Hallucinations – Oliver Sacks
Source – New Books Magazine
My Rating - 5 stars
Oliver Sacks has a knack of making seemingly complex issues accessible to the masses. An expert neurologist, one of his early works, Awakenings was adapted for the big screen as a blockbuster film starring Robin Williams and Robert de Niro. In his latest book, Hallucinations, he tackles a vast subject area but his engaging writing style, liberally peppered with anecdotes from patients and correspondents, makes a really satisfying read, equally entertaining and informative.
The book covers a wide range of hallucinatory experiences from intense visual images experienced by blind and partially sighted people to visions induced by meditation and even “seeing” a loved one after they passed over. Sacks dispels a lot of the stigma and myths which surround hallucinations – no, they are not a sign of madness, yes, they are more common than we might think. He even gives an honest recount of his own experiments with drugs detailing their adverse effect on the brain.
This isn’t a light read but it rewards attentive reading and will clarify a lot of experiences which we might otherwise categorise as paranormal or supernatural. An excellent group read which will provoke plenty of weird and wonderful anecdotes!
My thanks to New Books Magazine for giving me this book to review.