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Uncle Tungsten

Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

3.96 based on 3458 ratings & 334 reviews on Goodreads.com

Synopsis

‘If you did not think that gallium and iridium could move you, this superb book will change your mind’ The Times

In Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sacks evokes, with warmth and wit, his upbringing in wartime England. He tells of the large science-steeped family who fostered his early fascination with chemistry. There follow his years at boarding school where, though unhappy, he developed the intellectual curiosity that would shape his later life. And we hear of his return to London, an emotionally bereft ten-year-old who found solace in his passion for learning. Uncle Tungsten radiates all the delight and wonder of a boy’s adventures, and is an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary young mind.

In the media

This book is both a heartwarming account of a delightful, eccentric family life and an inspiring record of a remarkable intellectual odyssey.
Mail on Sunday
The amalgamation of personal recollection and scientific history makes a luminous, inspiring book.
Sunday Telegraph
Uncle Tungsten is really about the raw joy of scientific understanding; what it is like to be a precocious child discovering the alchemical secrets of reality for the first time: the sheer thrill of finding intelligible patterns in nature.
Guardian