Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks is a valuable and careful account of current scientific knowledge concerning various kinds of – obviously – hallucinations.
The book is parted into several chapters, each dedicated to a certain condition that may cause, under some specific circumstances, auditory, visual, or other sort of sensory delusion. Every chapter is built around case studies relevant to the condition in question; these could be taken from fiction literature, from medical documents and earlier studies of the subject, as well as from dr. Sacks’s correspondence, and his personal practice and experience. The author does offer some conclusions, but they all are always careful and never definitive; he realizes very well how evidence-based medicine works, and he has a knack for transforming that knowledge into a clear and understandable text. It is quite well-written, and interesting from beginning to end. More imporatantly, it’s extremely informative – I learned a bunch of new things, and clarified my general understanding of the matter. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in how it really works.