The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, 1998 - Psychology - 256 pages
52 Reviews
In his most extraordinary book, “one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century” (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders.

Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine’s ultimate responsibility: “the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject.”

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Sacks is a skilled writer. - Goodreads
The writing is not good. - Goodreads
It's a great intro to neurology book to read. - Goodreads
I was somewhat disappointed by the writing as well. - Goodreads
His way of writing is definitely NOT reader friendly. - Goodreads
I also wasn't a huge fan of Sacks' writing style. - Goodreads
User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Oliver Sacks describes some of the most fascinating aspects of the human mind within the context of touching portrayals of patients he has worked with throughout his career in neuroscience. This book tells several stories which introduce the reader to the strange and unpredictable behavior of the brain. 

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

User Review  - Kris - Goodreads

This is the case of an author who mistook his research for poetry. Sack's goal is admirable, aiming to bridge the gap between the psychological maladies he treats as a man of medicine, and the tragic ... Read full review

All 9 reviews »


The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
The Lost Mariner
The Disembodied Lady

28 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Oliver Sacks was born in London and educated in London, Oxford, California, and New York. He is professor of clinical neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is the author of many books, including Awakenings and A Leg to Stand On.

Bibliographic information