Reviews for Hallucinations : Library Edition

AudioFile Reviews 2013 March
This production features an introduction delivered by the author, who reads in a didactic and dry manner. The rest of the book is narrated by Dan Woren, who has a more pleasing voice and a clear, measured tone. He adds varying degrees of voicing or accents for several of the people who provide accounts of their hallucinations. Rather than simply providing information about the biological and mental underpinnings of hallucinations, the work leans quite heavily toward anecdotes of various types of hallucinations, including the author's own accounts of his experiences with psychedelic drugs. The message is that hallucinations are common, widespread, and not necessarily indicative of a mental disorder. S.E.G. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #4

Olive Sacks sets himself a challenging task in his latest book: to explore the full range of human hallucinations, those figments of the imagination that terrify, madden, comfort, or merely entertain. Drawing on famous cases, from Joan of Arc to Dostoyevski, Sacks charts a diverse and pervasive phenomenon, one rich in colorful examples caused by trauma, drugs, illnesses, the mind's deterioration, or boredom and the absence of stimuli. The scope of human hallucinations Sacks presents is staggering for its range, myriad causes, and levels of severity. Some hallucinations are little more than distractions: an imagined song in place of silence, a conversation with an absent friend, a light sense of djà vu. For others hallucinations create the fabric of the world in which they live, with the often-frightening images overwhelming reality. The solid performance of Dan Woren, whose business-like narration is the one constant throughout, keeps the listener grounded even during the book's most fantastic passages. Woren offers a brisk reading that when paired with the author's elegant prose guides listeners safely on a long and surreal journey through fantasy and nightmare. A Knopf hardcover. (Nov.)

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