Everything in Its Place
From the bestselling author of Gratitude and On the Move , a final volume of essays that showcases Sacks's broad range of interests--from his passions for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, renowned scientist and storyteller, is adored by readers for his neurological case histories, his fascination and familiarity with human behaviour at its most unexpected and unfamiliar. Everything in Its Place is a celebration of Sacks's myriad interests, all told with his characteristic compassion, erudition, and luminous prose. From the celebrated case history of Spalding Gray that appeared in The New Yorker four months before his death to reflections on mental asylums; from piercing accounts of Schizophrenia to a reminiscence of Robin Williams; from the riveting tale of a medical colleague falling victim to Alzheimer's to the cinematography of Michael Powell, this volume celebrates and reflects the wondrous curiosity of Oliver Sacks.

Everything in Its Place Details

TitleEverything in Its Place
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 23rd, 2019
PublisherKnopf Canada
ISBN-139780345811387
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Science, Writing, Essays, Autobiography, Memoir, Psychology

Everything in Its Place Review

  • Andy Zell
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this collection of short pieces by Oliver Sacks. I've known about Dr. Sacks ever since I saw Robin Williams portray a doctor modeled after him in the movie version of Awakenings. The movie was one of my favorites in my early high school days (curiously, our copy was in black and white when our VCR mysteriously taped it that way during an HBO free weekend, but I liked it that way). Years later I listened to Dr. Sacks on multiple occasions when he was a guest on the Radiolab podca I really enjoyed this collection of short pieces by Oliver Sacks. I've known about Dr. Sacks ever since I saw Robin Williams portray a doctor modeled after him in the movie version of Awakenings. The movie was one of my favorites in my early high school days (curiously, our copy was in black and white when our VCR mysteriously taped it that way during an HBO free weekend, but I liked it that way). Years later I listened to Dr. Sacks on multiple occasions when he was a guest on the Radiolab podcast (I highly recommend checking those out). I started reading some case studies in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, but I haven't finished the book (but I'm going to go back to it, and after reading this collection, I think I'll read most of his books).Everything in Its Place has three types of essays: memoir-ish personal stories, history of science stories, and case studies. All of them have their charms, and I learned a lot from each of them. The personal essays, at least some of them, felt like they might have been culled from his autobiography. He writes eloquently about going to libraries and museums as a child, or driving on a motorcycle across America while waiting for his green card. In the history of science pieces, I especially enjoyed the one that detailed the history of taking pictures of animals to study their gaits, which led to the zoetrope and early motion pictures. The case studies are the centerpiece of the book and may be what Dr. Sacks is most known for. He offers patients with Tourette's, dementia, and schizophrenia, among other ailments. Sacks is always compassionate and curious about the human condition.The only false note was an essay where Dr. Sacks complains about smartphones. Not that there aren't plenty of valid criticisms to make about our ubiquitous pocket screens, but Sacks does it without any nuance and comes across as an old man shaking his fist at the clouds. But I can forgive him for this one. The rest of the book is wonderful.I received a copy of Everything in Its Place from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC copy of this - thank you!!I adore Oliver Sacks and his writing - all manner of his writing - his write-ups of strange neurological cases, his memoirs, his broader science and biographical writing. I haven't read all of his works but probably at least half, including On The Move, The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, A Leg to Stand On, and An Anthropologist on Mars.When reading this collection, I realized that my very favorite pieces of his are his writeups of patients, especi I received an ARC copy of this - thank you!!I adore Oliver Sacks and his writing - all manner of his writing - his write-ups of strange neurological cases, his memoirs, his broader science and biographical writing. I haven't read all of his works but probably at least half, including On The Move, The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, A Leg to Stand On, and An Anthropologist on Mars.When reading this collection, I realized that my very favorite pieces of his are his writeups of patients, especially diagnostic mysteries. Nobody does it quite like him. I do wish there were more of those pieces in the book - but perhaps there just aren't many more left that hadn't been published. And I had read one or two that had been published, at least one of the in the New Yorker. A couple of the longer pieces at the beginning of the book could have used a stronger editing hand; it felt like there was quite a lot of fat that could have been trimmed. (But then, I find that to be the case in so many books these days...)
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  • Kathy R
    January 1, 1970
    Through a compilation of personal remembrances, case studies and essays “Everything in Its Place” helps you get to know the late gifted neurologist Oliver Sacks. He looks at complicated issues from a different perspective than the norm and by doing so makes them easier to understand. His essays relating his thoughts and experiences on a wide range of topics are very passionate and caring. Though his writings you can feel his wonder and respect for science, his patients and the world around him. Through a compilation of personal remembrances, case studies and essays “Everything in Its Place” helps you get to know the late gifted neurologist Oliver Sacks. He looks at complicated issues from a different perspective than the norm and by doing so makes them easier to understand. His essays relating his thoughts and experiences on a wide range of topics are very passionate and caring. Though his writings you can feel his wonder and respect for science, his patients and the world around him. His topics range from Dreams, Hiccups and Alzheimer’s to Libraries, Ferns and Herring! Truly a wonderful read! I received this book in a Knopf Books giveaway.
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