notgettingenough 's Reviews > The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
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Sep 25, 09

bookshelves: science-sort-of
Read in January, 1994

When I was little my father tried to make sure that we experienced as much as possible of people and things. Most mysteriously we had Chinese people to tea - in the mid 1960s that was really quite unusual. I especially recall being taken to a place where autistic children lived...though when I asked my father about this earlier today he couldn't confirm for me that this was so.

This was the first Sacks I read and it really brought home to me how lucky we'd been to have parents who instilled in us the virtue of seeing life as Sacks sees it. He celebrates the idea that something which so easily could be seen as a negative, a deficiency, in fact turns out to be the thing that gives somebody a special way of being in the world.

If only everybody believed that. Instead in one of the stories in this book, siblings who communicate in prime numbers are separated from each other in an attempt to force them to relate to the world in a conventional way. It's just too appalling for words.
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