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Publisher's Summary

Oliver Sacks’ compassionate tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own minds. 

In Musicophilia, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians and everyday people - those struck by affliction, unusual talent and even, in one case, by lightning - to show not only that music occupies more areas of our brain than language does but also that it can torment, calm, organise and heal. 

Always wise and compellingly listenable, these stories alter our conception of who we are and how we function and show us an essential part of what it is to be human.

©2018 Oliver Sacks (P)2010 Penguin Random House LLC

Critic Reviews

"A humane discourse on the fragility of our minds, of the bodies that give rise to them, and of the world they create for us. This book is filled with wonders." (Daily Telegraph)

What listeners say about Musicophilia

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Not just music

The most unusual book. Different maladies of music, with music, for music. By the time one finishes the book, one will marvel at minds and brains particularly their own. One may be perturbed to realise that much of us lies within our skull. Also, this audio book is read beautifully by John Lee.

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  • Tamás
  • 25-01-21

To almost everybody.

Recommended to everyone who loves music and wonders about the weirdness of the brain. Enjoy!

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  • Nik
  • 30-04-20

Exceptional life work

Was a bit too technical most of the time. Was expecting something more philosophical. Turned out to be a well-written and important neurology book

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-19

Incredible

Oliver Sacks has done it again! Brilliant.
Great narrating. Accessible language. A must for anyone interested in music and/or the human brain.

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  • Thomas
  • 11-03-19

A solid Oliver Sacks book

It's a good book about neurological curiosities, that follows the trend of every other book Sacks wrote. I would strongly recommend that new listeners start with "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat", as earlier in his writing career, Sacks had even more weird and wonderful stories. Some accounts get reprised here a bit, and it's a good follow-up.

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  • User4739251
  • 04-01-19

Hallucinations & Epilepsy

As the title may suggest, I thought this was a book about the love of music. It’s not. It’s as much about music phobia as it is about musicophilia.

As a musician who adores music, I’m always keen to learn more. However, this audiobook is a depressing account of neurological disorders from patients, many of whom have no love nor affinity for music at all.

Several times I had to switch off this audiobook as it was disturbing, irritating or incessantly annoying. I like to finish what I start, but after a few of hours, I simply could not take anymore. I gave up on this audiobook and requested a full refund.

This may be a good book for neurosurgeons and medical students. But for a lovers of music, musicophiliacs like myself, this book is the opposite of pleasant.

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  • Ms.Tuneraider
  • 12-06-22

Music is the food of life not just love!

Utterly fascinating and totally interesting. Another masterpiece of knowledge, science and human life. Oliver Sacks never fails to entrance me. The narrator is great too - calm and soothing but with depth and emotion enough to show empathy to the stories of the people Sacks so eloquently writes about. Only one small issue some may find ‘jarring’ - the use of now dated terminology which was, at the time of writing, acceptable science vocabulary (E.g retarded, demented, ‘normal’ etc). Otherwise … expand your awareness of the variety of human psychology and with these neurological science insights!