Recommended by Will Self, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #10 in Neurology, Ranked #33 in Medicinesee more rankings.

Awakenings--which inspired the major motion picture--is the remarkable story of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen for decades in a trance-like state, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Oliver Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, "awakening" effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of his patients, their lives, and the extraordinary transformations which went with their reintroduction to a changed world. less

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Will Self I must have first read this book in the early eighties, and found it – like a lot of Sacks’s writing – absolutely fascinating. Not just because of the philosophical and scientific perspectives that he is involved in, but because of his involuntary self-characterisation. I used some of Sacks’s modes and mannerisms quite shamelessly as one of the sources for my character Zack Busner, who is a repeat presence in my fictions. So in a way the seeds of Umbrella were planted here, many years ago. (Source)

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