When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: 'Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far'. It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, as well as with a group of patients who would define his life, it becomes clear that Sacks's earnest desire for engagement has occasioned unexpected encounters and travels - sending him through bars and alleys, over oceans, and across continents.
PRAISE FOR OLIVER SACKS
"Sacks's empathy and intellectual curiosity, his delight in, as he calls it, "joining particulars with generalities" and, especially, "narratives with neuroscience" - have never been more evident than in his beautifully conceived new book. . .remarkably candid and deeply affecting" Boston Globe
"Honest, lucid, passionate, humorous, humane and human (also slightly Martian). . .[a] marvelous memoir, which is as unconventional and singular as the man himself" Wall Street Journal
"[Sacks'] delving accounts of the invalids he treats have until now stood in stark contrast to his restraint about revealing himself deeply, even though autobiographical threads run through such books as A Leg to Stand On, Uncle Tungsten and Hallucinations. A doctor - concerned, engaging, humane, eccentric and unforthcoming - has occupied the foreground in his self-description. With On the Move, he has finally presented himself as he has presented others: as both fully vulnerable and an object of curiosity." New York Times
Sacks, an esteemed neurologist and the author of such bestsellers as Awakenings (1973) and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1983), offers a candid memoir chronicling his colorful personal and professional journey, made all the more poignant given his recent diagnosis of terminal cancer. Actor and voice-over artist Woren delivers a generally pleasant and competent reading of the audio edition of the momentous title. Yet somehow his delivery does not match the emotional power found in Sacks's narrative. It doesn't help matters that even though Sacks is a native of the United Kingdom Woren chooses not to add any traces of a British accent in his performance of the first-person elements of the book, though he does provide a mix of accents for various supporting figures sprinkled into the real-life events. Given such intense subject matter as wild experimentation with LSD and similar hallucinogens in the 1960s, extreme sports and California body-building culture, mingling with the literary and pop-culture elite of the past half century, and of course numerous groundbreaking medical discoveries, Woren's mild approach just doesn't fit the occasion. A Knopf hardcover.
I've loved Oliver sacks since I first found out about him some 4 years ago. Such a thoughtful and captivating writer and this book is no exception. I can just feel him coming out of the pages. I was incredibly saddened by his passing, but this book really conveys a life very well lived ❤️❤️❤️