DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
The mind is a crazy thing and when one thing goes awry, who knows what the effect will be. This book highlights various neurological conditions including Cotard's Delusion, schizophrenia, BIID (body integrity identity disorder) and others with case reports, follow-ups, discussion on the anatomy/physiology/psychology of the individual and research into each disorder. But deeper than that, Ananthaswamy begins to delve in to the realm of "Who am I? What is "I" vs "Self"?. The big problem here is that it gets confusing and unnecessary.
This book is an interesting look at people who suffer from these conditions and what is being done to investigate them. Had the book stopped there, I would have been very satisfied, but I feel like the whole book is watered down by these "deeper" questions aimed at digging into who we really are. Ananthaswamy presents some interesting material on the scientific/psychological/neurological aspect of each issue but he does suffer from a congested writing style that gets boring in the middle of each chapter. I feel had he been more focused and clear in his objectives for each chapter, his message would have gotten across a lot clearer.
One such area of cloudiness is when he describes experiments. Rather than start the paragraph off by explaining what the experiment was, what it hoped to achieve, and how it was performed, he just slides sideways into his explanation, partly expecting the reader to have already been familiar with what happened.
On the whole this book isn't bad. It's not great either. I found myself skimming towards the end because the chapters started over-wearing their welcomes. Conciseness, in this case, makes the heart grow fonder.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.