Uncle Tungsten

Uncle Tungsten

Memories of A Chemical Boyhood

eBook - 2013
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From the distinguished neurologist who is also one of the most remarkable storytellers of our time -- an account of his youth, as unexpected and fascinating as his celebrated case histories.

What first aroused Sacks' boundless curiosity?

In this wonderful memoir, he evokes, with warmth and wit, his childhood in wartime England. There was the large, scientifically minded family in which his very early fascination with meals was nurtured - particularly by "Uncle Tungsten." There were his four years at the boarding school where he was sent at the outbreak of World War II to escape the bombings, and where, though he suffered extreme deprivation and cruelty, one can see the first gleam of his interest in the intellectual pursuits that would begin to shape him. And there was his return to London, an emotionally bereft 10-year-old who found solace in the secret garden of his passion for learning - about the nature of metals, gases and chemicals; about the hidden order of things outside himself.

Uncle Tungsten radiates the magic, the delight and the wonder of the birth, in a young boy, of the unquenchable desire for knowledge. It is an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary mind.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Canada, 2013
ISBN: 9780307367815
0307367819
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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MT60
Apr 26, 2019

Remarkable recollections by the brilliant mind of Oliver Sacks. That being said, I am a chemist, but enjoyed the personal stuff more than the endless detail about the salts and metals that he loved. My head started spinning at about Page 120. I never had chemistry sets as a kid, but came to love chemistry during college when I saw how it represented everyday life.

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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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katboxjanitor
Apr 03, 2019

katboxjanitor thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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katboxjanitor
Apr 03, 2019

This memoir is a demonstration of a deep, abiding love for metals and science from within a family deeply involved in both medical and industrial fields. Not fast-paced, I had to check this puppy out 3, yes THREE times to finish it. I let the first try expire, but Dr. Sacks' story and perspective through some impressive decades of discovery and development of metallurgic and elemental sciences was quite intriguing and would not leave me alone.

I have read \ listened to a couple of Stephen Hawking's writings and the elements and periodic table was a concept I had not fully appreciated until now.

Making Science, Chemistry, Metallurgy and even Medicine relatable is quite a skill. And the fact he survived his childhood physically, emotionally, intellectually or professionally makes us all fortunate.

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