the next good book

On The Move

By Oliver Sacks


384 pages

What’s it about? Oliver Sacks, a well known neurologist and writer, describes the ups and downs of his career and personal life in this memoir.  Sacks makes the case that ill patients are more than a collection of symptoms.  Patients have a history and a story that play into the specific illness they are fighting.  Woven into the stories of his medical career are nighttime motorcycle rides, weight lifting in L.A., and how drugs affected his viewpoint. What did I think? I found Dr. Sacks and his life very interesting.  He would be a fascinating person to have dinner with.  Dr. Sacks is not only interested in the science of his patient’s illness, but in the patient’s story as well. Should you read it? I enjoyed this book, but warn you it does skip around and cover quite a range of topics.  I found the man and the science interesting but at times the book tells more than I wanted to know, and at times it assumes I know  more than I do. Quote- “Individuality is deeply imbued in us from the very start, at the neuronal level. . . . We are destined, whether we wish it or not, to a life of particularity and self-development, to make our own individual paths through life.” Question- Is Sacks a physician who writes or a writer who practices medicine?

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