Sacks owes his popularity to his ability of telling cases of patients with spirit and kindness, crafting little stories out of each. What is important in every depiction is not much the details, as the overall truth and the perspective adopted.
He Sacks has compiled a massive book (this is the updated and expanded version) about case stories of people affected by neural disturbs that prevent them from a normal musical experience. This is admittedly one of his passion, and in principle an interesting topic for a book a la Sacks. But once you start reading, boredom comes quickly, the text does not flow, and such abundance of cases is just redundant, and there is little of the aforementioned qualities of Sacks' narration in action. So it overall ends up by annoying, when not speaking of trivial things (like people who ear music in their heads that they never heard: come on, every composer does it, it's just automatic when you start composing music, and I don't think composers are more sick than normal people!).
Overall, quite boring and disappointing.
Fascinating stories and insights into the human mind, music and creativity but scrappily assembled and with so many references to cases from Sacks' earlier works that the reader starts to doubt how much of this new book is really new.
This is a book about the music and its relationship with our brains: why sometimes a melody plays again an again into our minds till drive us near crazy? How does musical inspiration happens? It has some quite interesting stories about people that became more music aware and even music talented after having some kind of neurological accident. It talks about a 90 year-old lady that suddenly started to hear the radio music she was exposed to when she was 6 years old. It tells a lot of interesting stories of funny tricks that the brain plays to these people....Continua
Sacks' superb writing sheds light and doubts about what music means to mankind.