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Download Hallucinations Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Hallucinations (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Oliver Sacks
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,288 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Oliver Sacks Narrator: Dan Woren, Oliver Sacks Publisher: Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN:
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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.

Permissions Acknowledgments

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint previously published material:

American Academy of Neurology: Excerpt from Anton's Syndrome Accompanying Withdrawal Hallucinosis in a Bli... Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah Stacy | 2/19/2014

    " Fascinating, though perhaps not as good as Musicophilia and certainly not a stunner like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Hallucination (the phenomenon, not the book) comes out as being remarkably everyday. On the other hand, apparently I'm weird because I can imagine smells. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Hickling | 2/6/2014

    " Very interesting. It did err on textbook compared to the likes of The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, but I forgive that for the insight it has given me; as an occasional sufferer of sleep paralysis, fairly frequent emotional flashbacks and having had Jesus hold my hands for days as I prepared to leave my rather sadistic ex. Glad I read it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Randy Jamieson | 2/6/2014

    " Has some great moments. But, it's overshadowed by too much of one patient told me this, another patient told me that. It starts to feel like a slog. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeroen | 1/31/2014

    " Hugely interesting subject, and for non fiction it's readable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabrielle Zdep | 1/24/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book; so much fascinating information that I may have to give it a second read to absorb all of it. I liked that Sacks focused on the irregularities of the nervous/sensory systems that could cause hallucinations for reasons other than mental illness, which seems to be the cause that people most hear about. He also included many detailed footnotes and references, as well as anecdotes and case studies which lent a vivid richness to descriptions. All in all, a really interesting and wonderful read, with great re-read value. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kittylittle | 1/21/2014

    " I thought this was a fascinating book. No one wants to admit to having hallucinations for fear of being thought insane. The number of ways the brain can delude itself are amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clara | 1/16/2014

    " Vintage Oliver Sacks, full of fascinating details and charmingly written, but I got kind of tired of it as I went along. A keeper but not a favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danny | 1/15/2014

    " Sacks' books are always interesting, but in sort of a rubbernecking way. And there are so many references to stories he's told in other books that it sometimes seems like a racket. "You'll get the REAL RESULTS if you buy the entire product line!" But it does give you some insight to the variety of human experience and the ways that experience is shaped by our brains. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan | 1/14/2014

    " I learned so many new words reading this book. Also, I really enjoyed Sacks' personal stories that were embedded in each chapter. He is one cool cat, man. He's now on my Dead or Alive Dinner Party guest list for sure! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/15/2013

    " Fascinating. Completely Fascinating "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mineola | 12/5/2013

    " The great thing about Sacks as a writer is thst he takes fascinating subjects and keeps it fascinating. And he explains it all in an understandable way, even if you are not familiar with neurology. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 12/2/2013

    " Eloquently written and fascinating as usual. On a personal note I found the tales of Sacks own foray into drugs off putting, probably an indication of my own prudish tendencies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ms.P | 11/27/2013

    " Another fascinating work by Oliver Sacks. At times, this was a bit creepy in its discussion of the variety and type of hallucinations that people can experience. It was interesting and informative and very accessible. I think it would appeal to a wide variety of readers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 10/8/2013

    " Not as engrossing as the in-depth case studies in some of his earlier books, though it was thought provoking. I will be especially aware of my "hypnagogic" and "hypnopompic" states after reading this!;) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Verena Wachnitz | 9/15/2013

    " Not as good as his other books... there were too many descriptions of hallucinatoins, I thought, and not enough clinical analysis. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bobbie Coughlin | 8/9/2013

    " I had expected Sacks to be a more sprightly writer. This was basically a series of tedious case reports. Some were intriguing, but it was all rather repetitious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kit Fox | 6/18/2013

    " All interesting and edifying; guess I was more interested in what folks from the 19th century had to say about hallucinations than in Sack's present-day case studies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah Louise Leach | 5/25/2013

    " "The Man who mistook his wife for a Hat " is one of my all time favourites, so I was looking forward to a new Sacks. I was terribly disappointed, there is nothing new here, and it is written in a dry style with not enough case histories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ariadna73 | 5/23/2013

    " Interesting. Not as good as his previous work, but quite good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 5/18/2013

    " I like Saks, but this just felt a bit too long after awhile to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.l. | 2/12/2013

    " This book is a series of anecdotes, many of them from the author's own experience. The pace was a slow plod. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 12/8/2012

    " Perversely enjoyable and probably a good thing to read lest you wake up with a hallucination and not know what it is. "

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About the Author
Author Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) was the author of twelve previous books, including The Mind’s Eye, Musicophilia, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Awakenings (which inspired both the Oscar-nominated film and a play by Harold Pinter). The New York Times has referred to Dr. Sacks as “the poet laureate of medicine,” and he was a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. He lived in New York City, where he was professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine for many years.