Oliver Sacks was a well-known neurologist best known for his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. The River of Consciousness is a posthumously published collection of essays all roughly related to consciousness. I say roughly as they span topics ranging from the mental lives of plants and worms to Freud’s early career flirting with neurology to the fallible nature of our memories.
I had high expectations for this, my first Oliver Sacks read. Sadly, those expectations did not bear out. I had a really tough time getting into and then following the points Sacks was often trying to make in these essays. Sometimes the information felt too academic, sometimes the points Sacks was trying to join together into an argument seemed too disparate for me to connect the way he was arguing. I didn’t hate this book, but I did feel frustrated (re-reading back pages when it felt I’d missed a point) and since I’ve finished I don’t feel like I have retained much- a bummer for a non-fiction book I’m reading for pleasure.