"A great science writer knows what is interesting to the reader, and here Thomson shines. Her book is tailor-made for anyone who loves intellectual brain trivia. This book is a chef's tasting menu of fascinating things about your brain."--The Washington Post
"A window into neurological research that's not just about other people's brains, but also our own."--Popular Science
"A user-friendly tour of the brain and the curious things that go on inside of it."--Kirkus
"Splendid for Mary Roach fans."--Booklist
"This wonderfully clear, fluent, eye-opening book explores what happens when the mind misbehaves: distance is distorted, memory plays tricks, people hear in colour and see in music. Helen Thomson is the science teacher you wish you'd had at school . . . Unthinkable [is] fascinating."--The Times (London)
"May change your perception of what it means to be human."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Thomson has a gift for making the complex and strange understandable and relatable. Oliver Sacks is noted as an inspiration and, indeed, this book will appeal to his many fans."--Library Journal (starred review)
'A stirring scientific journey, a celebration of human diversity and a call to rethink the "unthinkable."'--Nature
"A book that will please fans of the late Oliver Sacks."--Publishers Weekly
"From seeing auras ... to waking up 'dead' and being able to remember every single day of your life in vivid detail, award-winning science journalist Thomson investigates wondrously rare and strange brain disorders in this terrific debut . . . Theirs are mystery stories, spellbinding and true."--The Bookseller, Editor's Choice
From the Back Cover
Award-winning science writer Helen Thomson unlocks the biggest mysteries of the human brain by examining nine extraordinary cases
Our brains are more extraordinary--and far stranger--than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember, feel emotion, navigate, empathize, and understand the world around us, but how would our lives change if these abilities were dramatically enhanced--or disappeared overnight?
Helen Thomson has spent years traveling the world, tracking down incredibly rare brain disorders. In Unthinkable she tells the stories of nine extraordinary people she encountered along the way. From the man who thinks he's a tiger to the doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them to a woman who hears music that's not there, their experiences illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and, in some cases, brilliant and alarming ways.
Story by remarkable story, Unthinkable takes us on an unforgettable journey through the human brain. Discover how to forge memories that never disappear, how to grow an alien limb, and how to make better decisions. Learn how to hallucinate and how to make yourself happier in a split second. Find out how to avoid getting lost, how to see more of your reality, even how exactly you can confirm you are alive. Think the unthinkable.