Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Island of the Colorblind
The Island of the Colorblind | Oliver Sacks
11 posts | 11 read | 20 to read
Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands--their remoteness, their mystery, above all the unique forms of life they harbor. For him, islands conjure up equally the romance of Melville and Stevenson, the adventure of Magellan and Cook, and the scientific wonder of Darwin and Wallace. Drawn to the tiny Pacific atoll of Pingelap by intriguing reports of an isolated community of islanders born totally color-blind, Sacks finds himself setting up a clinic in a one-room island dispensary, where he listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow. And on Guam, where he goes to investigate the puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis endemic there for a century, he becomes, for a brief time, an island neurologist, making house calls with his colleague John Steele, amid crowing cockerels, cycad jungles, and the remains of a colonial culture. The islands reawaken Sacks's lifelong passion for botany--in particular, for the primitive cycad trees, whose existence dates back to the Paleozoic--and the cycads are the starting point for an intensely personal reflection on the meaning of islands, the dissemination of species, the genesis of disease, and the nature of deep geologic time. Out of an unexpected journey, Sacks has woven an unforgettable narrative which immerses us in the romance of island life, and shares his own compelling vision of the complexities of being human. From the Hardcover edition.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
blurb
SaraFair
post image

Slowly getting to Oliver Sacks‘ books about one a year. This is so interesting so far. I love learning about the brain!

Ddzmini 🧠😍📖 8mo
SaraFair @Ddzmini - 👍🏻 8mo
16 likes2 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
post image

Since reading Insomniac City I am fascinated by Oliver Sacks and his medical research. This book focuses on the island of Pingelap. In 1775 a tsunami hit the island leaving 20 survivors, one of whom was the King. He carried a genetic defect that causes a very rare case of total colorblindness- which was passed down to his many children and future generations, leaving a majority living there now with this condition. #laislabonita #junetunz

emilyhaldi This image shows one person's rendering of what they imagine it is like to see from the eyes of the people with this condition. 3y
Jess How did I miss this one? Thanks for posting. It is now on the stack. 3y
Marla Fascinating! 3y
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen Soooo cool! Thanks for posting and sharing 💜💜💜 2y
Reviewsbylola Truly fascinating. Have you read this yet? 2y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola no but I'm dying to!! 2y
99 likes10 stack adds6 comments
review
ruskigurl16
post image
Pickpick

This was recommended to me, because I enjoy this author. I enjoy fiction books, but if I get to overwhelmed with emotions, I like falling back on scientific, well-written, and educational books. That's what this was, but it was also written passionately, and the information he provided, shows that he cared about this subject. Despite it being a scientifically based work, many of the stories made me smile, keeping me engaged. Very enjoyable. 😊🐦😍

blurb
ruskigurl16
post image

Another trip to the library, even though it's raining. My #TBR stack has grown, again. Psychology, mystery, and distopian fantasy. #bookworm #raingoaway #libraryday
🌧😊📚🐛🐦💙

blurb
ruskigurl16
post image

Excited for the latest set of #TBR books I just picked up from the library. The first is a recommendation. The rest simply looked, and sounded, very interesting. #bookworm #happybirdie 😊📚🐛🐦💙🐺🍁

review
shortsarahrose
post image
Mehso-so

Really two related texts - "The Island of the Colorblind" and "Cycad Island," which I preferred. Best when getting into the science of the medical conditions discussed or the botany and evolution of cycads. The travelogue style was too exoticizing for my taste. Part of me wanted something deeper, more philosophical; part of me wanted something more straight to the point (like a magazine article).

blurb
shortsarahrose
post image

Current reading theme could be summed up as "Ways of Seeing" (some leftover, tangentially related interest from my art history days? Perhaps to be accompanied with a re-reading of the John Berger text referenced above?). The narrative bent of this book seems like a nice shift after the more theoretically minded Huxley.

1 like1 stack add
blurb
Shemac77
post image

Sacks excels in writing about and with his enthusiasm for the natural world. His passion for nature and medicine is a pure, beautiful thing.
#readeverydayeverywhere

34 likes4 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Shemac77
post image

Reading break while hiking. #booksonwalks #readeverydayeverywhere

LauraBeth That's awesome 😀 3y
Shemac77 It's hard to tell in the photo but it was a little dip with a tree as a back rest and a nest of pine needles. I could've stayed there all day! @LauraBeth @CherylDeFranceschi 3y
CherylDeFranceschi Le sigh. Paradise! 3y
33 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
Shemac77
post image
OSChamberlain If you're lucky 😜 thanks for sharing and good luck! 3y
14 likes1 comment
blurb
Shemac77
post image

Evening reading with wine.
I miss knowing this man walked the earth; what a rare mind.
#oliversacks #wineandbooks #readeverydayeverywhere

Shemac77 @Meg11726 I have duplicate copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, interested? 3y
CherylDeFranceschi Agreed. He had such a lovely mind. 3y
Meg11726 @Shemac77 yes please! 3y
See All 10 Comments
Shemac77 Done! I'll drop it off to you. @Meg11726 3y
Shemac77 He was so amazing. @CherylDeFranceschi 3y
MrBook Hope your stack doesn't get too tipsy. 3y
Shemac77 Ha! The "stack" may have got a little tipsy. Only because of lack of sleep and a long day shift today. @MrBook 3y
kspenmoll Love so many if his books. Have you read any of his autobiographies? I plan to one day...fascinating man, who left the earth too early. 3y
Shemac77 I've read almost all his books with the exception of his autobiographies. I can't bring myself to read them quite yet. @kspenmoll 3y
kspenmoll That's why I read the short small book of his, Gratitude, just 4 essays he wrote towards the end of his life. He mentions he was glad he finished his memoir On the Move before just days before learning he had metastatic cancer. I think you would enjoy the essays unless you have read them in NY Times previously. 3y
33 likes2 stack adds10 comments