“He feels he has been given “a whole new world”, which the rest of us, distracted by color, are insensitive to. He no longer thinks of color, pines for it, grieves its loss. He has almost come to see his achromatopsia as a strange gift, one that has ushered him into a new state of sensibility and being.”
Oliver Sacks grabs my attention and holds it. He moves me and he keeps me enthralled in worlds of special personality and behavioural traits, where ambiguity of “communication”, “perception”, “memory”, “intelligence” and “illness” prevails.
Through his writing, Oliver Sacks connects his own subjects to their surrounding contexts seamlessly and introduces me to a different angle of the ways of the brain.
And in An Anthropologist On Mars he does it again. This book is an extremely interesting account of seven odd, mind-bending neurological cases that Sacks, again, approaches with care, sensitivity and personal feel.
My only complaint, having also read his excellent Man (who mistook his wife for a hat), is that the Anthropologist felt a little dry by comparison. A little “let’s get the clinical stuff down first and I’ll add the emotion later on”. But that’s literally a little and only by comparison.
A fascinating introduction to the quirks of the human mind by a highly acclaimed scientist and wonderful author. Definitely recommended (but read the Man as well).