‘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 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 interest in it – until Dr Sacks administered the then-new drug, L-DOPA, which caused them, temporarily, to awake from their decades-long slumber.
‘Not only a collection of astonishing case histories, Awakenings is also a memoir, a moral essay and a romance. It is a work of genius’ Washington Post
‘It makes you aware of what a knife edge we live on’ Doris Lessing