Why Michael Couldn't HitBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7096.1772 (Published 14 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1772
- Oliver Sacks, clinical professor of neurology
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA
Harold Klawans Macmillan, £17.95, pp 308 ISBN 0 716 73001 4
Harold Klawans is among the most versatile of contemporary neurologists–not only an eminent “straight” neurologist, author of scores of technical articles, and an editor of The Handbook of Clinical Neurology, he is also a graceful and witty writer who has given us several books of delightful clinical tales (Toscanini's Fumble and Newton's Madness perhaps the best known) as well as a number of mystery novels and plays. In addition, as we see from his latest book, he is an ardent and keenly analytical sports fan as well (a trait he shares with another grand biologist-writer contemporary, Stephen Jay Gould).
The range of “true stories” in this new book is wide–baseballers, basketballers, boxers, runners, and golfers leap out of the pages, some his own patients, some weekend athletes, and some famous professional players–and the range of neurological or neuromedical conditions presented through them is equally great. Some of the conditions Klawans describes preceded an athletic career–acromegaly, Marfan's syndrome, and Tourette's syndrome among …