Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

On the Move: A Life

Posted by nliakos on August 29, 2015

by Oliver Sacks (Knopf 2015, ISBN 978-0-385-35255. I read the electronic version)

Starting in the 1970s, I think I have read pretty much everything Oliver Sacks ever wrote, from Awakenings to Hallucinations (exception: I didn’t finish Migraine, which seemed to be written more for medical professionals than for lay readers, and I got bogged down in technical jargon; also, I may have missed the Mind’s Eye–must get it!). There was no way I would not read this, ostensibly Sacks’ final book.

All those years spent reading all those books, and I never knew very much about the man himself–in spite of reading the personal narratives A Leg to Stand On and Uncle Tungsten, so this book filled in a lot of gaps for me. I was totally surprised to learn that Sacks was a body-builder and a motorcyclist and that he took a lot of illegal drugs in the sixties. I didn’t know that he is gay, either; in fact, I never thought about his sexuality at all. In On the Move, he is totally open about all these aspects of his life and more.

He also describes the writing of all those books that I loved, and I found those accounts fascinating, although someone who has not read them would undoubtedly find them less so.

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