Beschreibung des Verlags
“Illuminate[s] the complexities of the human brain and the mysteries of the human mind.” —The New York Times
To many people, hallucinations imply madness, but in fact they are a common part of the human experience. These sensory distortions range from the shimmering zigzags of a visual migraine to powerful visions brought on by fever, injuries, drugs, sensory deprivation, exhaustion, or even grief. Hallucinations doubtless lie behind many mythological traditions, literary inventions, and religious epiphanies.
Drawing on his own experiences, a wealth of clinical cases from among his patients, and famous historical examples ranging from Dostoevsky to Lewis Carroll, the legendary neurologist Oliver Sacks investigates the mystery of these sensory deceptions: what they say about the working of our brains, how they have influenced our folklore and culture, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all.
We think of seeing or hearing, smelling, touching or inchoately sensing things that aren't there as a classic sign of madness, but it's really a human commonplace, according to Sacks's latest fascinating exploration of neuropsychiatric weirdness. Acclaimed neurologist Sacks (The Mind's Eye) investigates a wide range of hallucinations, from the geometric zigzags of some migraines and the painful cramps of phantom limbs to florid multicharacter melodramas, grotesque phantasms, and mystic trances induced by brain disorders and drugs. He also studies how people live with their hallucinations; some recognize them as just diverting figments while for others they constitute an inescapable unreality as malevolent and terrifying as a horror movie. (Sacks amply recounts his own entertaining hallucinations, including a drug-induced encounter with a spider who talked to him about Bertrand Russell.) As always, Sacks approaches the topic as both a brain scientist and a humanist; he shows how hallucinations elucidate intricate neurological mechanisms often they are the brain's bizarre attempt to fill in for missing sensory input and examines their imprint on folklore and culture. (Dostoyevski's fiction, he theorizes, is marked by the ecstatic religious trances induced by his epilepsy.) Writing with his trademark mix of evocative description, probing curiosity, and warm empathy, Sacks once again draws back the curtain on the mind's improbable workings.
I found it interesting, and a little disturbing, how many different ways people can hallucinate without being mentally ill. The author is a little heavy on the jargon. I used the dictionary a lot while reading this book.
Entertaining, well-written and thought provoking
I can't praise this book enough. I really enjoyed it.
Book has multiple page editing and formatting issues
I was really looking forward to reading this book as I am a big fan of Oliver Sachs.
However, the digital formatting is horrible!! I'm missing chapter 1 in its entirety and multiple chapters are truncated followed by error messages on the pages. Capital letters do not align properly with the page and words float on top of one another. I am left wondering which half of the book I actually purchased and what half I am missing!
I would NOT recommend buying this book as a download until the EDITOR devotes a little time to formatting the book appropriately for digital download.
I am only giving this edition two thumbs down because of the Editor and Company's sloppiness. Oliver Sachs deserves better!