Uncle Tungsten

Uncle Tungsten

Memories of A Chemical Boyhood

Book - 2001
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Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals-also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded.

In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks' extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his "Uncle Tungsten," whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes-in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375704048
9780375404481
0375404481
Characteristics: viii, 337 p., [4] p. of plates : ill. ; 22 cm

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JLIOlib
May 17, 2017

It's amazing to learn about how smart Dr. Sacks was since he was a little boy and his passion to chemistry. It's even more amazing that he had such open-minded and encouraging parents.

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georgiag829
Mar 08, 2016

What a wonderful book! His love for the sciences really shines through and that enthusiasm extended to me! This was the very first book written by Oliver Sacks that I read. He's a wonderful writer and I highly recommend reading this book.

s
slottino
Apr 02, 2012

His autobiography seemed to be written more for himself than for other readers.

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