From Marcia's list on pandemics, historical, or fictional.
A fascinating, readable nonfiction account of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness as children in the great epidemic of 1918. They grew to adulthood in a Bronx hospital, frozen in sleep for decades. The prognosis was hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Sacks dared to try a new drug, L-DOPA, giving his patients an astonishing, explosive, “awakening.” Dr. Sacks recounts case histories of his patients, their lives, and extraordinary transformations from his treatment. This book is a passionate exploration of the most general questions of health, disease, suffering, care, and the human condition. The patients’ realization of themselves as adults is heartbreaking. Dr. Sacks wrote: “Awakenings came from the most intense medical and human involvement I have ever know.”
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
'The story of a disease that plunged its victims into a prison of viscous time, and the drug that catapulted them out of it' - Guardian
Hailed as a medical classic, and the subject of a major feature film as well as radio and stage plays and various TV documentaries, Awakenings by Oliver Sacks is the extraordinary account of a group of twenty patients.
Rendered catatonic by the sleeping-sickness epidemic that swept the world just after the First World War, all twenty had spent forty years in hospital: motionless and speechless; aware of the world around them, but exhibiting no…