On the Move

A Life

4.03 based on 8923 ratings & 1028 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 01.05.2015
ISBN: 9781447265450
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: 'Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far'. It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, as well as with a group of patients who would define his life, it becomes clear that Sacks's earnest desire for engagement has occasioned unexpected encounters and travels - sending him through bars and alleys, over oceans, and across continents.

With unbridled honesty and humour, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions - bodybuilding, weightlifting, and swimming - also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual, his guilt over leaving his family to come to America, his bond with his schizophrenic brother, and the writers and scientists - Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick - who influenced him.

On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer - and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.

In the media

In this genial and often humorously narrated life, [Sacks] is very much alive and full of passionate energy, as well as of and wry self-awareness . . . He is an astute observer of the life around him. Judging from early motorcycle diaries and writings included here, he could have had an alternative career on the road with Hunter S Thompson
Guardian
No matter what he writes about - whether struggling to understand what his patients are going through, or describing his love of swimming or photography - Sacks always seems open to learning more. He appears keenly interested in everything and everyone he encounters. He's a wonderful storyteller, a gift he says he inherited from his parents, both of whom were doctors. But as he proves again in his latest . . . book, it's his keen attentiveness as a listener and observer, and his insatiable curiosity, that makes his work so powerful
San Francisco Chronicle
On the Move is as much a dense journal of Sacks's own astonishing, incident-rich life as a meaty handbook on how to live
Globe and Mail