Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

Into the Wild

Hallucinations Read Online Free - Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?

Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body.

Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience.

Here, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition. 

Title : Hallucinations
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0307957241
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 326 pages


Petra X rated it ★★★★★

August 12, 2015

Hallucinations come in more varieties than you can possibly imagine - and Sacks details them all, exhaustively so, whether they are visual, tactile, audio or more rarely of smell and a combination of any of them. He details the causes whether it is an organic brain problem, temporary or permanent...

Pouting rated it ★★★★☆

September 07, 2017

Another Oliver Sacks book, my last for a while. I definitely enjoyed this much more than The Mind's Eye though. Probably because hallucinations are much more fascinating to think about. I think the book did a good job going over hallucinatory experiences and I definitely learned a lot that I didn...

Trevor rated it ★★★★★

January 13, 2013

I enjoyed this one, but I’m not going to review this book in any depth, really. It was all very interesting in its journey through both delusional and drug induced hallucinations – but what I found most interesting in this book, and the bit that I will remember in six months time, is the stuff ab...

Parker rated it ★★★☆☆

December 04, 2012

I think that my decision to pursue neuroscience, and eventually get my PhD, was partly inspired from reading Oliver Sacks's "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" just before starting college. The strange things that happen to people with brain dysfunction reveal more about the...

William1 rated it ★★★★☆

September 07, 2017

I have almost completed the entire Sacks's oeuvre, with just Oaxaca Journal and Seeing Voices to go. Oliver Sacks has been one of those life altering writers for me. He has changed the way I see the world. The great revelation with this volume for me was just how commonplace hallucinations are. T...

Cindy rated it ★★★★★

December 18, 2012

Two weird things happened while I was reading this book. I had been having some bad insomnia, so I took a little something-something to help get to sleep. Before it kicked in I was reading this book, and it looked like the background of my Kindle Paperwhite had clouds floating around behind the t...

Mara rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 06, 2015

Hallucinations was just not up to snuff for Oliver Sacks — actually, it made me question just how much I would like Sacks' work were I to read it today, having been exposed to a breadth of narrative science writing in the years since I first read his essays. Sacks presents hallucinations (for...

Connie rated it ★★★★☆

September 01, 2015

8-30-15 Rest in Peace, Oliver Sacks. The neurologist Oliver Sacks has written a compassionate book about hallucinations, full of individual patients' stories as well as his own experiences. Hallucinations caused by sensory deprivation were especially interesting. Blindness, hearing problems, solit...

Helen (Helena/Nell) rated it ★★★★★

December 29, 2012

I gave this four stars at first because I think it's true that it's not written with quite the verve of some of Sacks' earlier books. But then I added a fifth because -- dammit -- I really did enjoy it. It did for me precisely what he's so good at -- leaving me thinking for hours about some of th...

Rebecca rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 27, 2013

Ever get stuck talking about the fairly pedestrian dreams of a random stranger, ad nauseum? Yeah, that's this book. I've read several of Sacks' other books, which are usually good for both giving insight into how our minds work as well as scratching a certain voyeuristic itch. I'm not entirely sur...

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