After reading Oliver Sacks’ unique investigations of the connections between music and neurology, Novalis’ marriage of music and disease begins to make perfect sense.
Sacks’ tireless curiosity and intrepid fascination with far-flung and even off-the-map illness provides a seemingly endless flow of material. Sacks, with great facility, translates what could be boring medical jargon into fiction-like prose that transforms case histories into compelling tales.
Best known for The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings (made into a film with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro), Sacks again roots out interesting and mysterious stories in his tenth book, Musicophilia.
Tying together sickness and music, Sacks recounts cases like a man struck by lightning who metamorphasizes into a piano prodigy, incidents of earworm (or catchy tunes stuck in your head) and a man who loses his memory for everything except music.
Like all of Sacks’ previous efforts, Musicophilia is fun, informative and full of surprises.
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain is currently available.