Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

Bloomsbury USA. Feb. 2017. 304p. photos. ISBN 9781620404935. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781620404959. MEMOIR
This memoir is quite compelling when Hayes (The Anatomist) writes about his relationship with writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, and much of this consists of direct quotes from Sacks. Otherwise, the narrative comprises rather forgettable musings on the author's experience of New York City and the death of a previous partner. Because this account was quite obviously put together from disparate pieces, it doesn't jell as a coherent work. Perhaps it should have been presented as a collection of writings rather than as a book-length memoir.
VERDICT Admirers of Sacks will want to seek this out for the glimpses into his personal life; general readers need not bother.

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