Book Review – The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat

Review – The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks 

This is my first book review, yay! I always said I was going to write book reviews for my blog but although I’ve read quite a few since starting it, I’ve never actually gotten around to it before now. Sorry! Hopefully this will be the first of many though.

Okay, so this is a non fiction book (it’s factual and not made up)* written by a neurologist and is about people with ‘broken minds’. While this might not necessarily sound that interesting or like the typical book you’d enjoy when you first hear it, it definitely is.

Sacks talks about patients over the years who have had their minds altered in various ways, from a man who literally thought his wife’s head was a hat to a patient who tried to throw his own leg out of the bed – not realising it was attached to him. Each story is really interesting, shocking and saddening. A lot of the issues I personally hadn’t even thought possible before – who knew you could lose the ability to move your limbs without looking at them?! Trust me, every time you finish a new case you’ll be running around retelling it to all your friends and family.

The book definitely made me feel greatful and even a bit guilty for not appreciating how easy my life is compared to all these people – my getting stressed about not looking like a VS model is hardly comparable to somebody forgetting the previous 40 years of their life.

One of the best things about the book is that because each case is pretty separate to the others (apart from a few overlapping things) you can easily just read a couple of the chapters or stop reading it for a while and then go back to it – without fear of forgetting the plot.

Essentially, whether you’re interested in science and psychology or not, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy this book. If you want to know anything else about it just leave a comment or Tweet me or something!

*Sorry if that’s patronising, I know a lot of people get them mixed up and didn’t want to confuse anyone!

Did you enjoy this review and want me to write more? Or hate it? Have you read this book? Think you want to read it? Think it sounds awful? So many questions. Let me know in the comments! xx


9 thoughts on “Book Review – The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat

  1. I heard about this book not long ago (I'm not sure I the author had recently passed away and that's why). It sounds interesting and I especially like that it is bitesized so you can read as muh or as little as you like at a time! Love having a N/F in the mix so might give this a try!
    Laura 🙂
    (I'm at


  2. That's so sad to hear about the author. I definitely recommend reading it, yeah I agree I normally read fiction for fun and non fiction for uni but it was nice to really enjoy something N/F!


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