The River of Consciousness
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The River of Consciousness

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Description

In his previous books, Oliver Sacks had addressed questions of the brain and mind through the lens of case histories of individuals with neurological disorders. Recently, however, he had been reflecting on his experiences with such patients in the context of a lifetime of medical practice, and in light of recent neuroscientific evidence and theories. The River of Consciousness will be a broader and more direct look at how the brain and mind work, as always, incorporating Sacks' rich historical and personal context.

Advances in neuroscience have revolutionized our ability to visualize the brain in action. For the first time we are able to close the gap between the philosophical questions which have consumed the world's thinkers since the eighteenth century and the true physiological basis of perception and consciousness. In The River of Consciousness, Sacks will examine questions of memory, time, and consciousness. How do we think, how do we remember? Do different individuals have different speeds or ways of thinking? Is memory reliable? How do the neural correlates of memory differ for true memories and false memories? How do we construct our sense of time, our visual world? What is consciousness, neurologically speaking? And most importantly, what is creativity?

Sacks completed the research for this book before he died, and with instructions on how it was to be put together. This is a remarkable culmination of a lifetime's research into the way the brain works.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 161 x 241 x 25mm | 472g
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main Market Ed
  • 1447263642
  • 9781447263647
  • 60,367

Review quote

Brilliant, beautiful, and funny . . . Sacks was one of the finest science writers - well read, scientifically exact and literary . . . This collection meets the standard of his previous work . . . Sacks's love of the natural world as well as the human one is contagious. The breadth of his interests encourages his readers to expand their own horizons . . . His curiosity and erudition, and his joy in both intellectual and physical life are in full bloom on these pages * Shelf Awareness * Fans of the late neurologist have another chance to enjoy this erudite, compassionate storyteller, essayist, and memoirist . . . This collection of 10 essays, some of which appeared previously in The New York Review of Books, was assembled by three colleagues from an outline provided by Sacks two weeks before his death in 2015 . . . A collection of dissimilar pieces that reveal the scope of the author's interests-sometimes challenging, always rewarding * Kirkus Reviews * A joy to read: a delicious supply of information and commentary organized by a gifted writer of a curious and humane intelligence * The Washington Times * Reveals Sacks as a gleeful polymath and an inveterate seeker of meaning in the mold of Darwin and his other scientific heroes Sigmund Freud and William James . . . As this volume reminds us, in losing Sacks we lost a gifted and generous storyteller * Wall Street Journal * True to its title, the book is dictated by a flood of mental energy, thus it is more than mere sentimentality to say that, more than two years after his death, Sacks's spirit still courses through us. Long may it flow * The Globe and Mail * A writer of eloquence, he was always ready to see his medical specialist in reaction to the world and humanity . . . His greatest reverence is for the human mind * The Tablet * Sacks continues in this latest collection to focus on questions over answers; the result is a work that leaves plenty of room for possibility beyond what might be immediately observed . . . Intellectually, Sacks is, at heart, a philosopher * New York Magazine * A fascinating book * Daily Telegraph * Compelling . . . Sacks invites readers into his mind where they can experience the world from his unusually insightful perspective * Science News Magazine * [Sacks's] accumulated wisdom of our experience of time and consciousness makes a marvellous discrete series of meditations - and a profoundly moving one, since several of these pieces were written with the knowledge that his experience of both mysteries was soon coming to an end -- Tim Adams * Observer * An incisive and generous inquiry into human nature * Elle * Millions of Sacks's books have been printed around the world, and he once spoke of receiving 200 letters a week from admirers. For those thousands of correspondents, The River of Consciousness will feel like a reprieve - we get to spend time again with Sacks the botanist, the historian of science, the marine biologist and, of course, the neurologist * Guardian * Reading a book published after its authors death, especially if he is as prodigiously alive on every page as Oliver Sacks, as curious, avid and thrillingly fluent, brings both the joy of hearing from him again, and the regret of knowing it will likely be the last time . . . [The] combination of wonder, passion and gratitude never seemed to flag in Sacks's life; everything he wrote was lit with it. But it was his openness to new ideas and experiences, and his vision of change as the most human of biological processes that synthesized all of his work -- Nicole Krauss * The New York Times Book Review *
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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.

For more information, please visit www.oliversacks.com.
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Rating details

2,153 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 25% (545)
4 45% (970)
3 26% (552)
2 4% (77)
1 0% (9)
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