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"Compulsively readable. . . . Dr. Sacks writes beautifully and with exceptional subtlety and penetration into both the state of mind of his patients and the nature of illness generally. . . . A brilliant and humane book." -- A. Alvarez, The Observer Awakenings -- which inspired the major motion picture -- is the remarkable story of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen for decades in a trance-like state, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Oliver Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, "awakening" effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of his patients, their lives, and the extraordinary transformations that went with their reintroduction to a changed world. " Sacks] opens to the reader doors of perception generally passed through only by those at the far borders of human experience." -- The Boston Globe "One of the most beautifully composed and moving works of our time." -- The Washington Post "A masterpiece." -- W. H. Auden.