"An exciting, artful blend of family and medical history."--The New York Times
"In prose both elegant and intimate, and often thrilling, Patient H.M.
is an important book about the wages not of sin but of science. It is deeply reported and surprisingly emotional, at times poignant, at others shocking. . . . A scintillating book, infused with humanity."--The Washington Post
"Spellbinding . . . The fact that Dittrich looks critically at the actual process of scientific investigation is just one of the things to admire about Patient H.M."--The New York Times Book Review
"Astonishingly insightful . . . A fascinating story in its own right to anyone interested in the history of modern science's attempts to understand the causes of mental illness along with the many botched attempts to treat it . . . [Patient H.M.
] is indeed about memory, madness, and family secrets and, in that sense, about the paths that shape the core of the self, in each and every one of us."--Psychology Today
"Beautifully told . . . a book that will rank with Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
in the realm of outstanding medical ethics narratives."--Associated Press
"Dittrich's account raises entirely new questions about the way in which the research on H.M. was conducted--and about the conclusions that have long been incorporated into our understanding of memory."--New York Magazine
"Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King in a piercing study of one of psychiatric medicine's darker hours. . . . A mesmerizing, maddening story and a model of journalistic investigation."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"At the heart of this breathtaking work . . . is [Luke] Dittrich's story of his complicated grandfather, his mentally ill grandmother, and a long-held family secret, with Molaison stranded 'where the past and the future were nothing but indistinct blurs.'"--Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
"The machinations of scientists and researchers--their personality and ambition, power and hubris--are of equally vital (and cautionary) importance in Dittrich's unusual and compelling mix of science and family history."--Booklist (starred review)
. tells one of the most fascinating and disturbing stories in the annals of medicine, weaving in ethics, philosophy, a personal saga, the history of neurosurgery, the mysteries of human memory, and an exploration of human ego. A monumental contribution to our understanding of medical research, and of ourselves, Patient H.M.
is sweeping, meticulous, and seamless--with an ending that, like the best of scientific investigations, challenges everything that came before it."--Sheri Fink, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Five Days at Memorial