From the beloved late neurologist and author, a collection of essays that displays Sacks's passionate engagement with the most compelling and seminal ideas of human endeavor: evolution, creativity, memory, time, consciousness, and experience.
The River of Consciousness reveals Sacks as a gleeful polymath and an inveterate seeker of meaning in the mold of Darwin and his other scientific heroes Sigmund Freud and William James ... Storytelling, Sacks tells us in the essay The Creative Self, is one of our 'primary human activities.' As this volume reminds us, in losing Sacks we lost a gifted and generous storyteller.
... the reader is in thrall to Sacks’ ability to braid wide reading, research and experience with his neurology patients to reach original and subtle conclusions ... We are gently shepherded through Darwin’s obsession with the deeper meaning of plant lives (Darwin and Sacks, with their expansive abilities to look deeply into small matters and uncover, with evident delight, large truths, seem like brothers separated by a mere century) ... Sacks himself is the expression of just this mental agility, a mind at play in the world, capable of profound insights into the pain of his patients.
Sacks's love of the natural world as well as the human one is contagious. The breadth of his interests encourages his readers to expand their own horizons. 'I rejoice in the knowledge of my biological uniqueness and my biological antiquity and my biological kinship with all other forms of life. This knowledge roots me, allows me to feel at home in the natural world, to feel that I have my own sense of cultural meaning, whatever my role in the cultural, human world.' His curiosity and erudition, and his joy in both intellectual and physical life are in full bloom on these pages ... A brilliant, beautiful and funny collection of essays.