cover image On the Move: A Life

On the Move: A Life

Oliver Sacks, read by Dan Woren. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-80419229-3

Sacks, an esteemed neurologist and the author of such bestsellers as Awakenings (1973) and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1983), offers a candid memoir chronicling his colorful personal and professional journey, made all the more poignant given his recent diagnosis of terminal cancer. Actor and voice-over artist Woren delivers a generally pleasant and competent reading of the audio edition of the momentous title. Yet somehow his delivery does not match the emotional power found in Sacks’s narrative. It doesn’t help matters that—even though Sacks is a native of the United Kingdom—Woren chooses not to add any traces of a British accent in his performance of the first-person elements of the book, though he does provide a mix of accents for various supporting figures sprinkled into the real-life events. Given such intense subject matter as wild experimentation with LSD and similar hallucinogens in the 1960s, extreme sports and California body-building culture, mingling with the literary and pop-culture elite of the past half century, and of course numerous groundbreaking medical discoveries, Woren’s mild approach just doesn’t fit the occasion. A Knopf hardcover. (Apr.)