Awakenings

  • by Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by Oliver Sacks, Jonathan Davis
  • 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
PLEASE NOTE: Some changes have been made to the original manuscript with the permission of Oliver Sacks.

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What the Critics Say

"One of the most beautifully composed and moving works of our time." (The Washington Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not at all too technical

in response to a negative review that this book didn't work in audio
i cannot agree
the terminology shouldn't cause a problem to most people considering this type of book.
There is repetition due to this being a study of many cases of the same disorder but that just allows one to gain a deeper understanding
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- Austin

Too medically technical for an audio book

The world wide epidemic after the First World War of encephalitis lethargica, commonly known as sleepy sickness, was a fascinating puzzle for those interested in neurology and brain chemistry and a terrible experience for the sufferers and their families. Many patients died relatively quickly but some patients were in a semi-unconscious state for decades. This book charts the life histories of a series of patients treated by the author starting in the early sixties some of whom were initially miraculously transformed by L-Dopa administration. The initial promise that this neurotransmitter precursor could reverse the complete shut-down of some patients was short-lived as many developed severe side effects.

I haven't given this book a high rating as I don't think it works as an audio book. The author peppers the book with medical terms that most non-medics will find perplexing. I have a brain research background but found that after the first few descriptions of patient histories the narrative became repetitive and I felt I was listening to a continuous series of case conferences.

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- Kirstine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-10-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios