i love oliver sacks' case studies and learning about neurology from his writing. this wasn't as fun for me, but it still was full of interesting and sometimes amazing information. this book is purely focused on chemistry, and people who have no interest in chemistry would not enjoy this at all. he also doesn't do much explaining, so people who have no foundation of chemical knowledge probably wouldn't follow it all that well either. this describes me around some of the topics he covers, but the ones that i remembered more about from high school and college i found more interesting. i also was finding myself wishing that i could have been taught chemistry the way he was, by actually doing it all. i never enjoyed the mathematical chemistry that was pure formula and hypothesis that never made sense in reality, that i learned in high school and that finally shifted slightly when i took organic chemistry in college. he learned chemistry by hand, in a time when you could go to the store and buy a rock of potassium to experiment with at home. learning chemistry the way he did does sound interesting and fun (and totally dangerous) and i can see why he fell in love with it. also, it helps that he grew up not just in a time where you could go to the corner store and buy reagents to "play" with, but in a wealthy family. and a brilliant one at that. i am so impressed by the absolute genius that pervades his gigantic family (he has 17 aunts and uncles on his mother's side, more on his father's, and almost 100 cousins) and realize also that it helps to be taught things like chemistry and physics from people whose life work revolves around different aspects of these sciences. still, sacks remains truly great in my mind, and i look forward to the next book of his i read on neurology.