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Summary

How the mind works - everything from memory to emotion, navigation to creativity - explained in nine extraordinary human stories.

Imagine...getting lost in a one-room flat; seeing auras; never forgetting a moment; a permanent orchestra in your head; turning into a tiger; life as an out-of-body experience; feeling other people's pain; being convinced you are dead; becoming a different person overnight.

Our brains are far stranger than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember, feel emotion, navigate, empathise and understand the world around us, but how would our lives change if these abilities were dramatically enhanced - or disappeared overnight?

Award-winning science writer Helen Thomson has spent years travelling the world tracking down incredibly rare brain disorders. In Unthinkable she tells the stories of nine extraordinary people. From the man who thinks he's a tiger to the doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them, their experiences illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and, in some cases, brilliant and alarming ways.

Delving into the rich histories of these conditions, exploring the very latest research and cutting-edge medical techniques, Thomson explains the workings of our consciousness, our emotions, our creativity and even the mechanisms that allow us to understand our own existence.

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.

©2018 Helen Thomson (P)2018 John Murray Press

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Excellent book

This was a fantastic listen from start to finish. It's a uniquely human way of looking into the fascinating world of the brain and its workings. I'd highly recommend this to anyone with even a moderate interest in psychology or brain physiology, as it's so simply explained that even I could understand it. I will certainly be revisiting this.

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Extremely fascinating

This is definitely a "can't put down" kind of book, I have never really paid any interest in this topic but it was truly fascinating to listen to Helen relay her conversations with people, I loved the details of these conditions and how they affect people, it made me feel that it's ok to be weird and think the way I do. Helen has a wonderful speaking voice she is so easy on the ear, I was dissapointed when the book ended.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating!

Recommended to me in relation to “moonwalking with Einstein” I found this to be genuinely interesting, our minds are unique and make us complex creatures, Helen’s book gives you a glimpse into how unique the view of the world is for some people. 10/10

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Brilliant

Interesting listen and very insightful. Beautifully narrated, author makes this a great listen, very interesting insight into how the brain works.

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Excellent

Absolutely wonderful book I couldn't put it down the stories were fascinating. The narrater was perfect for the book. Highly recommended this book

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2 thumbs up for this one.

great audible with some very unusual but completely intriguing conditions these people have had or are currently experiencing. I'm not entirely sure what use I can get out of this knowledge as of yet but never the less it's a great listen.

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Very Interesting

Very interesting and well told. So many different people and their stories told in the most heartfelt and funny way. Loved this book from start to finish and shall be listening to it again x

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Interesting Book

I enjoyed this book, Helen’s pleasant voice and the people she was talking about kept me engaged. Very interesting. Although I’m not so sure that mind=brain will be sustained for much longer. 🤔