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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  95,588 Ratings  ·  3,600 Reviews
THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT brings together twenty-four of Oliver Sacks's most fascinating and beloved case studies. The patients in these pages are confronted with almost inconceivably strange neurological disorders; in Sacks' telling, their stories are a profound testament to the adaptability of the human brain and the resilience of the human spirit.
ebook, 256 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Odyssey Editions (first published 1985)
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Wynne Lee Best way to find out "how he did it" is to read Sacks' last book, his autobiography "On the Move", which was published (April 2015) a few months…moreBest way to find out "how he did it" is to read Sacks' last book, his autobiography "On the Move", which was published (April 2015) a few months before his death in August 2015. His own story is every bit as amazing as those of his many patients & other phenomena (e.g. cycads) in the world he loved so much. Bet you'll be surprised by his unique, gutsy, sometimes very challenging life that was full of gusto, anguish, false starts, triumphs, hardships & many keen friendships. A great man IMO. (less)
Ashleigh Parlevliet This book is very good. I've only read a couple of the stories, but they are readable for young people too. Although science has advanced, this is…moreThis book is very good. I've only read a couple of the stories, but they are readable for young people too. Although science has advanced, this is still good reading to get a better understanding of the history of Psychology.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 09, 2008 Dru rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Dr. Sacks,
On page 112 of the paperback edition of your book, the second paragraph begins with the following sentence:
"And with this, no feeling that he has lost feeling (for the feeling he has lost), no feeling that he has lost the depth, that unfathomable, mysterious, myriad-levelled depth which somehow defines identity or reality."
I've read this sentence at least twelve times, and I still don't even have the slightest inkling of what the hell it means. What is the subject? What is the ve
Huda Yahya
Jun 20, 2016 Huda Yahya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كيف يمكن لإنسانٍ أن يخسر هويته ولا يدري خسارته
كيف يتحول معنى الهوية بروحه إلى لا معنى،،إلى لاشئ؟

في هذا الكتاب تتعلم من جديد إحترام الإنسانية
فجنون أدب العبث ولامنطقيته يتجسد هنا في نماذج حقيقة لبشرٍ يفتشون عن بقاياهم المتناثرة في الكون العابث بهم والمنتظر لردود أفعالهم التي تأتي مذهلة وغير متوقعة

هنا نتعلم معانٍ جديدة لكلمتي
مأســـاة و نضـــال

هنا يتجلى الوجع الإنساني وغرائبه وضياعه الفلسفي المتجسد في أمراضٍ عصبية عجيبة ومثيرة للدهشة

كلنا هذا الكائن المسكين الضائع في الكون الضخم والباحث عن هويته
Sep 15, 2008 Sheffy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Despite so many people recommending this book, my high expectations were disappointed. Yes, it's perversely interesting to hear about neurological conundrums that afflict people in peculiar ways, but Sacks isn't a particularly good writer, nor does he have a good grasp on his audience. At times he obliquely refers to medical syndromes or footnotes other neurologists, as if he is writing for a technical physician audience, but on the whole his stories are too simplistic to engage such an audience ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
May 04, 2010 Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: truthiness
This is not only an informative work on neurological disorders, but a humbling meditation on the beauty of imperfection. Through entering the worlds of a number of "limited" individuals, Sacks reveals the brain's (and therefore the individual's) remarkable ability to overcompensate for cognitive deficiencies. As a result of these heightened states of perception, the often frightening and infinitely compelling worlds of each individual are manifested in the means with which they organize and enga ...more
Apr 16, 2007 Mona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first heard about this book when my biology professor mentioned it in class in reference to right-brain and left-brain disorders. Just last year, I had the good fortune to see the author himself - Dr. Sacks - speak at the university in my hometown. He was a dynamic and entertaining speaker and from then on, I resolved to try out his books. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat matched its author. The book is a collection of case studies on Dr. Sacks's patients with neurological disorders. Sac ...more
Jul 01, 2016 PattyMacDotComma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody with the slightest interest in the mind
This is such a classic that I can’t possibly “review” it, so I’ll just share some stories. Oliver Sacks was the much-loved, highly regarded neurologist who opened up the world of the mind and brain not only to doctors but also to the public.

The well-known movie, Awakenings, where he was played by Robin Williams, was based on his successful treatment of catatonic patients (including Leonard, played by Robert De Niro), “frozen” for decades after being afflicted with encephalitis. Sacks’s percep
Jul 16, 2012 L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
وعندما همَّ السيد "بي" بالمغادرة ، ودَّع الطبيب و مدَّ يده ليتناول قبعته وأمسك بدلاً منها برأس زوجته ........ ومن هنا جاءت تسمية الكتاب (الرجل الذي حسب زوجته قبعة) ، ولمعرفة السبب والتفاصيل أدعوكم لقراءة الكتاب

الكتاب يتناول مجموعة من الاضطرابات العصبية الغريبة و النادرة، مشروحة بطريقة مبسطة سهلت الفهم ... ولأنني أملك خلفية/اهتمامات طبية لم أجد الكتاب معقداً وكان أشبه بالمراجعة، وأعتقد أن الكتاب في متناول الجميع بكافة المستويات

الكتاب مُقسَّم لأربعة أقسام، كل قسم يتناول مجموعة من الحالات المرضية م
May 12, 2008 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I am a fan of Oliver Sacks and his various speaking engagements (lectures, public radio interviews, etc)...but I have to say I was fairly nonplussed with it.

While the case studies in and of themselves make for interesting reading, the tone of the writing is fairly "clinical" and...removed. Despite the review blurbs stating that these are "personal" and "touchingly human" looks at neurological disorders, I saw only a few glimpses of this warmth (an example that sprin
Feb 17, 2016 سلطان rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من أجمل ما قرأت في هذه السنة.
لقد غيّر هذا الكتاب الكثير من المفاهيم الخاصة بالذاكرة عندي. كما تغيّرت عندي مفاهيم أخرى تتعلق بحالات الجنون والاكتئاب والحالات النفسية.
هذا الكتاب ليس كتاباً طبياً، أو نفسياً، أو تجارياً. بل هو كتاب إنساني بالمقام الأول.
هل تعرف قيمة ذاكرتك أيها الإنسان؟ هل تعرف قيمة حياتك بلا ذاكرة؟ بنصف ذاكرة؟ بربع ذاكرة؟ بذاكرة قديمة؟
هل تعرف لماذا يتصرف بعض الأشخاص أحياناً بصورة تجعلنا نظن بأنهم مجانين؟
وأخيراً.. هل تعرف كم فاتك إن لم تكن قرأت هذا الكتاب بعد؟
Laala Alghata
Aug 17, 2010 Laala Alghata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't easy to review, because it's not a novel, or short story collection; it's not poetry, or essays. It's straight up non-fiction in the form of case studies and clinical analysis of different bizarre neurological cases that Oliver Sacks came across. There's everything from the titular character -- a man who really did mistake his wife for his hat -- to people with Tourette's, both severe and manageable; from excesses to people with IQs of 60 but who possess amazing talents.

There is
Oct 25, 2007 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the course of his long career as a neurologist, Sacks has had plenty of interesting cases. It makes you appreciate what a complex organ the brain is when you see all the different ways that impairments can manifest themselves. Sacks is at his best when he's describing the most unusual quirks. The first chapter -- the case that gives the book its title -- is a good lead-in to the weird behaviors that follow.

At the time the book was written, these disorders must have seemed even more unusual.
aljouharah altheeyb
Apr 21, 2012 aljouharah altheeyb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
هذا الكتاب المُذهل الرائع يقدم لك فرضية مُخيفة ومرعبة بمضمونها، لكنها - وللأسف - تحدث كثيراً ..
المرعب في الأمر أنه لا أحد يعلم بحدوثها حتى تحصل إنتكاسة أو ميلان غير طبيعي في التصرفات.

تخيل معي لبرهة شكل الدماغ الإنساني، هو يتكون من فصين ( أيمن وأيسر )، من المعروف أن الفص الأيسر يتحكم بالعمليات التخطيطية والتفكير الإستراتيجي والعمل ..
لكن الفص الأيمن، المتكفل بالخيال والربط “ العقلاني” ..
ماذا سيحدث إن فشل جزء من، أو قُطع عمل عدة خلايا من أحد هذين الفصين ؟!
في الفص الأيسر سيُلاحظ الخلل على الفور
Odai Alsaeed
Mar 16, 2016 Odai Alsaeed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هذا الكتاب مؤثر وذا قيمةعالية في محتواه فذكريات الماضي المؤلمة المتراكمة أو هوس االخوف من مجهول المستقبل يرهق أعصابنا ويؤثر في أدمغتنا لحد التلف , في الكتاب قصص مؤثرة للدكتور الكاتب يستفاد بها دروساً لمجمل حياتنا ... أنصح به
Jan 09, 2008 Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Very interesting neurological case studies that begged me to reconsider intelligence and "normalcy" particularly in terms of visual perception and its relationship to reality. Also fascinating was the profound structure that the arts (he specifically mentions music, dance, story-telling and drawing) provide for those with the inability to form or develop conceptual frameworks. Indeed, it seems that the fine arts aren't just high-concepts of beauty and art, but healing mechanisms crucial to many ...more
May 11, 2016 Sinem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yine bir Sacks şaheseri. fizyoloji ve psikoloji arasındaki bağı ortaya koyarken hem bu kader sade hem de bu kadar teknik olmayı nasıl başarıyor hayranım doğrusu.
Bir gerilim filminden bile daha etkileyici hikayeleri sıralarken güzel de bir çerçeve çiziyor; önce kayıplardan sonra aşırılıklardan bahsedip en sonunda basit olmanın değeri ve güzelliğini vurguluyor. Müzik matematik ve doğa...
işte tüm ihtiyacımız, tüm müştereğimiz bu :))
ياسمين ثابت

حقا الذي وصف هذا الكتاب بانه الف ليلة وليله في الامراض وفي الحياة صدق

هذا الكتاب دون شك من اعجب واغرب واجمل ما قرأت

ليس فقط لان كل فصل كان يتناول مرض عصبي او ادراكي من اغرب مايكون
ولكن لان الطبيب او الكاتب ساكس كان بيتكلم عن كل شخصية بانسانية جدا بيوصف ادق حاجة في كل مريض تحس انه ماكنش بيشوفهم كطبيب كان بيشوفهم كانسان وبيحاول يعالجهم لهذا السبب مش لانها مهنته

الكتاب ده حيخليك مع كل حرف حتقول سبحان الله ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله

حيخليك تحمد ربنا على ابسط فكرة عقلك بيشتغل عشان يكونها...حيخليك تفهم ان
Muhammed Hebala
Jan 17, 2014 Muhammed Hebala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
[English / Arabic review]
الريفيو العربي بعد الريفيو الإنجليزي

" Is there any 'place' in the world for a man who is like an island, who cannot be accultured, made part of the main? Can 'the main' accommodate, make room for, the singular? "

That was the main inquiry of this insightful, compassionate, moving and Remarkable book.. the lucidity and power of a gifted writer.

A wonderful book … full of wonder, wonders and wondering. Sacks brings to these often unhappy people understanding, sympathy, and
Islam Salem
Jul 12, 2016 Islam Salem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
الرجل الذي حسب زوجته قبعة ... أسم غريب لكتاب عجيب بيتكلم عن الحالات النادرة و الغريبة اللي دكتور أوليڤر ساكس قابلها من خلال عمله في مجال طب الأعصاب.
كتاب مسلي جداً و بيكشفلك قد إيه مخ الإنسان ممكن يشطح و يعمل حاجات غريبة بعد إصابته في حادثة أو إصابته بأي إلتهاب ، مشكلة الكتاب إنه صعب شوية للي ماعندهوش خلفية طبية و ده نتيجة وجود مصطلحات طبية كتير بيستخدمها الكاتب ده غير إن الترجمة مفيهاش روح أدبية و غلسة شوية.
Jan 16, 2015 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La prima bella sorpresa del mio anno libresco. Comprato più che altro perchè il titolo mi attirava, si è rivelato decisamente bizzarro e interessante. Soprattutto, mi ha offerto molti spunti di riflessione.

Ammetto la mia ignoranza e di non aver mai sentito parlare di Sacks, prima di vederlo qui su goodreads. E quando goodreads ti fa incontrare autori come questo non puoi non essere contento.
Non so quanto sia possibile descrivere questo libro. È bizzarro, particolare, tecnico e divertente, profon
A very well-written discussion of fascinating and, in some instances, very rare neurological syndromes. Recommended for those who are interested in the varied and often devastating effects of brain pathology on the human experience and quality of life. Dr. Sacks’ abiding concern for the welfare of his patients, and the long-term emotional trauma that many of them suffer, comes through very clearly in his prose. The depth of his insights into the patients’ mental states is also quite remarkable. ...more
This book is a collection of fascinating neurological tales. Tales told in Oliver Sacks’ wonderful, poetic, and deeply sympathetic writing. Through them, you will enter the different worlds of the neurologically impaired, you will be able to imagine what it feels like to live and feel, as some of them do.

Not only is The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat engrossing, it’s enlightening and challenging, as well. It demonstrates beautifully how the brain is still deeply mysterious, particularly in h
محمود النوري
Sep 15, 2016 محمود النوري rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf

ذهب رجل الى طبيبه يشكو من هفوات في الذاكرة، وطرح عليه طبيبه بضعة اسئلة روتينية ومن ثم قال: (هذه الهفوات، ماذا عنها) وأجاب المريض: (أية هفوات؟).

لم أشعر للحظة أني أقرأ كتاباً، حسبت طوال الوقت أني أشاهد "ناشيونال جيوغرافيك".

أوليفر ساكس هو طبيب بريطاني متخصص في قسم الأعصاب، يجعلنا نخوض معه في حالات بعض المرضى المثيرة حالتهم للاهتمام.

اختلفت الحالات في الأعراض والتشخيص،
ولكن اشتركوا في أمراض عصبية،

حالات عجز أو فرط عصبي منهم المريض بمتلازمة كورساكوف ومتلازمة توريت،
ومن لا يستطيع الرؤية جيداً،
ومن لم ت
Jul 12, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm.. what to say, what to say...
I did enjoy reading Sacks' observations and perceptions of his patients ('clients') with their various - and quite bizarre - ailments and conditions, but only on the level of intellectual curiosity.
On another (visceral?) level my reactions were much more complex and I'm not entirely sure I can communicate effectively how reading this book made me feel.
Trying to analyse these feelings, I had an enormous empathy for the souls concerned and was greatly moved by the
[Name Redacted]
A gorgeously-written and accessible introduction to the world which straddles the line between neurology and psychology. Sacks is a literate, artistically-minded man (who had a fondness for drugs himself, though he doesn't explicitly discuss that in this book) and helped revolutionize the psychological case study by focusing on his patients' abilities and adaptations rather than their disabilities and stagnations. It's an artefact of its time, so some of the information is no longer current and ...more
Dania Shrbaji
اول مرة اقرأ هذا النوع من الكتب، كانت تجربة جميلة ومفيدة.
يتحدث الكتاب عن الامراض العصبية الفريدة بأسلوب قصصي مركّزا على الناحية الشخصية للمريض فهو لايتناول المرض بشكل مستقل عن المريض كما تعودنا سابقا.
كما يلجأ لعلاج كل منهم بما يتوافق مع شخصيته واحتياجاته في الحياة، ويسعى لتعزيز الجوانب السليمة عند المريض فيفسح المجال لظهور ابداعات في الموسيقا او المسرح او الرسم او الحساب وهذا ماظهر جليا في الصفحات الاخيرة حين تحدث عن النوابغ البله.

اكثر مازعجني في الكتاب هو كثرة التفاصيل والاسلوب الجامد قليلا
Apr 25, 2016 Khaled rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مثير.. والمراجعة بعد المراجعة.. (:


لم يزل هذا الكتاب في ذهني رغم مرور شهر تقريباً منذ قرأته ، ورغم قراءة أكثر من كتاب بعده.. وإليكم المراجعة التي هي أقرب للتلخيص..

قسم الكاتب كتابه لأربعة أقسام رئيسية، القسم الأول: الفقد ( العجز) ويتناول حالات فقد قدرات وعجزت عن أخرى..
وفيه تسعة قصص لحالات طبية، القصة الأولى والتي عَنْوَن بها كتابه:
1. الرجل الذي حسب زوجته قبعه؛ حيث كان ضائعاً بصرياً في عالم من المجرّدات الفاقدة للحياة، لم يكن لديه عالم بصري حقيقي كما لم يكن لديه عالم بصري ذاتي..
Jul 19, 2015 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is what it says it is: the clinical tales of a neurologist. And well-written tales they are. Sacks divides this book into four sections: Losses, Excesses, Transports, and The World of the Simple.

The sections follow their descriptors. In Losses, Sacks describes some patients who present with somewhat bizarre neurological deficits. In Excesses, his "clients" suffer from other neurological disorders that appear to be a superabundance of function.

The third section, Transports, is the mos
Jan 19, 2016 Aya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مجال جديد تماما لم اقرأ فيه من قبل
مع أني كنت أعرف أنه يحوي قصصا لمرضى عصبيين
إلا أني لم أتوقع أن أجد هذا الكم من الدهشة والغرابة فيها , لقد غير هذا الكتاب فهمي لكلمة مرض نفسي او عصبي تماما
فيه وجدت تلك المواد الدوائية التي اقرأ عنها في محاضراتي تتحول إلى أدوات مذهلة ممكن أن تعيد للإنسان ذكرياته العميقة المدفونة أو تغيره كشخص تماما
لأول مرة فهمت المرض العصبي من وجهة نظر المرضى بفضل أسلوب الكاتب الإنساني المرهف .
وحمدت ربي ألف مرة على نعمة العافية من أمراض واضطرابات أعرفها أو تعرفت عليها هنا ^^

I picked this up at a railway station, shortly after it was published, not quite knowing what to expect.

All these years later, I remember it well. It was my first introduction to all sorts of conditions that are now more widely known to the general public, and left me amazed at the power and quirks of the human brain.

Funny, tragic, but never sentimental, Sacks writes with engaging charm.

That said, one can't help feeling a twinge of guilt, perhaps like a spectator at a Victorian freak show, even
Jun 07, 2008 Collin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dry. Reading this book is like eating saltine crackers without anything to drink. He only briefly discusses the cases (these are, ahem, the interesting parts of the book) and then embarks on tedious philosophical discussions about neurology. He does seem very proud of himself and his education, though; I will give him that as a backhanded compliment.
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Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE, was a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Sacks was the youngest of four children born to a prosperous North London Jewish couple: Sam, a physician, and Elsie, a surgeon. When he wa
More about Oliver Sacks...

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“If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self—himself—he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it.” 199 likes
“If we wish to know about a man, we ask 'what is his story--his real, inmost story?'--for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us--through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives--we are each of us unique.” 119 likes
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