Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Review: The Man Who Forgot How To Read

Howard Engel is the Canadian writer of the Benny Cooperman detective series. Back in the early 2000s e had a stroke which left him with alexia sine agraphia - he was unable to read while his writing was preserved. As a speech-language pathologist I found this quite intriguing because I have worked with a few people with interesting reading and writing deficits-although not quite like Engel's. Most of these people had infarcts in the occipital lobe so their deficits are much different than those resulting from damage in the temporal, parietal or frontal lobes.

But I digress...Engel's personal account of his stroke and subsequent recovery was repetitive at times, it was also an interesting and much more approachable than Jill Bolte Taylor's My Stroke of Insight (although that was a very unique perspective of a neuroanatomist's personal experience with stroke).

While reading The Man Who Forgot How To Read, I remembered reading an article about this book in an issue of CASLPO's monthly newsletter in 2008. AT that time (2008) I thought it was really cool (and still do!) that he contacted Oliver Sacks, a prominent neurologist-and that Sacks not only wrote back, but ended up writing the forward to Engel's next Benny Cooperman novel AND the afterword to The Man Who Forgot How To Read.

If you are intrigued by how the brain works, AND what happens when it doesn't, I recommend checking out Engel's The Man Who Forgot How To Read, or ANYTHING by Oliver Sacks!!

What are you reading?


  1. I'm still reading "Loving Frank", having just got it from the library.

    The Man Who Forgot How to Read sounds pretty cool...I'm always interested in medical mysteries.

  2. Hi Sara, I am in the middle of the Magicians, I am really enjoying it. I would say this kinda fills my Harry Potter need but it is more grown up. Not being a speech language pathologist, would I still like to read this book or maybe read some of his other books first?


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