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Download Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain Audiobook, by Oliver Sacks
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,758 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Oliver Sacks Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781415942673
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Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does–humans are a musical species.

Oliver Sacks’s compassionate, compelling tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own brains, and of the human experience. In MUSICOPHILIA, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people. He explores how catchy tunes can subject us to hours of mental replay, and how a surprising number of people acquire nonstop musical hallucinations that assault them night and day. Yet far more frequently, music goes right: Sacks describes how music can animate people with Parkinson’s disease who cannot otherwise move, give words to stroke patients who cannot otherwise speak, and calm and organize people whose memories are ravaged by Alzheimer’s or amnesia.

Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and in MUSICOPHILIA, Oliver Sacks tells us why.


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Quotes & Awards

  • Dr. Sacks writes not just as a doctor and a scientist but also as a humanist with a philosophical and literary bent. . . [his] book not only contributes to our understanding of the elusive magic of music but also illuminates the strange workings, and misfirings, of the human mind. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • Oliver Sacks turns his formidable attention to music and the brain . . . He doesn’t stint on the science . . . but the underlying authority of Musicophilia lies in the warmth and easy command of the author’s voice. Mark Coleman, Los Angeles Times
  • His work is luminous, original, and indispensable . . . Musicophilia is a Chopin mazurka recital of a book, fast, inventive and weirdly beautiful . . . Yet what is most awe-inspiring is his observational empathy. American Scholar
  • Curious, cultured, caring, in his person Sacks justifies the medical profession and, one is tempted to say, the human race . . . Sacks is, in short, the ideal exponent of the view that responsiveness to music is intrinsic to our makeup. He is also the ideal guide to the territory he covers. Musicophilia allows readers to join Sacks where he is most alive, amid melodies and with his patients. Peter D. Kramer, The Washington Post
  • Readers will be grateful that Sacks . . . is happy to revel in phenomena that he cannot yet explain. The New York Times Book Review
  • “The persuasive essays about composers, patients, savants, and ordinary people . . . offer captivating variations on the central premise that human beings are ‘exquisitely tuned’ to the illuminating yet ultimately mysterious powers of music. Elle
  • With the exception of Lewis Thomas, no physician has ever written better about his trade. Salon
  • A gifted writer and a neurologist, Sacks spins one fascinating tale after another to show what happens when music and the brain mix it up. Newsweek

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lois Chan-Pedley | 2/5/2014

    " Lots of captivating stories and interesting trivia about music and the brain. Captivating writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 CikAnonymous | 12/31/2013

    " saya merupakan pelajar psikologi klinikal akan tetapi buku ini banyak membantu saya sebenarnya. Sangat bagus! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danni | 12/28/2013

    " I am really enjoying this book. It is music, psycology and anatomy and phisiology. It makes me feel smart. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 12/14/2013

    " There's just so much interesting stuff in this book!!! I love Oliver Sacks!!!!! I especially love how he writes so compassionately about the people he sees. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 12/11/2013

    " I love music. I love the brain. It's a great, interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik Dabel | 10/10/2013

    " Great read, especially for musicians, music majors and music teachers. It's more of a collection of stories dealing with music in specific medical conditions, specifically psychological, psychiatric, and physical brain issues and abnormalities. He doesn't get extremely in depth with most of the stories, so you don't need much of a medical background, although at times he does get pretty scientific. Overall, a great book about the powers of music for all of us. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Achab_ | 9/29/2013

    " some nice bits, but it felt too much like reading a list of medical files... i would have liked some kind of progression, or general analysis, instead of jumping from a case to another one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Timms | 9/25/2013

    " As I continue to read this book, I find it more and more interesting. This man's thought processes as well as working with his patients gives him some fascinating insight to inner audio processes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Johnston | 9/25/2013

    " An interesting book on the oddities of music and the human brain. Tells some fascinating stories about individuals that have odd musical abilities or disabilities that enhance or dramatcally interfere with their ability to live normal lives. A little dry at times, but interesting nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Prasanth Manthena | 9/9/2013

    " Didn't enjoy it as much as some of his other books "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Afshin | 8/4/2013

    " Anyone who is interested in music and science this book is it.... I really liked it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaye | 7/18/2013

    " I've enjoyed many of Sack's books, and this is probably my least favorite. It seems a more a collection of anecdotes around the theme of music, rather than a cohesive whole. Interesting enough, but somehow dissatisfying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin Burchill | 4/8/2013

    " Always a delight to read Mr. Sachs. This one has less of the crazy neurological aberrations of "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" but it is fascinating none the less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andreita | 8/8/2012

    " Music is an integral part of society. The very act of listening to music is powerful enough to transports, heals and molds our minds. At it's best Music serves as a bridge connecting our thoughts deeply to our emotions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Ganz | 6/6/2012

    " This is one of my favorite books and authors of all time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dor | 1/29/2012

    " I haven't actually finished reading this book, but I doubt I ever will. Too anecdotal, not enough substance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie Montano | 12/4/2011

    " Very interesting stories and insight into the brain. I listened to audio book instead of reading. Although the stories were compelling I often found my attention wandering. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 5/11/2011

    " Dr. Sack's without a doubt has become one of my favorite authors. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin | 5/3/2011

    " Interesting, as all his books, are but focused on a different topic than his other books-music. I generally enjoy his writing and was not disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali | 4/30/2011

    " Wow.... it hurts my brain at times but it is really interesting! Just give yourself a lot of time to comprehend and read it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonah | 4/27/2011

    " interesting but very technical. I liked 'Brain Rules' better, but I learned a lot! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Jean | 4/25/2011

    " It will make you a believer that music is essential to well-being! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorraine | 4/23/2011

    " Very enlightening stuff!! It shed some light on the possible ways in which my brain (or the brains of some of my friends) work. Best thing is -- really -- it affirmed the magical power of music. I always knew... <3 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Friedrich | 4/15/2011

    " Occasionally too technical/off-topic, poor transitions, but overall enjoyable "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 4/12/2011

    " Oliver Sacks is always fascinating. I liked this book about bizarre music-related neuroses but it wasn't nearly as good as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 4/3/2011

    " Absolutely fascinating.

    It was a little scary to start reading this book because the author wrote about all the things that could go wrong at the beginning. The middle and the end were considerably calmer for the nerves. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/30/2011

    " Interesting material, but there is no large-scale structure: just a series of disjointed essays. If it were marketed as a series of essays, that would be great, but if you're expecting a coherent narrative you will be disappointed. "

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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.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.