulb manufacturing plant, and was a mine of information about chemistry. another uncle was a Physicist and introduced Oliver to many of the wonders of science and nature.
The book traces the historical origins of Chemistry, interwoven with Olivers own discovery of Science set against a background of impending war in Europe in the late 1930's.
Oliver Sachs eventually went on the become a "celebrity" Neurologist & author in the U.S. but it is clear from this book that he retains many profoundly moving and exciting memories of a childhood in Britain learning the wonders of Chemistry.
Also, this was a 2nd-hand hardback copy sent over from the USA, which I had bought as a gift, having read it myself a few years back. I was struck by how much better quality the US version was, compared to the UK hardback version I had bought for myself. I'm told by a retired publisher that this is normal, and is a result of the economics of larger print runs enabling more money to be spent on design. The paper was better quality and the print, although slightly smaller, was sharper and eaier to read.
The down-side to getting it from the States though - apart from different spelligns of course - is that it took 3 weeks to arrive. They did say that's how long it could take so I can't complain, and I would definitly consider buying books from the States again.
I think this is a brilliant book having read it on Audible a year ago... Now I have it in print I can read all the additional notes to the story.
Oliver sacks was an amazing man.