Oliver Sacks, author of The man who mistook his wife for a hat has written several books. This particular book was published in 2008.
In it, he describes in his touching and sometimes humorous way, various neurological phenomena that have affected people’s auditory experiences as a result of neurological anomalies. He covers topics such as synaesthesia, perfect pitch, musical savants, musicogenic epilepsy, music’s influence on Tourette’s syndrome, the relationship between music and blindness, cochlear amusia and “sticky music”/catchy tunes.
In addition to describing his patients’ experiences (and sometimes his experiences of his patients) in a warm and sensitive way, he includes neurological explanations or proposed explanations for the phenomena. This offers an opportunity for all who are interested in the functioning of the brain to learn from his knowledge and experience.
The book includes an extensive bibliography for further reading and an index for ease of information-finding.
Dr Sacks is a practicing physician and a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Centre. His other books include Awakenings (which inspired the Oscar-nominated film) and Hallucinations.
The publishers are Picador (www.picador.com) and the book can be purchased directly from them. The writer of this review purchased her copy at Exclusive Books in South Africa.
Review written by Sharon Truter