An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales Hardcover – Import 7 Feb 1995
Product Description From Booklist One of the most gratifying contemporary literary success stories is that of Sacks. He's a scribbling doctor (so to speak) but unlike most of his peers he resorts to neither fiction nor philosophy. He reports on his own specialty neurology--to be precise on the personal results of and responses to neurological conditions that in this book include color blindness severe temporal and frontal lobe brain damage Tourette's syndrome giving eyesight to a man blind since early childhood seizures of intense recollection and autism. Rather weighty stuff to make the best-seller list as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1986) did or to serve as the basis for a hit movie as Awakenings (1990) did. But Sacks writes as well as the great nineteenth-century physician-writer Thomas Henry Huxley (he even uses real substantive readable footnotes not just source notes) and like another John Watson (well okay Arthur Conan Doyle) he imparts to his reports the deductive fascination and often the suspense of detective stories (he even names them with detective titles: "The Case of the Colorblind Painter" for instance). More than either Huxley or Watson-Doyle he fills his writings with the same sympathy and admiration for his profoundly other-than-normal subjects and their struggles and accomplishments that we feel while reading about them. Knopf is giving Sacks' new book a 100000-copy first printing; since it's a better book than The Man Who Mistook (which included some cursory reprints from medical journals as well as fully developed cases; this book's all the latter) may it sell every copy. Ray Olson
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