On the Move

On the Move

A Life

Book - 2015 | First edition
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Physician and writer Oliver Sacks recounts his experiences as a young neurologist; his physical passions--weight lifting and swimming; his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists--Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick--who influenced him
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385352543
Branch Call Number: 616.8 S12
Characteristics: 397 pages, 32un-numbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm


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Dec 30, 2020

An eminently readable collection of anecdotes by a charming author. While the timeline is hard to piece together at times, one does get a sense of the writer's rapid thinking and all encompassing appetite for exploration.

May 29, 2020

While I had heard of Oliver Sacks, I knew little of his work. His autobiography seemed like a good place to start. I found this book both very readable and highly interesting. I considered it a fast read. I look forward to reading at least one more of his books.

Mar 08, 2020

"William James had written of his own teacher Louis Agassiz--how Agassiz 'used to lock a student up in a room full of turtle shells, or lobster shells, or oyster shells, without a book or work to help him, and not to let him out till he had discovered all the truths which the objects contained'." "People with Tourette's are often unusually open to hypnosis and suggestion and disposed to involuntary repetition and imitation." "I walked down to San Francisco's Union Square, where Qantas had an office, presented my passport, and said I wanted to go on the first available flight to Sydney." " ' Natural selection almost always builds on what went before'. " " 'Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backwards.' ---Kierkegaard "

Jan 23, 2019

For someone who has had such an interesting life, populated with fascinating places and people, Dr. Sacks manages to make it all dull and lifeless. It seems as if he is writing about someone else, it lacks passion, and as another reviewer said, is distant. I could not finish this lackluster account of a person I admired.

Jan 02, 2019

Good writing, and interesting life, but somehow distant.

Mar 22, 2018

I fell in love with the mind of Oliver Sachs 33 years ago when I read "The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat". I saw "Awakenings" in a movie theatre as a new release in 1990. Sadly he passed away in August of 2015. This autobiography was published just months before his death. In it he is very candid about the foibles and follies of his life and the grace and sometimes mean spiritedness of colleagues and friends. He brought the intricacies of the brain and nervous system into a form that reads as great literature. Though he describes himself a socially reticent, in his writing he has always been a man you liked, not just as an author, but as a human being. Highly recommend!!! Kristi & Abby Tabby

Mar 22, 2017

Quite good and an easy read, especially if you know who he is and have read his other work(s). The 4 stars instead of 5 is for the overly long passages about his own drug using/motorcycle riding/weight lifting/cross country travelling days. Ay carumba!

It was interesting to note that someone of his intellect and (later) fame did these things, but, enough already! More interesting to him than to anyone else I think.

Harriet_the_Spy Dec 06, 2016

If you think of Oliver Sacks as a kindly old doctor with a somewhat odd manner, this wild ride through his sexual awakening, drug experimentation, motorcycle road trips, and unorthodox work arrangements will shake that up. Written shortly before he died, this memoir is strange and beautiful, like the man himself.

Dec 01, 2016

Very good read. Fascinating life. Got a little (read way) over my head sometimes when he got into discussions on neurological issues but for the most part very readable

Jun 03, 2016

I love Sacks' writing about his patients and his thinking. In this autobiography, he tells us more about himself. I was touched and surprised by what he wrote. I wished so much that I could have known him. He was very shy and a wonderful, warm person as well as a caring doctor and a brilliant thinker about what it is to be human.

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Harriet_the_Spy Dec 16, 2016

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Feb 19, 2017

Dr. Sacks led an active, fascinating life. He was especially curious about people with weird mental conditions, and studied them, and got to know them, as whole human beings. He himself had a no-holds-barred side, including 1) his passion for motorcycling at 100 mph for 5 hours on Route 66, after having put in a full week as neurologist at the hospital, 2) mind-altering drug experiences, and 3) writing virtually non-stop about his all-out investigation into his patients' lives and conditions. The last couple of chapters seemed just science, rather than Sacks's life, and wasn't as interesting. Overall, though, a worthwhile book.


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