3.86 (13,482 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Have you ever seen something that wasn't really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?

Hallucinations don't belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one's own body. Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them.

In Hallucinations, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr Oliver Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture's folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 196 x 21mm | 230g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1447208269
  • 9781447208266
  • 5,497

Review quote

'Oliver Sacks is a neurologist, a man of humane eloquence, and a genuine communicator' Observer 'Sacks writes, basically, adventure stories, accounts of voyages into the unexplained territory of the brain. In doing so, he reveals a landscape far more complex and strange than anything we could infer from our daily interactions' Sunday Times 'Sacks is above all a clinician, and writes with compassion and clarity ... The result is a sort of humane discourse on the fragility of our minds, of the bodies that give rise to them, and of the world they create for us' Daily Telegraph 'In measured prose with a blessed lack of jargon, Sacks explores the ingenuity with which individuals cope with bizarre neurological conditions ... humane, empathic, he is the doctor you would want' Independent 'Oliver Sacks has become the world's best-known neurologist. His case studies of broken minds offer brilliant insight into the mysteries of consciousness' Guardian 'Sacks is at his most engaging when he brings the ostensibly strange into the realm of normality ... This is where Sacks triumphs. Not just in the clarity with which he teaches us about the obscure phenomology of the human brain, but in the light his writings casts on even our most ordinary experiences.' Daily Telegraph 'The king of pop-neurology reveals how almost all of us have hallucinations' GQ 'It's a feat to bring any specialty in medicine vividly to life, and to do so without relinquishing the sensitivity and empathy that characterise the best doctors is something that few achieve. Oliver Sacks has managed it throughout his career ... Affable, affectionate, respectful and smart, Sacks could be the David Attenborough of the human mind.' Independent on Sunday 'An enthralling, often guiltily comic insight into the pecularities the brain can conjure.' Irish Examiner 'Oliver Sacks is a graceful, lucid and elegant prose stylist. Though perhaps above all, he is the witty, warm, humble and deeply compassionate explorer of how our brains influence our world ... fascinating.' Lady 'Hallucinations is an absorbing study of an exotic subject ... Hallucinatory literature is either transgressive or presented as a search for enlightenment. This new volume sits elegantly between the two extremes and is more rewarding than either - a continuing investigation into what makes us human.' Literary Review 'The greatest living ethnographer of those fascinating tribes qho live on the outer and still largely unchartered shores of the land of Mind-and-Brain.' Observer 'A very human insight into what happens when our brains go awry.' Psychologies 'Sacks writes in the the great tradition of literary doctors. He is humane, relaxed and amused, and loved a good anecdote.' Spectator 'Startling and intriguing' Sunday Times 'No more enlightening science book has appeared this year ... Miss this at your peril.' Sunday Times Science Book of the Year 'A superb synthesis of the literature on these arresting, disturbing and sometimes terrifying phenomena, and a profound work of humanity.' TLS 'Fascinating' The Times 'Wide-ranging, compassionate and ultimately revelatory ... Hallucinations is the keystone of the amazing edifice that is this remarkable thinker's oeuvre.' Will Self, Guardian Sacks's trip through the world of hallucinations - and his own LSD experiences - explains some of the mesmerising ways our brains can deceive us -- Best Books of 2013 Sunday Times
show more

About Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks was born in 1933 in London and was educated at Queen's College, Oxford. He completed his medical training at San Francisco's Mount Zion Hospital and at UCLA before moving to New York, where he soon encountered the patients whom he would write about in his book Awakenings.

Dr Sacks spent almost fifty years working as a neurologist and wrote many books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia, and Hallucinations, about the strange neurological predicaments and conditions of his patients. The New York Times referred to him as 'the poet laureate of medicine', and over the years he received many awards, including honours from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Royal College of Physicians. In 2008, he was appointed Commander of the British Empire. His memoir, On the Move, was published shortly before his death in August 2015.
show more

Review Text

'Oliver Sacks is a neurologist, a man of humane eloquence, and a genuine communicator' Observer
show more

Rating details

13,482 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 28% (3,831)
4 38% (5,182)
3 26% (3,456)
2 6% (778)
1 2% (235)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X