An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales

by Oliver Sacks | Health, Mind & Body |
ISBN: 0679756973 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 12/25/2006
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, December 25, 2006
I've had this trade paperback (different cover than shown) on my shelves for some time; I read it several years ago and thought it was worth hanging on to. Am still not sure whether I'm ready to part with it or not, but I thought I'd register it just in case! [I've used a sneak-preview BC bookplate to label this book, even though the series itself probably won't be available until late next year. But the image on the bookplate is rather quirky and I thought it was most fitting for this title.]

As always, Sacks presents cases of intriguing and unexpected symptoms - sometimes disturbing or downright terrifying, and at other times inspiring and hopeful. The accounts include that of a Tourette's-syndrome patient who's also a successful surgeon - somehow the focus required for surgery prevents him from suffering the tics and twitches that he has to deal with at other times. Another case involves a man whose sight is restored after he'd been blind from early childhood, and demonstrates that this is not necessarily the wonderful gift it's thought to be; he had learned to be a capable and adept blind man, but when he had to try to learn to see again he wound up feeling stressed and incapable.

Another chapter deals with Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who's managed to develop a very successful business in designing feedlots and restraining systems for animals. I've read her book Animals in Translation, so I was intrigued to hear Sacks comment on his meeting with her. She invites him to try out her squeeze-machine, a device she built to give herself the sensation of enveloping physical pressure without having to touch other people... sort of a hug-machine.

And the artist who's compelled to keep painting scenes of his childhood village in near-photographic detail, over and over, as if he must map the entire picture of the village as he saw it then - most of the pictures have no people in them, and Sacks describes them as having an eerie, deserted quality. What struck me about that was that my own memories of the places I lived and visited as a child often include no other people - in part because I did spend a lot of time on my own, but partly because it's the sense of place that I remember...

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Public Library, 64 E. Broadway in Derry, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, February 03, 2007

Released 11 yrs ago (2/3/2007 UTC) at Public Library, 64 E. Broadway in Derry, New Hampshire USA



I plan to leave this on the book-swap shelf in the Derry Public Library at around 2 pm.

To the finder: please take a moment to make a brief journal entry on this book to let me know that it's in safe hands. Then do as you please with it: read it, keep it, give it away or even join the fun by wild releasing it again. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the book!

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