Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

Oliver Sacks, Author . Knopf $25 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4081-0

Sacks is an unparalleled chronicler of modern medicine, and fans of his work will find much to enjoy when he turns his prodigious talent for observation to music and its relationship to the brain. The subtitle aptly frames the book as a series of medical case studies—some in-depth, some abruptly short. The tales themselves range from the relatively mundane (a song that gets stuck on a continuing loop in one's mind) through the uncommon (Tourette's or Parkinson's patients whose symptoms are calmed by particular kinds of music) to the outright startling (a man struck by lightning subsequently developed a newfound passion and talent for the concert piano). In this latest collection, Sacks introduces new and fascinating characters, while also touching on the role of music in some of his classic cases (the man who mistook his wife for a hat makes a brief appearance). Though at times the narrative meanders, drawing connections through juxtaposition while leaving broader theories to be inferred by the reader, the result is greater than the sum of its parts. This book leaves one a little more attuned to the remarkable complexity of human beings, and a bit more conscious of the role of music in our lives. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/27/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Show other formats
Ebook - 978-0-307-37349-6
Paperback - 425 pages - 978-0-330-41838-6
Hardcover - 381 pages - 978-0-330-41837-9
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-330-44436-1
Open Ebook - 266 pages - 978-0-307-26791-7
Paperback - 425 pages - 978-1-4000-3353-9
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-676-97979-4
Book - 978-1-4159-4266-6
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-4268-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-5739-2
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-676-97978-7
Paperback - 425 pages - 978-0-330-52359-2
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-330-47113-8
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.