On the Move

On the Move

A Life

Book - 2015
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An impassioned, tender, and joyous memoir by the author of Musicophilia and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat .

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, where he struggled with drug addiction and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.

With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions--weight lifting and swimming--also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists--Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick--who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer--and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, ©2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345808967
Branch Call Number: 616.80092 SAC 2015
Characteristics: 397 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 22 cm

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swagonrabeettt
Mar 22, 2017

Quite good and an easy read, especially if you know who he is and have read his other work(s). The 4 stars instead of 5 is for the overly long passages about his own drug using/motorcycle riding/weight lifting/cross country travelling days. Ay carumba!

It was interesting to note that someone of his intellect and (later) fame did these things, but, enough already! More interesting to him than to anyone else I think.

Harriet_the_Spy Dec 06, 2016

If you think of Oliver Sacks as a kindly old doctor with a somewhat odd manner, this wild ride through his sexual awakening, drug experimentation, motorcycle road trips, and unorthodox work arrangements will shake that up. Written shortly before he died, this memoir is strange and beautiful, like the man himself.

e
Elliott50
Dec 01, 2016

Very good read. Fascinating life. Got a little (read way) over my head sometimes when he got into discussions on neurological issues but for the most part very readable

p
Polansky
Jun 03, 2016

I love Sacks' writing about his patients and his thinking. In this autobiography, he tells us more about himself. I was touched and surprised by what he wrote. I wished so much that I could have known him. He was very shy and a wonderful, warm person as well as a caring doctor and a brilliant thinker about what it is to be human.

t
TQ7777
May 20, 2016

a wonderful read.

d
djmurph54
May 16, 2016

More reportage than personal. Sacks avoids deep introspection. But a good read.

g
georgiag829
Mar 08, 2016

I truly loved reading this book! I borrowed it from the library but had to buy my own copy. Dr. Sacks is an interesting case... he comes across as matter of fact sometimes, conceited at others. However, his life was never dull and I marvel at the details he remembers from his youth. I feel as if the story ends abruptly but, I realize, it was because I could have gone on reading his story forever. Oh how I wish I could have known this man in person! He was, at times, impulsive and reckless yet he was intelligent and kind. Above all, he was lucky.
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Please read it.

ktnv Mar 04, 2016

Olive Sacks had a most unusual and interesting life. He has the gift of being able to tell a great story about his life with such insight and openness. I became intrigued about his life after reading 'The Mind's Eye' and then remembering the movie 'Awakenings'. After reading his work I've become more understanding about the differences in people and how it's possible for one to have difficulty with how some people are in the world. He talks about face blindness which I never knew existed until reading his work. I loved this book and look forward to reading 'Gratitude'.

r
rusty_13
Feb 26, 2016

Oliver Sacks, besides being a famous neuroscientist, was a great story teller. This book is full of good stories, both about Sacks's life and his work.

r
rlinda
Feb 17, 2016

Boring, self aggrandizing, needless trivia about his life.

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Harriet_the_Spy Dec 16, 2016

Harriet_the_Spy thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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m0mmyl00
Feb 19, 2017

Dr. Sacks led an active, fascinating life. He was especially curious about people with weird mental conditions, and studied them, and got to know them, as whole human beings. He himself had a no-holds-barred side, including 1) his passion for motorcycling at 100 mph for 5 hours on Route 66, after having put in a full week as neurologist at the hospital, 2) mind-altering drug experiences, and 3) writing virtually non-stop about his all-out investigation into his patients' lives and conditions. The last couple of chapters seemed just science, rather than Sacks's life, and wasn't as interesting. Overall, though, a worthwhile book.

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