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The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars

A Neuropsychologist’s Odyssey
Narrated by: Simon Bubb
Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars by Paul Broks, read by Simon Bubb.

A man's wife dies. What next? The next day is next, and the next, and so on. He smothers his sorrow and gets on with the days. He's a Stoic. Tranquillity is the goal, but his brain won't rest. As a neuropsychologist he has spent a career trying to fathom the human brain, but now, he comes to realise, his brain is struggling to make sense of him - probing, doubting, reconstructing.

Combining neurological case stories and memoir, and with excursions into speculative fiction and mythology, this is an audaciously original, deeply personal meditation on grief, time and selfhood.

©2018 Paul Broks (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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Emergent

A really innovative book about the nature of consciousness. Rather than just try to answer the question of consciousness directly, Broks uses illustrations from different sources to touch on the answer from many angles. It is at one time both biological, cultural, personal and individual. It is one thing to experience it, and another to describe it or define it. It could be described differently at different times and places and life stages. It is the subject of philosophical discourse.

Broks is, by profession, a neuroscientist. He is therefore able to tell us something of the biology of consciousness with illustrations relating his work and to some of his patients. Since his wife died he has considered the religious and philosophical nature of consciousness, the way it changes from conception to adulthood and whether, and in what ways, it might persist after death. But there are longer time scales to consider. How has consciousness in Man developed with the species? Is it related to language? What can Greek myth and legend tell us about the way our ancestors thought on the subject?

Brok skilfully twines together strands from myth, legend, personal anecdote, philosophy, neurobiology, developmental biology and psychology to give us an answer which is much greater than the sum of the parts.

I found it an intriguing and riveting read. I was left with almost more to think about after the book was done than before I started. But that is good. That is the nature of consciousness.

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  • Terry Miles
  • Forest Hill, London United Kingdom
  • 03-09-18

A unique experience

It is a wonderful book. Full of science, love, insight and personal reflection. It’s undisciplined and all the better for that.

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the best book on grief - up lifting, clever

the best book on grief, uplifting, clever and wildly secular. I would love to meet Paul in a pub one day